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Forest Grove soccer continues building


This year's Viking roster will feature just four seniors

The Forest Grove High boys soccer team has a plan. In the world of high school sports, when the current season is usually all that matters, the Vikings have flipped the script. They want to compete well this season, certainly. But, even more than that, Forest Grove is trying to build for the future.

“We’re rebuilding the program from scratch,” coach Angelo Simonetti says. “The main idea is in four years (starting last season) to become state champions. This year is a continuation of the process we started last year: rebuild the program, rebuild for the future, impact the school.”

The Vikings are a very young side, with only four seniors. The rest of the squad is comprised of sophomores, juniors and freshman.

The freshman have Simonetti extremely excited.

“The incoming freshmen this year are really good, really strong,” Simonetti says. “A lot of talented kids in the community are playing for Forest Grove.”

The sophomore and junior classes embody the skill and attitude that Simonetti wants in his program.

“The sophomores and juniors are showing more soundness and showing the respect for the school,” Simonetti says. “They want to be in the school. They want to work hard and help the school be in the top position.”

Simonetti is looking for junior striker Reggie Lopez, who led Forest Grove in scoring last year, to lead the Vikings’ offense again this season.

“He’s strong, fast and has a high level of ball skills,” Simonetti says. “I’m predicting that he’s going to score a lot of goals this year.”

Another player to watch out for is senior midfielder/defender Luis Will Salgado, who transferred to Forest Grove from Westview, the OSAA Class 6A state champs in 2011. Simonetti believes that Salgado being on a state championship side will be invaluable for the Vikings.

“He has a lot of experience because of Westview being the state champions last year,” Simonetti says. “He got a lot of experience in the midfield and defense.”

Simonetti knows that he needs more than two good players, though.

“In soccer, it doesn’t matter if you have one good player or two good players,” Simonetti says. “If you don’t have chemistry, 11 good players on the field and a support system coming from the bench, you don’t go anywhere. We’re building that.”

After playing 14 conference matches last season, the Vikings are taking a new approach this year, playing seven non-league matches and seven league matches.

“That’s going to give us time to prepare before going into league so we can climb for a position to get into the playoffs,” Simonetti says.

Regardless of how the Vikings play this season, Simonetti is confident that in three years Forest Grove will be where he wants them to be.

“In three years,” Simonetti says, “Forest Grove will be fighting for a league championship and fighting for the top of the state.”