While building the roster for their inaugural USL League One season, Revolution II didn’t have to look far to find a few top college prospects from New England schools. Tiago Mendonca is one of those additions following a successful five-year career at Providence College. The midfielder was one of the top players in the BIG EAST while playing for the Friars and is looking to translate that talent to the professional level. Here’s a little more about the Portuguese midfielder.
1. Hometown Hero
While growing up in Faro, Portugal, Mendonca spent 10 years developing in the academy of his hometown club, S.C. Farense. As he aged out of the Farense Academy, Mendonca ventured to Lisbon where he had a short stint with the A.D. Oeiras Under-18 team and even went on trial with F.C. Porto B. In the end, Mendonca decided to play college soccer because of the opportunity to study for a degree while playing high-level soccer abroad.
2. Freshman Sensation
In his first year at Providence in 2015, Mendonca burst onto the scene and immediately inserted himself into the starting lineup. He would finish the season with two goals over 16 appearances, earning a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman team that year.
3. Coming Back Strong
After a torn ACL cost Mendonca his entire 2016 season, he became one of the leaders on the Friars in 2018 as a redshirt junior. Mendonca led Providence in scoring with five goals and was named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. As a redshirt senior and co-captain, Mendonca stepped it up again, helping the Friars reach the BIG EAST Tournament Final and the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament. Mendonca finished the 2019 season with four goals with four assists, including three in postseason play.
4. Chef Tiago
In addition to serving up assists, Mendonca keeps busy off the field by serving up creative dishes in the kitchen. The 24-year-old has made a hobby out of cooking, picking up most of his skills from his parents. During the quarantine period, Mendonca really started to engage more in his cooking. His favorite dishes to make are black bean stew as well as grilled chicken with a special sauce his father taught him how to make. But when it comes to chowing down, Bolognese is Mendonca’s meal of choice.
Here are some other fun facts about Tiago:
Favorite Movie: Shutter Island
Favorite Musical Artist: Richie Campbell
Favorite TV Show: "How I Met Your Mother"
Favorite Sport outside of soccer: Basketball
Favorite Superhero: Thor
If you could have dinner with any celebrity who would it be: Selena Gomez
If a movie was made about you, which actor would you choose to play yourself: Leonardo DiCaprio