David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bellevue barista Oliveira wins spot on Sounders roster

Vinicius "Vini" Oliveira will take off his barista apron and put on a Sounders FC jersey and fly to California tomorrow after he was named winner of the first ever "Seattle Sounders SuperSearch."

In a live show that was more about Hollywood and less about the sport of soccer, we saw the ten finalists reduced to four and then to two. In the last four were Chase Mikkelsen, Junior Garcia, Oliveira and fan vote topper Dallas Jaussi. The final two came down to Vini and Yakima's Junior Garcia.

Starfire's indoor soccer fields were invaded by cameras, smoke machines, strobe lights and a flashing goal for the TV event. Players played some two on two and one on one as the judges watched. Adrian Hanauer, Sigi Schmid and Chris Henderson gave simple, almost trite answers to interviewers Kevin Calabro and Lisa Gangle. Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller joined the broadcast team and seemed natural as he commented on what the players were doing and going through.

When Oliveira was announced as the winner his new Sounders team mates came onto the field and hugged him, as did his family. Overwhelmed by the moment Oliveira had very little to say beyond thank you to his family and many fans who were at Starfire to support him.

Now the Brazilian-born Bellevue Community College scoring star, who tallied 25 goals and 7 assists last season, is off to training camp and a new life as a pro soccer player.

Photo credit: Vini Oliveira at the SuperSearch match against Seattle Wolves. (Jenni Conner)

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