Western Nebraska Community College men’s soccer player Alan Pinho came to Western Nebraska Community College to learn soccer.
In two seasons, Pinho, a defender for the Cougars from Brazil, has developed his game drastically and will be continuing his playing at the next level after signing with Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“I decided to go there because it is a good city and good program,” Pinho said. “I talked to the Brazilian guys there and they said good things about the coach and the college. The college is good in business.”
Pinho said in his two years at WNCC, he has learned a lot about the game and himself as well as having continued support in helping him to continue playing soccer.
“It was a dream come true to come to the United States to study and play soccer,” he said. “I developed a lot coming to Western Nebraska Community College. Coach [Todd] Rasnic showed and taught me soccer. I remember my first time here and I knew I had to grow up a lot as a soccer player. I now have two more years to keep improving.”
Rasnic said that when Pinho showed up two years ago, he saw a guy that was rough but loved his work ethic. Rasnic said Pinho had a lot of personality on the field.
“He was kind of an unpolished stone. He had a lot of natural ability in the game and not let anyone fool you, he worked really hard to get where he got today,” Rasnic said. “He was nowhere near the player he is now when he walked into my office in the spring of 2017. He played with us a few times and I was ‘Oh boy, we are in trouble.’ He listened and he developed into a player that was very useful in a game.
Rasnic said that work ethic helped him get the scholarship he did at Point Park.
“He came in with a pretty good disadvantage and he overcame it,” he said. “I don’t get to say that a lot about players, but there are certain players that come in that have the right mentality to continue to play the game at the next level. That is what he is going to do. He is going to a good school in a good town, and they gave him a fantastic scholarship. All of those things indicate to me that he came here to become a better player and better student in culminating into another school.. We are very happy for Alan and wish him the best as he moves on.”
Pinho is going to a Point Park men’s soccer team that went 10-6-1 in the fall. Pinho is the second Cougar to attend Point Park in the last three years. Izzy Hunter went to Point Park to play on the women’s soccer team and became an all-conference player for the Green and Gold Pioneers.
Rasnic said Pinho will fit in nicely at Point Park.
“He is probably one of the more intense players I have coached in a while and I say that jokingly,” Rasnic said. “He has to be a guy that is very tenacious and direct all the time. He has to be very strong when he goes into tackles. The league he is going in is a very physical league so I think he will fit perfectly. I think he will be a player that can produce for two years at this college.”
Pinho said it will be hard to leave Scottsbluff in May when he graduates with all the people he met.
“It is going to be hard to leave because I made a lot of friends including my dorm parents who support me a lot,” Pinho said. “I love my teammates because they support me.”