Lansing Ignite signs Rafa Mentzingen

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- Lansing Ignite has signed former Lansing United and Valparaiso University Midfielder, Rafa Mentzingen, as its third player for the inaugural season. Mentzingen will join Lansing Ignite, founding member of the USL League One, pending league and federation approval.

Mentzingen is a recent graduate of NCAA Division I Valparaiso University where he shared the team lead with nine goals in 2017 and now ranks seventh in program history for goals in a single season. Prior to transferring to play with the Crusader’s he played for Bryan College. As a freshman in 2015 he scored 11 goals and added three assists for a total of 25 points. Outside of his collegiate career, Mentzingen played with Lansing United in 2017 where he scored nine goals in nine games.

“Being signed to play with Lansing Ignite means a lot to me and I am excited for the start of the season,” said Mentzingen. “I am looking forward to working with Coach Miller again and helping the team exceed our goals.”

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mentzingen was named an NAIA All-American at Bryan College in 2015 before transferring to Valparaiso and being selected for the 2017 United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Second-Team, 2017 First-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference and the 2017 MVC All-Tournament Team.

“Rafa changes matches. He has that quality and explosiveness that makes watching the game exciting,” said Head Coach Nate Miller. “He has a way about him that will really ignite our supporters and spark big moments in each match. But, Rafa is also a great teammate that will do the necessary work to make the whole team succeed. I rate Rafa very high and think he will make the difference in many matches.”

Mentzingen is the third player to sign with Lansing Ignite. The team will begin practice in February 2019 with their first match in Richmond, VA on March 30, 2019. Additional player signings will take place over the coming weeks with announcements to follow.