Behind The Maroon & Mandarin: Frederico Moojen
When drafting a player in any college draft, one can never be sure exactly what he is getting. The hope is to find someone who will eventually be a contributor to the team, but these things generally take time before coming to fruition. Every once in a while, a player steps right in and makes an immediate impact.
When New Jersey Ironmen Head Coach Omid Namazi selected Frederico Moojen in the first non-territorial round of the 2007 Major Indoor Soccer League College Draft, he knew that he was getting a quality player, but already his immediate expectations have been exceeded.
"Freddy has been a pleasant surprise," Head Coach Namazi stated. "He's a big, strong kid and is familiar with the target position due to his futsal background. He may still have a few nuances to learn, but he has been excellent for us."
Moojen is a native of Balneario, Brazil, and he first started kicking around a soccer ball on the sands of South America.
"I was the only person in my family to play soccer, and I started when I was about seven years old," he recollected. "I used to go to the beach to play soccer with my friends."
From 1997-98, Moojen played with Cooritiba FC in Brazil, and he played for the first division Brazilian club International FC in 2001. He then played with Avai FC from 2001-04, twice winning the Santa Caterina state championship. In 2004 he moved to the United States when an opportunity arose to play at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Harrogate, Tennessee.
"I always wanted to play in the United States," he reflected. "I had a desire to not only play here, but I also wanted to study in the U.S. and learn English."
A language barrier that Moojen would never see was that of the beautiful game on American soil. Following a pair of seasons at Lincoln Memorial, he was twice named the Gulf South Conference Player of the Year. In his two years suiting up for the Railsplitters, he tallied 48 goals and 109 points, and he was named the 2005 LMU Male Athlete of the Year. His 23 goals in 2005 ranked first in the nation, and his 51 points were second in the country. He solid output led the Railsplitters to their first-ever regular season conference championship that year.
After two successful seasons at LMU, Moojen and his coaches agreed that it would be in his best interest to play at the next level of the collegiate game.
"I had two good seasons at Lincoln Memorial, and my coaches felt it would be better for me to play a season for a Division-1 team," Moojen remarked. "I received interest from some top programs around the country and scheduled some visits at a few schools. Once I saw the campus and facilities at Clemson, I said 'I'm going here'."
Clemson University, located in South Carolina, was happy to get the services of the young Brazilian striker. That season, Moojen tallied 24 points including 11 goals.
"At Clemson I was introduced to a more direct and faster game," he commented. "Division-1 is much more physical, and every team in the ACC is very organized and athletic."
Throughout his time in college, Moojen played two seasons in the USL Premier Development League (PDL). The PDL is under the United Soccer Leagues system, and it is a summer league that allows collegiate players to maintain their NCAA eligibility.
"While other guys chose to go home during summer break, I always chose to stay and play in the PDL," Moojen said. "It helped me with college play since I kept playing against good players throughout the year."
Moojen played two seasons for the Cocoa (Florida) Expos. In 2004 he registered ten goals and three assists during his first season with the club, and he led the PDL in goals (18) and points (43) during his second season. In 2006 he was named the PDL Most Valuable Player after recording 18 goals for the Augusta Fireball, winning the league Goal Scoring Championship. In three seasons in the PDL, he tallied 46 goals.
On March 1, 2007, Moojen signed a two-year deal with the Montreal Impact of the USL First Division after being selected in the second round by the Impact in the USL College Draft. In his first season playing for the Canadian club, he started eight of 14 contests and netted a pair of goals. During that season, he was chosen by the Ironmen in the MISL College Draft and inevitably received a phone call that landed him in New Jersey.
"Coach Omid Namazi gave me a call, and he asked me if I wanted to come here," Moojen stated. "A lot of players said the indoor game was a good fit for me. After I finished up the season in Montreal, I headed to New Jersey, and I am very happy to be here."
The Ironmen are also very happy to see Moojen don the Maroon and Mandarin. He is currently second on the team in goals with 14 scores and has added three assists for 41 points on the year. He has also banked two hat tricks this season.
"In the indoor game, you learn something different everyday," Moojen remarked. "Every mistake is crucial, and you have to play with the same intensity for four quarters."
Moojen admits that players in New Jersey have an advantage to getting a better understanding of the indoor game.
"Omid is an outstanding coach, and he knows the game very well," he commented. "I have a lot of respect for him, and I listen to everything that he says. Everyday, I go home and think about what he said that day at training, and then I come back the next day ready to execute those words."
While some players consider summers and beaches to be perfect for vacations, Moojen sees both as ample opportunities to perfect his craft. No matter the state, country, continent or field surface, the world has proven to be the perfect stage for us to witness the impact of this special athlete.
IRONMEN HEALTHY KIDS DAY - THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21
Slated for an 11:00 a.m. kickoff, the Ironmen will host the California Cougars at Prudential Center in a day surrounded by educational programming relative to fitness and nutrition.
The Ironmen Healthy Kids Day program is designed to give kids an understanding about the importance of a healthy lifestyle as well as give them the building blocks to make informed decisions about their diet and activities. The educational programming will be a joint effort with FAN4Kids, a New Jersey based nonprofit organization that provides weekly interactive fitness and nutrition education to schools in Newark, Hoboken and New York City. FAN4Kids instructors have been educating and empowering thousands of children and their parents through its school-based program over the last four years. The role models for these lessons will be the Ironmen players, coaches and staff. The team and FAN4Kids will produce a student workbook that will include classroom lessons and activities in addition to information to take home that will reinforce important messages about fitness and nutrition. Nutritional lunches will be available to those kids in attendance, and students will also get an exclusive opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the New Jersey Ironmen and Prudential Center.
Any schools that would be interested in attending the Ironmen Healthy Kids Day program can contact the club directly by calling 1-800-IRONMEN.
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Major Indoor Soccer League 2 Stories from February 13, 2008
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- Morning fix vs. KiXX: Storm put damper on Philly's School Day Game - Chicago Storm
- Behind The Maroon & Mandarin: Frederico Moojen - New Jersey Ironmen
- KiXX three-game winning streak snapped by Storm, 18-9 - Philadelphia KiXX
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