Former MetroStar and U.S. international John DeBrito has passed away.

He was 51.

DeBrito, an All-American at Southern Connecticut State University and a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame, died on Wednesday.

The cause of his death was not immediately known.

His older brother Pedro died in a traffic accident at the age of 55 in 2014.

An original member of the New England Revolution in 1996, John DeBrito played in eight matches for the MetroStars under then head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira in 1997. He also performed for the Kansas City Wizards, Columbus Crew and Dallas Burn in Major League Soccer. DeBrito competed for the Boston Storm and New York Fever in the U.S. Interregional Soccer League, the Nashville Metros and Connecticut Wolves, playing the 1991-92 indoor season for the Tulsa Ambush as well.

DeBrito made six appearances for the U.S. national team in 1991-92.

The Rev said this on Twitter: The club sends its condolences to the family and loved ones of John DeBrito, a 1996 original draftee & member of the #NERevs

 

“We are terribly saddened to hear of John’s passing,” Southern Connecticut director of athletics Jay Moran said in a statement. “I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with John at last year’s Hall of Fame Dinner. He was very soft spoken and humble about his very-well deserved honor. He was an all-time great student-athlete at Southern Connecticut and our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family at this extremely difficult time.”

A native of Cape Verde, DeBrito was a four-year member of the Southern Connecticut men’s soccer team from 1987-90. During his time, DeBrito led the Owls to the program’s first NCAA Division II crown in 1987 and in 1990.

“We lost a great one yesterday,” former SCCU head coach Ray Reid, the coach at the University of Connecticut, said on Twitter. “Former SCSU star John DeBrito passed away at the age of 51. His smile could light up a 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.”

DeBrito was the first SCSU men’s soccer player to record 30 assists in his career, finishing with 32 for the fourth-most in program history. DeBrito also scored 20 goals and ranks 16th all-time with 72 points.

“John was a class-act, a really great person,” Owls head coach Tom Lang said in a comment. “He was a legendary player and one of the all-time greats at Southern Connecticut. We’re all going to mourn and grieve his passing.”

DeBrito was a two-time NSCAA/United Soccer Coaches Association All-American, earning second team honors in 1988 and first team honors in 1989.