Domiciano, a 6-foot defender from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, is one of the six members of the 2015 recruiting class announced by the UNM men’s soccer program earlier this year.
He arrived to the United States in 2012 and spent two years at Iowa Western, a junior college. In 2014 he was named a Junior College All-American and helped his team advance to the national semifinals by holding opponents to just .45 goals per game.
During his time with the Reivers, Domiciano was part of a back line that only allowed 18 goals and achieved 35 shutouts. He also recorded three goals and six assists.
UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein said recruiting Domiciano was a no-brainer. The team needed a left-sided player who could replace defender Mathew Gibbons, a Spring 2015 graduate. Fishbein described Domiciano as a natural lefty with a lot of talent and passion.
“He shares the values that our program is about: hard work, academics, community involvement, diversity.” Fishbein said. “It doesn’t hurt that he is a real exciting player, too.”
The Brazilian player did not speak English when he first arrived in the United States, but he learned quickly and managed to leave Iowa Western with a 3.724 grade-point average. This earned him an Academic All-American for NJCAA and a Scholar All-American for NSCAA.
Arriving in a new country was not easy, Domiciano said, because he had to learn a completely new language and culture. However, he said his new teammates have been very helpful so far.
“The guys are very good guys. They try to make me feel at home because they knew I was not from here,” he said. “They become your friends and brothers.”
Domiciano said he was excited to be joining the Lobos because of their long history. He said that to be the best you have to play with the best, so he thinks made the right decision.
However, he admits that coming to UNM was a bit intimidating.
“My first day was scary,” Domiciano said. “I knew it was going to be a challenge because I had stayed two years in a junior college. Coming to a Division I school is a very big step.”
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Domiciano is currently pursuing a business degree, but he said that soccer is his number-one passion and he couldn’t imagine his life without it.
“Soccer is kind of a religion in Brazil,” he said. “When you grow up, when you begin to walk, that’s when you get your first gift, which is a ball. That’s when you begin to play and to live soccer as a passion and the love of your life.”
Fishbein said Domiciano’s passion is obvious, and that he has no doubt he will be challenging others for playing minutes in the fall.
“He is very enthusiastic, energetic and all about the team,” Fishbein said. “He is going to make us better.”
Isabel Gonzalez is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @cisabelg.