Cesar Ceppi travels from Brazil to compete with Wenatchee United

WENATCHEE, WA—It’s a long way from Brazil to Washington, but Cesar Ceppi is willing to span that distance for the love of soccer. Ceppi is on the roster for Wenatchee United FC. He’s in the Evergreen Premier League hoping to make an impact. Ceppi is living with WUFC team founder Javier Reyna and continuing the transition from goalkeeper to field player.

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Cesar Ceppi’s Wenatchee United FC bio pic.

“My career started in 2003 at Palmeiras FC soccer school, when I was 13 years old,” he tells EPLWA.com. “After that I played with Paulista Jundiaí, a team that participates in the first division in Sao Paulo Champions League.  I played some years for Paulista FC, after that I played with others clubs in Brazil.”

Ceppi comes from a place where futbol is king. He’s now in the land of apples where soccer battles for attention. “My dream is to teach soccer to kids that don’t know a lot about soccer, and that don’t have soccer in their culture,” he says.

Originally Ceppi was invited to come to Washington via FC3, a Tri-Cities club that eventually was put on hold by the EPLWA. “I was invited to participate in the league, but that club will not participate. I was sad and my girlfriend suggested to me to contact others teams in the same league. I did some research on the other teams and I liked what WUFC were doing so I contacted Javier Reyna, Wenatchee FC director. It was an amazing match because I had my knowledge and he had the support to offer me. He opened the opportunity for me by receiving me in his home and making me feel like I’m in my own home!”

500-WUFC Gold mono-colorWenatchee United is set at the goalkeeper position thanks to Angel Guerra and others, (watch for a feature on Guerra coming soon)  so the switch is on for Cesar. “I grew up being a goalkeeper, but Carlos Alberto Sousa Lima the greatest goalkeeper coach I ever had, taught me that a great goalkeeper needs to know how to work with his feet too. Because of this I developed my abilities and speed.” An injury also made the switch necessary previously. “A back injury prevented me from playing the position of goalkeeper. I was force to use my abilities as a soccer player on the field. My experiences came from teams that I played midfield on like Nova Odessa FC, Sport Club Paulista and Palestra FC where I played the last three years at midfield next to really good players like Vilmar Basso and Felipe Pizo. We won several regional championships.”

Cesar (center) at a goalkeeper event in Brazil.
Cesar (center) at a goalkeeper event in Brazil.

Ceppi speaks his native Portuguese and also Spanish, but used google translate to read and then answer the questions in this article. He’s willing to shift positions, cultures, even take to a computer to communicate his story in a new language. Now he’s helping start a new league in America.

“I am delighted with the league because of the level of professionalism,  and it seems like a well-organized league. I appreciate how well they promote football in the state of Washington, and see here that I can fulfill my dream of helping my teammates, friends and now my brothers, and also the coaches and directors to reach the level I played in Brazil…and feel the sweet taste of being idols in our cities and role models for children. This is what my hopes are for the EPLWA, and I thank everyone for the opportunity to be here.”

Wenatchee United debuts in the EPLWA on Sunday May 4 when they host Bellingham United in the Apple Bowl at 4 PM.

Cesar, far left, meets Sounders FC goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra. Javier Reyna is at right.
Cesar, far left, meets Sounders FC goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra. Javier Reyna is at right.
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