METUCHEN, N.J. – New Jersey Copa FC co-captain Raphael Araujo, signed to return to the team for the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season, it was announced Wednesday.

Araujo, who helped NJCFC to a regular season conference crown last year, earned player of the match honors several times while scoring 12 goals. Playing against the Buxmont Torch, Araujo erupted for six goals, which earned him the NPSL national player of the week title.

“I’m really excited to come back for our third season,” Araujo said. “We’ve had some great successes in 2016 and 2017, and I fully expect to make another deep postseason run in 2018. I’m looking forward to working together with this group of guys to create something really special this year.”

Araujo also scored the last-second game-winning goal in the Keystone Conference semifinals over the Electric City Shock. The play garnered attention from ESPN’s Sportscenter, which featured Araujo’s goal and subsequent celebration as the third in its famous Top Ten feature the following day.

“We are extremely excited to have Rapha back with us for 2018,” head coach Roberto Aguas said. “His leadership, his work rate and his experience in big game situations makes him an absolutely invaluable asset to this team. We are confident that he will once again play a major role in our continued success in 2018.

“Rapha is just one of those players that defenses absolutely hate to go up against. He truly is a dangerous threat to any team we face. Through his grit, determination, and tenacity, Rapha set a tremendous example for our team to follow, leading them to a 2017 NPSL Keystone Conference finalist finish. We’re all excited to have him back for 2018!”