Know Your Strikers: Rafael Alves
Rafael Alves has been a staple of the Strikers defense since joining the club in July 2013. In the 2013 Fall Season the Brazilian center back was the only Strikers field player to play every minute of the 14 matches.
Prior to joining the Strikers, Alves played for the Ocala Stampede in the USL PDL. He came with a reputation of a set-piece specialist after tallying four goals in just ten appearances for Ocala.
Born in Praia Grande, Alves played for Boa Esporte, Ituano FC and Goiás in his native Brazil before moving to the United States.
Below is the transcript of our Q&A with Rafa:
1. How do you find the Strikers and the atmosphere here in South Florida?
Rafael Alves: We have the best atmosphere in the league. Our location here is great and our fan base is the best.
2. Name one favorite moment that stands out in your soccer career.
RA: My first match in the Brazilian first division with Goiás in 2007.
3. If you were not a soccer player, what other profession do you think you would have pursued?
RA: I would still like to be involved in soccer, probably as a soccer agent or in management.
4. What is your favorite hobby outside of soccer?
RA: Playing footvolley on the beach.
5. Do you have a favorite music genre of favorite artist?
RA: I like Samba. Arlindo Cruz and Zeca Pagodinho as singers and Grupo Revelacao.
6. Any favorite sports besides soccer?
RA: NBA basketball. I like the Miami Heat.
7. What is your favorite food here in South Florida?
RA: I still like my Brazilian food, I'm not very picky ... rice and beans.
8. Which professional soccer league in the world do you consider to be the best?
RA: Premier League in England is the strongest.
9. Do you have a favorite soccer club, or one that you supported while growing up?
RA: Santos of Brazil.
10. Who is your favorite soccer player?
RA: Roberto Carlos.
11. Who has had an impact in your soccer career and how?
RA: My mother and my uncle always looked after me and thought me to stay out of trouble. They helped me a lot with emotional and financial support.