Lobo Seniors Sign with El Paso
Albuquerque, N.M. University of New Mexico senior mens soccer players Javier Carrasco and Junro Narita signed with the El Paso Patriots of the A-League today. Narita and Carrasco were the captains of the 2002 Lobo mens soccer team that won a school record 18 games and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season in the fall of 2002. Both players signed a one-year deal with an option for the 2004 season.
Carrasco, a native of Anthony, N.M., was a three-year starter for the Lobos after transferring to UNM from UTEP where he was a member of the Miners football team. In addition to being co-captain of the Lobos in 2002, Carrasco was also named to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Academic team. Carrasco had previously been drafted by the Patriots in 1999 but chose to transfer to UNM. He finished his career with five goals and four assists while starting his final 41 games.
Narita transferred to UNM after one season at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Washington. A native of Beppu, Japan, Narita became the third All-American in Lobo history after being named to the 2002 CollegeSoccerNews.com Honorable Mention All-American Team, He was second on the team in scoring in the 2001 season with seven goals and was also second on the team in scoring in 2002 with five goals and eight assists. He has two of the Lobos three goals in NCAA Tournament play. Nartia also garnered 1st Team All-MPSF, MPSF All-Tournament, and 1st Team All-Midwest Region honors in 2002.
Im excited, stated Narita. Its the next level after college soccer and I am looking forward to playing. They are a very technical and skillful team which fits my style of play. I have been playing soccer in the U.S. for three seasons and I hope to go further. I would like to go and play in Japan but if an opportunity with the MLS (Major League Soccer) came around I would do it.
The A-League is the most competitive soccer league in the U.S. after the MLS. It is made up of 15 teams in four division throughout the country. Narita and Carrasco will be in El Paso for this weekends home opener against the Minnesota Thunder on April 25th in the Sun Bowl. The pair will join the team full-time after graduation in mid-May.