Wildcats ready to make their pitch on the pitch
Westview wants to win it all, but Beaverton and Sunset will challenge
The Metro League's boys soccer teams punished the rest of the state like nobody's business in 2010.
The Metro produced the Class 6A state champion in Jesuit, the 6A runner-up in Beaverton, three of the state's four semifinalists, and four of its eight quarterfinalists.
Get ready for more of the same.
While there have been some significant personnel losses around the league, Westview, Beaverton, Sunset and Jesuit all look like they'll have a chance to reach the heights again in 2011.
'Westview will win the league based on their high level of talent and depth of their varsity roster,' said Aloha coach Eric Wise. But 'Sunset and Beaverton will definitely challenge Westview for the top spot. Both of those teams bring back very well coached, skilled teams who will push Westview.'
'Westview has the most talented squad, and with the addition of (a couple) very gifted new players, they will be the most talented team in the state,' said Jesuit coach Chris Thurley. 'Beaverton will be the most likely challenger to Westview. Despite losing Rubio Rubin to 'residency,' they have an experienced, senior-heavy team. And Sunset will be organized and probably get third.'
'I think Westview, Jesuit and Sunset will give everyone a run for their money,' added Beaverton coach Ryan Youngblood. 'That being said, Aloha and Southridge could easily find their way to the top. Anything can happen in the Metro League, and this year seems to be more wide open then in past years.'
Following are previews of the Metro League's varsity boys soccer teams.
ALOHA - The Warriors are hoping to trump expectations in 2011.
Aloha knows it won't be favored in 2011, not to win the Metro League and not to earn an automatic state playoff berth, but the Warriors think they can do it nonetheless.
'Our team is a bit of a wild card in that we had such a frustrating season last year, and with the exception of a few new players, it is basically the same team,' said Aloha coach Eric Wise. 'However, every training session we have had thus far has been better than our best session last year. I think we will be much more competitive this year and could surprise a few teams.'
This year's team will be led by senior forward Christian Wood (a first-team all-league forward in 2010) and senior midfielder Kyle Chang.
'Christian is a very hardworking player who has put a lot of time and effort into becoming a more skilled, game-savvy player,' Wise said, adding that 'Kyle Chang is a very knowledgeable player who has learned to have confidence in himself and his abilities.'
Junior goalkeeper Jorge Rodriguez joins Wood and Chang as team captains.
Goalkeepers: Ricardo Miguel, Jr.; Jorge Rodriguez, Jr. Defenders: Edgar Rivera, Jr.; Ethan Klein, Jr.; Ryan Murphy, Sr.; Alvaro Flores, Jr.; Grant Kristensen, Sr. Midfielders: Alex Garcia, So.; Nate Asbhy, Jr.; Ismael Lopez, Jr.; Kyle Chang, Sr.; Franklin Cordon, Jr.; Fernando Olayo, Jr.; Jose Mejia Tejeda, Jr. Forwards: Jovani Tellez, Jr.; Evan Garcia, Fr.; Christian Wood, Sr.; Jose Ambriz, Jr.
BEAVERTON - Beaverton made the 2010 season one for the record books.
After finishing fourth in the regular season, the Beavers won a Play-In game and just kept on rolling until finally being stopped by Jesuit in the state title contest.
Now the Beavers are back for even more.
'The boys have the opportunity to do very well in league. There is a lot of experience with this team and they're hungry to succeed,' said Beaverton coach Ryan Youngblood. 'Our goal is to win the league, but … the team and coaching staff are well aware that they still have a hard road ahead of them.'
The '11 Beavers - with 16 seniors on hand - will be led by Nick Lewis (he was a first-team all-leaguer in '10), defender Junior Galan (he was a second-teamer) and senior midfielder Connor Frische.
'I'd say to look for Junior Galan and Connor Frische to hold down and lead the defense, while Mario Ramirez and Nick Lewis will lead the attack,' Youngblood said.
Goalkeepers: Brian Rubin, Sr.; Brandon Chatham, Sr. Defenders: Austin Coward, Sr.; Junior Galan, Sr.; Kenya Reutin, Sr.; Arturo Vargas, Sr.; Carson Smith, Sr.; Steve Volnychev, Sr.; Zack McCain, Jr.; Luke Brocker, Jr.; Connor Frische, Sr. Midfielders: Frische; Nick Lewis, Sr.; Mario Ramirez, Sr.; Daniel Cicerchi, Sr.; Jeremy Winston, Sr.; Gaelen Murry, Jr.; Jack Hardmeyer, Jr.; Ian Coleman, So.; Seth Temple, So.; Diego Ramirez, So. Forwards: Maynor Escalante, Sr.; Dino Zahirovic, Sr.; Hunter Krueger, Sr.; Coleman; Vargas; Lewis; Ramirez; Winston.
BEAVERTON - Jesuit has rarely been younger.
Nor have the Crusaders been less experienced in recent memory, that after graduating 10 starters from last year's Metro League and Class 6A state champion. Jesuit went 8-2-0 to win the league title, then swept through the playoffs to win its first state crown since 2005.
Because of all that, Jesuit is unsure about its chances in the 2011 Metro race.
'In 20 years of high school soccer, this is the youngest team I have ever worked with,' said Jesuit coach Chris Thurley. 'It is important that we keep things in perspective and understand that we are building for the future.'
With that level of 'newness' on the Crusader roster, senior midfielder Keenan DePinna will play an extremely important role in 2011.
'Having graduated 10 starters from last season, (DePinna) is obviously key,' Thurley said. 'He is one of only two senior starters on this year's team so his leadership and experience will be important.'
Goalkeepers: Harrison Clair, Sr. Defenders: Ryan Cope, Sr.; Cameron Chesnutt, Jr.; Sean Justus, Jr.; Brooks Johnson, Jr.; Brian DeGrandmont, Jr.; Shane Richards, Jr.; Matt Nachreiner, Jr.; Christo Michaelson, So.; Ulyl Acevedo, So.; Davis Chimento, Fr. Midfielders: Keenan DePinna, Sr.; Daniel Rehbien, Sr.; Cody Street, Jr.; Nachreiner; Acevedo; Charlie Chimento, So.; Antonio Porrecco, So.; Chris Chertude, So; Spencer Scott, Fr. Forwards: Rehbien; Chesnutt.
BEAVERTON - Nobody is picking Southridge this year.
But the Skyhawks, who finished fourth in league last year and lost in the second round of the state playoffs, bring back more experienced returners and more all-leaguers than any other team in the Metro.
And if they can just hit the ground running, they believe they might have a chance.
'The key for us will be to get off to a good start and gain some momentum,' said Southridge coach Jason Goodrich. But that's 'tough to do night in and night out in this league.'
Still, the team brings back four all-leaguers - senior midfielder Sam Albert (a first-teamer), senior defender Cody Burchfield (second team), senior defender Stephen Nuah (second team) and sophomore midfielder Jordan Seech (second team) - 13 seniors and 14 returning players.
'The team will be led by seniors Sam Albert in the midfield, and Cody Burchfield and Stephen Nuah anchoring the back line,' Goodrich said.
Together, that group appears well-suited to improve on last year's 3-5-2 league record.
Goalkeepers: Joseph Khalil, Sr.; Ricardo Pinto, Sr. Defenders: Bryan Domogalla, Sr.; Stephen Nuah, Sr.; Cody Burchfield, Sr.; Kyle Gillan, So.; Joey McRobert, So.; Frederick Forpoh, Sr. Midfielders: Thomas Peterson, Jr.; Sam Albert, Sr.; Lucas Merkel, Sr.; Jordan Seech, So.; Jose Gonzalez, Sr.; Shawheen Peiravani, Sr.; Alan Bienvenida, Sr.; David Peterson, Fr. Forwards: Aaron Freeman, Jr.; Ahmed Al Mahmood, So.; Tareq Hunaidi, Sr.; Jackson Wold, Jr.
CEDAR MILL - Maybe.
Sunset's boys soccer team knows it will be good again in 2011, but is less sure how it will match up against the Metro League's other teams, matchups that will determine if the Apollos go as far as they did last year, or maybe, even further.
'We should be in the top three again, but the key to our season depends on our leadership,' said Sunset coach Joe Wentworth. 'We need someone to step into the spotlight and accept leadership of our team.'
Answering that question, especially in the wake of losing 2010 Metro League first-teamers Yanpohl and Jesus Patino, and a couple key senior defenders, will make or break Sunset's year.
'Jordan White (a second-team all-Metro forward) is captain this year and is looking to have his best season yet. If he stays healthy he is going to be a force to be reckoned with,' Wentworth said. 'We also have a veteran goalkeeper in James Nielson who is a co-captain and looking to have a big season.'
Sunset's defense, led by Gus Schweinfurth and Eric Zechenelly, will also need to step up in '11.
Goalkeepers: James Nielson, Sr.; Ahmed Alzubaidy, Jr. Defenders: Gus Schweinfurth, Sr.; Carlos Martinez-Calvo, Sr.; Degan Johnson, Sr.; Eric Zechenelly, Jr.; Pete Cooper, Jr.; Joe Decesaro, So. Midfielders: Jacob Martini, Sr.; Derek Bishop, Sr.; Andrew Dorn, Jr.; Chris Laidlaw, Jr.; Louis Tanguy, Jr.; Henry King, Jr.; Oliver King, Jr. Forwards: Jordan White, Sr.; Justin Ko, Sr.; Alcides Thomas, Sr.; Jonny Neidermayer, Sr.
ROCK CREEK - This may just be Westview's year.
At least the talented Wildcats' 18 seniors sure hope it is.
Westview, coming off a second-place Metro finish and state semifinal appearance a year ago, thinks it may just have what it takes to play to the top of the league - and maybe for the first time ever - to the top of the state in 2011.
'Westview's immediate goal is to win the Metro League,' said Wildcats' coach Tom Lathrop. 'We feel that, as long as we stay healthy and address each game with proper respect and preparation, this will be an achievable objective.'
This year's team includes two all-league returners, senior midfielder Jesse DeLeon (he was a second-teamer in 2010) and senior goalkeeper Yoji Ishizuka, and a bundle of other talented players including senior captain Gregg Anderson, Jaime Velasco, Jordan Van Baest, Danny Segovia, Matt Eden, Andrew Knauer and Cam Kimball.
'We want to use the very tough Metro League competition to prepare for a deep playoff run,' Lathrop said. 'Our seniors (want) to do something Westview has never done before.'
Goalkeepers: Yoji Ishizuka, Sr.; Estuardo Perez, Sr.; Emad Al Marzoog, Sr. Defenders: Matt Eden, Sr.; Cam Kimball, Sr.; Tanner Brown, Sr.; Don Jahne, Sr.; Andrew Knauer, Sr.; Willy Salgado-Garcia, Jr. Midfielders: Austin Brusse, Sr.; Chris Funaki, Sr.; Danny Segovia, Sr.; Gregg Anderson, Sr.; Jesse DeLeon, Sr.; Chris White, Sr.; Jordan Van Baest, Sr.; Ryan Brown, Sr.; Gustavo Gonzalez, Jr.; Hunter Pinson, So.; Kojiro Morgan, Fr. Forwards: Declan Hopkins, Sr.; Jaime Velasco, Sr.