Former U.S. international John DeBrito, who played in
MLS for five teams over six seasons at the start of the league, passed away on Wednesday.
DeBrito, a native of Cape Verde, was 51. No cause of death was announced.
He was a two-time All-American at Division II Southern Connecticut State, where he played four seasons, leading the Owls to the 1987 Division II title with both goals in a 2-0 win over Cal State Northridge and playing on the 1990 championship team.
Two months later, DeBrito debuted for the USA in a 1-0 loss at Bermuda in Bob Gansler's last game as head coach. He went on to earn six caps in 1991 and 1992.
We lost a great one yesterday. Former SCSU star John DeBrito passed away at the age of 51. His smile could light up the room. John led SCSU to 2 national championships. More importantly, he was a fantastic father, son and brother. We Will miss you John. Rest In Peace, #14.— Ray Reid (@CoachRayReid) March 26, 2020
DeBrito bounced around teams in the indoor NPSL, New
England-based Luso-American Soccer Association, USISL and A-League before joining the New England Revolution for MLS's launch in 1996. DeBrito later played for the MetroStars, Kansas City Wizards,
Columbus Crew and Dallas Burn.
His older brother, Pedro, a star at the University of Connecticut, died in a car accident at the age of 55 in 2014.