Four years ago, Northwestern senior Alex Medeiros left his sunny home in Natal, Brazil to follow his dream of playing soccer and studying in the United States. Working with a recruiting agency in Brazil, he was able to find his way to the Midwest where he attended Missouri Valley College for a season and then spent his next three years at NW as a part of the men’s soccer team.
Throughout his time in the United States, he has developed quite the reputation back in Brazil by simply using his GoPro to film his life as a student-athlete in the United States. Now, Medeiros is a significant social media influencer in Brazil with over 15,000 Instagram followers and 16,000 YouTube subscribers, a following made up of young Brazilian footballers looking to continue their careers by coming to study and play soccer in the United States.
Better known by his page name @PerdidoNosEUA, or “Lost in the USA,” Medeiros has morphed his hobby of making videos of his daily life and travels throughout the country into a full-fledged business that helps Brazilians just like himself come to the United States—and now Canada, after he spent a successful summer playing semi-pro soccer in Toronto—to follow dreams similar to his own.
Brazilian recruiting agencies will charge their clients thousands of dollars for their services, something that many players are hardly able to afford but will do so to get to the United States. After going through this process himself and seeing an opportunity to help players who are unable to pay the hefty price for help by an agency, Medeiros took it upon himself to develop a triad of methods to open his own pipeline to bring footballers to the United States.
First, Medeiros acts as an agent that directly communicates with coaches across the country regarding his clients and their interest in the coach’s program. This is a two-way road with the coaches, who also tell Medeiros what kind of players they need from him in terms of position, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score and maximum price willing to pay.
Key to Medeiros’ success in sending players to coaches is his ability to communicate with the coaches face-to-face. He has done this by attending various coaching events, including the 2019 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago. This event brought in over 3,000 college coaches from across the country. Medeiros talked with many of them to build his network through which he can send players.
After realizing he can only help so many players at a time, Medeiros developed the second part of his triad to reach out to as many players as possible. To do this, he developed a series of online courses that cover various topics, like TOEFL scores, filling out applications, communicating with coaches and negotiating scholarships. These videos are available for purchase by any player and will walk them through the entire recruiting process from the first search of schools to the first step on campus before preseason training begins.
The most recent and final part of his recruiting triad is his work to help improve the mindset of his clients and followers by acting as a role model for his followers through live video streams on Instagram and YouTube. Working with the help of Brazilian entrepreneur and Harvard researcher Matheus Tomoto, Medeiros is developing his own skillset by learning from other successful Brazilians so he can better use his influence to enlighten his following on how to be successful in their endeavors.
As impressive as his current accomplishments already are, Medeiros is far from content. He has his sights set on expanding his business so that any and every Brazilian soccer player is able to come to the United States or Canada to further their education while playing the world’s game.