Former Corinthians standout Allisson Faramilio of FC Golden State Force, playing in his first season in the United States, was narrowly voted TheCup.us Lower Division Player of the Tournament for the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The award is voted on by the staff at TheCup.us and a select of panel of members from the North American Soccer Reporters. Faramilio narrowly edged Christian Okeke of the NTX Rayados, with Brian Ownby of Louisville City finishing third.
Allisson scored four goals in the first three rounds of the tournament and helped the Premier Development League’s (PDL) FC Golden State Force reach the Fourth Round of the 2018 tournament, where they were defeated by Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Los Angeles Galaxy. Allisson is the first outfield player to earn the award since 2015, when PSA Elite’s Michael Salazar recorded three goals and four assists in four games. The two prior award winners were both goalkeepers: FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt in 2017 and Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ Diego Restrepo in 2016.
“It is a unique moment … I am very happy,” Faramilio said of winning the award in his first season in the United States.
In Round 1, FC Golden State Force defeated Los Angeles Wolves (UPSL) with Allisson scoring the game-winner before being subbed off in the 72nd minute. He converted a penalty kick in Round 2 when Golden State pulled off a 4-2 road upset of the United Soccer League’s Orange County FC.
The Brazilian international saved his best performance for Round 3. Faramilio scored both goals in Golden State’s 2-1 upset win over another USL foe, this time the expansion side Las Vegas Lights. For his efforts, Faramilio was voted TheCup.us Player of the Round.
Ultimately, both club and player ran out of gas in Round 4 and Golden State were defeated by Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1.
The United States is just the latest stop for a player whose career has quite literally taken him around the world.
Born in Sao Paulo, Faramilio began playing the sport at the age of 14 and by the time he turned 19 had earned a place on the first team squad for top Brazilian side Corinthians. Unable to secure a long-term spot with one team, he went on to feature for eight different clubs in Brazil before leaving his homeland to play abroad. Since then, he has played for clubs in Japan, South Korea, Albania, and, most recently, Iraq. He signed with FC Golden State Force on March 6, 2018 and they became the 12th different club to secure his services.
“Allisson was an outstanding addition to the club last spring,” said FC Golden State Force executive director Alex Lujan. “He is obviously a very established, polished goal scorer, but also brought a lot of intangibles to the team. Our younger players benefited from his life experience, both on-and-off the pitch, as a professional footballer in Brazil as well as his positive attitude and infectious smile.”
In league play, Faramilio scored two goals in eight games as he was a part of a team that won the regular season Western Conference title, and finished with the third best record in the PDL.
Speaking through a translator, he noted that the level of competition he has faced during his current tenure with Golden State is pretty close that of his native Brazil. He praised the structure of the clubs in the US, even in the PDL where Golden State currently plays. Faramilio also noted that in his native Brazil, only the biggest clubs have a solid foundation in place for building teams that can contend for trophies. When asked to compare his game to another player – current or retired – he called out former Inter Milan striker and fellow countryman Adriano.
“My style of play compares to that of Adriano … I watched him play a lot and I was always a fan,” said Faramilio.
He also said there was not one specific moment from the 2018 tournament that stood out to him. He noted the significance of Golden State becoming the 14th amateur – and 16th open division – team to reach the Fourth Round in the Modern Era (1995-present) and how special it was to face a team of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s reputation. He did allow himself to take some pride in his two-goal performance in Round 3.
It turns out that 2018 was a banner year for amateur sides in the tournament. Not only did Golden State make history with their run, but Faramilio also narrowly beat out Christian Okeke, a striker for NTX Rayados, another amateur side. Rayados, playing in their seventh Open Cup in eight years, also advanced all the way to the fourth round and Okeke was a big reason why. He was a second half sub in each of the first three rounds and each time he scored the game winner for his side.
But in the end, the voters chose the 30-year-old Brazilian enjoying the latest stop on a career that has shown him, and all of us, just how global the game’s appeal really is.
Past winners of TheCup.us Lower Division Player of the Tournament
2012: Danny Barrera (Cal FC – USASA)
2013: Ty Shipalane (Carolina RailHawks – NASL)
2014: Scott Goodwin (Carolina RailHawks – NASL)
2015: Michael Salazar (PSA Elite – USASA)
2016: Diego Restrepo (Fort Lauderdale Strikers – NASL)
2017: Mitch Hildebrandt (FC Cincinnati – USL)