M. SOCCER | Meet men’s soccer captain ‘Rufio’

Only one man on the men’s soccer team can get away with inventing his own nickname as a freshman and ending up the team’s much-respected captain as a senior.

When his teammates asked what his nickname was three years ago, Jordan Raybould ’10 had nothing. This was clearly a problem in his mind, so he took a more proactive interest in the matter. In glamorous hopes of being the new object of the cheer “RUFIO, RUFIO, RU-FI-O,” Raybould boldly assigned himself the nickname “Rufio” from Steven Spielberg’s “Hook.” Unfortunately, his attempt to sell the team on the exotic alias was unfruitful.

Undeterred by his freshman identity crisis, however, Raybould has continually given Yale fans many opportunities to chant his name over the years.

When Raybould came onto the team in 2006, he brought with him a wealth of experience. Under the versatile midfielder’s belt were first team all-district, all-state and all-metro honors as well as the prestigious Golden Boot Award.

“I’ve been playing soccer ever since I can remember,” Raybould recalled nostalgically.

His favorite hobbies extended from soccer to more soccer. As a youngster, Jordan practiced frequently with his family at the local fields in Kansas City, Mo.

“My older brother, Ryan, always set a great example for me,” Raybould said. “He taught me the most effective ways to practice and helped me to become a much better player.”

Raybould has an older and a younger sister, both of whom played women’s soccer for Columbia. His brother, Ryan Raybould ’04, is a Yale alumnus who was captain of the men’s soccer team in 2004 and currently plays with a Swedish professional team.

In addition to familial inspiration, Raybould aspired to be like his favorite player, Cobi Jones, midfielder for the U.S. national team — a.k.a. “The Stars and Stripes.”

“I remember my mom bought me two Stars shirts when I was very young,” Raybould said. “One was blue and the other was white, and I just alternated wearing them every day.”

Luckily his mother got two shirts for the devoted youngster.

Raybould has not quite reached the level of Cobi Jones yet, but he has already achieved success throughout his college career. In 2006, he was first among freshmen with 10 starts and scored the winning goal against Princeton. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, his success did not peak there.

The following year, Raybould scored three points in Ivy League play, including a game-winning goal over Columbia. To follow up his strong sophomore season, Raybould received an All-Ivy Honorable Mention. During his junior year, he started off the season with a game-winning goal in the opening match against Maine. His consistently solid performance led him to be one of only three players to start in 17 games.

Although his statistics are exceptional, Raybould’s said his priority as captain is to use his leadership, drive and abilities to improve the team as a whole.

“Jordan is the energy of the team … very driven, very competitive, and enthusiastic,” head coach Brian Tompkins said. “You never have to worry about him getting a job done. He is a great teammate and a great captain.”

Former teammate and current student manager Casey Logan ’10 said, “He works so hard to make himself and everyone else better.”

A forward on the team, Kevin Pope ’10, added that Raybould enjoys shouldering the burden and excels at doing so.

Not only does Raybould try to bring his competitive and determined outlook to the field, he also values connections off the field.

“He does a great job with keeping the team really tight. He organizes events for us and gathers everyone before and after games,” Pope said.

Raybould graduates in May and hopes to follow in his brother’s footsteps and pursue a career in professional soccer.

“We’re going to feel his absence and miss his energy and passion,” Tompkins said.

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