What is your name and home field location?
Adenilson Dos Santos. We don’t have a home field. We practice and play at different locations.
What is your connection to Brazil?
I was born and raised in Brazil.
What made you interested in participating in the Unity Cup?
When Mayor Kenney attended our Brazilian flag-raising ceremony at City Hall, he asked me to organize a Brazilian team for this year’s tournament because he is a big fan of Brazilian soccer. I believe the Unity Cup helps celebrate the rich cultural diversity in the city of Philadelphia.
How did your team come together?
The team was created by gathering players who train and play regularly in the Philadelphia area.
Can you tell us a bit about the rest of your team?
Most of us knew each other and were friends already. Some of our players have played professionally in Brazil.
What does soccer mean to your community?
Soccer is a part of our culture and a fundamental part of our pride of being Brazilian. It’s one of the things that define our nation. Brazilians are part of a massive multicultural and multiracial nation that managed to find a uniting identity through soccer.
How has soccer made your life better?
I grew up in a family of professional soccer players. Three of my brothers and one of my nephews played professionally for different soccer teams in São Paulo, Brazil. I witnessed the positive impact it had on their lives. Playing soccer throughout my life helped me stay fit and build stamina so I could play better capoeira.
Why do you think soccer is so popular around the world?
Soccer is so popular because it is accessible. Anybody can play it and learn it. In Brazil, it is the favorite pastime of young people on the streets because it is free. People from all over the world can bond and create friendship over soccer.
How do you think soccer in general (and the Unity Cup in particular) promotes inclusivity?
I believe that the Unity Cup promotes tolerance and cultural exchange among Philadelphia’s communities and encourages pride in the roots of Philadelphia’s immigrant and minority communities.
What places (such as restaurants or cultural centers) or groups in Philadelphia would you recommend to someone if they wanted to learn more about Brazilian culture?
I recommend visiting the local restaurants and shops that are located in Northeast Philadelphia in the Brazilian neighborhood. A lot of them can be found on Castor Avenue. It is a great way to taste Brazilian cuisine at a reasonable price.
Also, I recommend people get involved with Project Capoeira, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission of promoting intercultural understanding and a sense of community through arts education and social outreach. The organization works to preserve, develop and share capoeira, a Brazilian art form that combines elements of martial arts, games, music, and dance. Project Capoeira takes a lead role in promoting Brazilian culture in Greater Philadelphia.
Finally, I invite everyone to attend our free festival, Brazilian Day Philadelphia, as part of the PECO Multicultural Series at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Organized by Project Capoeira, the mission of Brazilian Day Philadelphia is to celebrate, promote, and share Brazilian arts and culture in Greater Philadelphia while fostering intercultural exchange and uniting the Brazilian community.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about Brazil?
Brazil is so much more than soccer and samba! Brazil is a beautiful country with amazing landscapes, rich arts and culture, tasty food, and beautiful people.