For most of those outside North America, the striker named Andre Shinyashiki means very little. This rhetoric however, is something he will be eager to overturn in the 2019 campaign, as he hopes to take the world by storm.
The 21-year old forward from São Paulo joined the Colorado Rapids this offseason as he was selected fifth overall in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
Before that decision was made, Shinyashiki attended high school at Montverde Academy. The Academy, based in Florida, has produced some of the nation’s most respected athletes, with the likes of Joel Embiid, Francisco Lindor and Ben Simmons hailing from the school.
Whilst Shinyashiki attended Montverde, he helped guide the team to an unmatched 117-game unbeaten streak. As a result of their unbeaten record, he was part of the 2013 and 2014 National Championship winning rosters. He was also named the academy’s MVP, winning All-Tournament Team honours in the process.
After joining the Pioneers, he was awarded an abundance of playing time. This was largely created due to stellar performances in his rookie season. He scored five goals in 19 games, 16 of which he started. He was subsequently rewarded for those performances with the Summit League Newcomer of the Year Award.
In the following two years, he featured in 43 games, starting 30 of those. Through those appearances, he registered nine assists and scored 18 goals.
By 2018, Shinyashiki absolutely dominated.
As captain of the team, he played and started in all 21 fixtures of the season. Again, he found instant success in-front of goal, as he netted 28 times across the season. This served as the highest tally for goals in a single campaign in the NCAA Division I in two decades.
Eight of his goals were game-winners, whilst he also contributed five hat-tricks.
Once more, Shinyashiki collected individual silverware, adding the 2018 Summit League Offensive Player of the Year Award and Senior CLASS Award for Men’s Soccer Award to his ever-growing trophy cabinet. The CLASS Award is one of the most prized possessions in all of collegiate soccer, as it is given to the best senior in the NCAA annually.
He finished his career as a Pioneer, having scored 51 times through 83 career games. He also contributed significantly by setting up others, adding 15 assists in his collegiate career.
In his senior year, Shinyashiki was allowed to compete in the Premier Development League with the Colorado Rapids’ under 23 squad. He was just as prolific, netting 18 goals in just 26 games.
The Brazilian provides a much-needed infusion of youthfulness into Colorado’s roster. His pace and footballing IQ elevates him to an instant goal-scoring threat, whilst he also possesses the ability to find the back of the net consistently.
Upon witnessing Shinyashiki’s goal compilation from his time as a Pioneer, it is evident he boasts exquisite accuracy and can score both in and outside of the box. In addition, he proved himself to be somewhat of a dead-ball specialist, as he scored numerous penalties throughout his collegiate career.
Of course, with the Rapids signalling their intentions to be a playoff contender in the upcoming MLS campaign by signing Diego Rubio and Kai Kamara to deals, the chances of Shinyashiki starting for the team are few and far between.
That said, he should gain some playing time as a substitute, as well as in cup competitions. I, for one, certainly cannot wait to see Andre Shinyashiki dominate the league for years to come, if not this season.
With thanks: denverpioneers.com (statistics).