|Intro||American soccer player|
|Is||Athlete, Football player, Association football player|
|From||United States of America, Ireland|
|Birth||13 August 1986, Rochester, USA|
|Sports Teams||Lafayette Swamp Cats, United Sikkim F.C., Nybergsund IL-Trysil, Baton Rouge Capitals, Lafayette Swamp Cats, Nybergsund IL-Trysil, Nybergsund IL-Trysil, Republic of Ireland national football team|
Joseph Lapira (born August 13, 1986, Rochester, New York) is a retired soccer player. Born in the United States, Lapira is a one time international for the Republic of Ireland national football team.
Lapira graduated from St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana. After high school, he continued a family tradition and attended the University of Notre Dame. He is of Maltese descent.
In 2006, he was the winner of the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top collegiate player of the year, after scoring 22 goals for Notre Dame. During his college years, Lapira also played in the USL Premier Development League with Louisiana Outlaws, Lafayette Swamp Cats and Baton Rouge Capitals.
In April 2007, it was reported that Lapira would be joining Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen for a trial at some point in summer 2007, although he eventually went on trial at Rangers instead. Lapira broke down with a calf injury minutes into his first training session with the Ibrox club. In January 2008, Lapira finally joined Aberdeen for a week-long trial after recovering from his calf injury. He played for the reserve side in a 1-1 draw with Falkirk reserves but did not do enough to earn a contract with the Dons.
Instead, Lapira was selected in the third round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC, but never signed a contract with Major League Soccer.
On April 1, 2008, Lapira signed with Norwegian Adeccoligaen side Nybergsund IL-Trysil, who played in the second tier after being promoted from the third tier in 2007. Lapira scored a brace in his Nybergsund debut, a 3-0 victory.
In March 2011, Lapira signed for I-League 2nd Division side United Sikkim FC.
In the summer of 2011, Lapira returned to Norway after signing again with Nybergsund IL-Trysil.
Lapira is a full international for the Republic of Ireland. He qualifies for the Republic by virtue of his Irish mother, and came to the attention of former Irish boss Steve Staunton through Lapira’s uncle, who worked at the FAI. He gained a cap for Ireland on May 23, 2007 against Ecuador, becoming the first amateur player to play for Ireland since Willie Browne in 1964.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
- M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Winner (2006)
- Soccer America National
- Player of the Year (2006)
- All-America First Team (2006)
- All-BIG EAST First Team (2006)
- BIG EAST Offensive
- Player of the Year (2006)
- All-BIG EAST Third Team (2005)