FORT MYERS, Fla. – After leading the program to its second consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship and securing its first ever A-Sun Tournament championship this past fall season, FGCU men’s soccer seniors Josey Portillo (Metairie, La./Grace King HS) and Cristian Raudales (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee HS) have been invited to join to the D.C. United club during its exhibition contest with the Chicago Fire this Sunday, Jan. 29 at the FGCU Soccer Complex beginning at 2 p.m.
“I know Josey and Cristian are very thankful for the opportunity,” said fifth-year FGCU head coach Bob Butehorn. “Their goal has always been to play in the MLS. To get that opportunity in front of their FGCU fans is really special.”
Landing a spot on the All-South Region team for the second straight season, Portillo earned a second team nod after recording 13 points, good for second on the team, on three goals and a program-record seven assists. The Metairie, La. product graduates as the program’s all-time assists leader (15), while ranking second in both total points (31) and games played (70). A College Soccer News Preseason third team All-American, MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List honoree and an Atlantic Sun All-Conference second team selection, Portillo was also named to the All-South Region first team a season ago.
Leading the Eagles offensively this season, Raudales finished atop the points column with 15 points on a program-record tying seven goals and one assist. With a pair of game-winning goals on the year, the Bradenton, Fla. native also found the back of the net on three occasions while the Eagles were playing a man down. At the time of his graduation, Raudales holds the program record for points (43), goals scored (19) and game-winning goals (6), while second in matches started (69).The NSCAA All-South Region honor was the first of the Raudales’ career and added to the A-Sun All-Conference first team selection he earned earlier in the offseason.
Since 1996, the pair of clubs have combined for five MLS Championships, five MLS Supporters’ Shields and six US Open Cups. The Chicago Fire finished sixth in the Eastern Conference standings last season, one spot out of playoff contention, holding a 9-9-16 overall record. Meanwhile, the D.C. United landed seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 9-13-12 mark.
At halftime of the Sunday afternoon exhibition, the FGCU men’s soccer team will be recognized for their outstanding on-field success this 2011 fall season. After successfully defending its A-Sun regular season title with a 7-1 conference mark, the Green and Blue entered the A-Sun Tournament as the league’s No. 1 seed. The Eagles went on to a pair of one-goal victories of fourth-seeded Mercer (2-1) and sixth-seeded tournament host ETSU (1-0) to clinch their first-ever A-Sun Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament berth in the program’s first year of postseason eligibility.