Irving Balboa Buffalo Grove
This fleet-footed winger with that extra gear created space, width, and a dynamic combination alongside fellow all-area star Demo Drakoulis to threaten opponents all season long for the MSL East champs. "Irving has incredible energy and flare, he can explode through the midfield and appear faster with the ball at his foot than without," said Bison coach Rick Carlson. "Despite his slight build, he is incredibly physical, and his short, quick moves and continuous motor made him our most dangerous forward." With 13 goals and 10 assists for the two-time all-MSL, all-sectional senior, he was capable of the spectacular goal or a sublime assist at any time. His transfer from rival Wheeling may have added the final piece to the winning puzzle for the Bison.
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John Cappuccitti Hersey
After a year spent with his club team, this junior made an immediate impact for the Huskies according to coach Darren Llewellyn. "There's no way we are in the divisional race if not for John, primarily for his ability and leadership on the field," said Llewellyn. "He is one of the most skilled players we've had in my 7 years here and he is of such quality, that he was able to run our team from the center (mid) position with little problem." Extremely athletic and technically sound, the all-MSL, all-sectional junior was a key figure as the lead striker for his Team Evanston state championship club, but his ball-winning ability and industry were only a small part of the armory of this forceful central midfielder. A powerful right-footed shot figures to make him one of the best in the area in 2014. The Huskies' captain finished with 6 goals, and 9 assists this season.
Ethan Claes Barrington
The heart of the Broncos' vibrant attack with his bursting runs, Claes' passing creativity and a work rate second to none were noticed by others, as the two-year starter earned all-state honors. "Ethan was our most dynamic attacking midfielder. He plays both sides of the ball with equal zest and pride, and he has easily been our most consistent player from the very first game of the season, and a terrific leader at the same time," says Barrington coach Scott Steib. Excellent at moving himself out of tight situations, he can hold, play a simply ball, defend, tackle, and cope with the rigors of playing 80 minutes on the big pitch at the Broncos' home park. This level-headed captain proved to be one of the most well rounded midfielders in the state and a vital presence in the Broncos' attack with 3 goals, and 11 assists heading into the final two weeks of the season. First-time all-MSL, and all-area honors for this three-year varsity veteran.
Kyle Clancy Palatine
This two-time all-MSL choice is a no-frills central defenders that puts 80 minutes of hard work into each game. The confidence with which he plays helped Palatine all the intangibles needed to provide rock-solid defense in front all-area keeper Kyle Leber. "(Clancy) has been our starting sweeper since his first game as a freshman, and he continues to improve with each season, yet he still amazes with his impressive leadership skills and ability to organize his teammates," says Palatine coach Willie Filian. "I am just glad he's back one more year for us." The Pirates' co-captain can read the game with ease, and quickly break down the opponent's attack before it threatens. Strong in the air, firm in the tackle, the junior will also strike a deadly ball out of the back to ignite the counter or clear the area of would-be trouble. An all-sectional and all-area selection for the first time, he also managed to bag 3 goals and 3 assists this fall.
John Deleon Maine West
The Warriors captain solidified the back line in front of all-area keeper Jecsan Torres and has been part of a defensive unit which has been particularly stingy over the past few years for the highly rated Warriors. "John is soft-spoken, but he's such a forceful leader, who leads by example, not his words, thus the ultimate kind of captain a team needs in order to be successful," says acting head coach Alan Matan. A rarity these days, the all-CSL, all-sectional center back is about to finish a four-year varsity career, during which the Warriors earned their first supersectional appearance, two CSL and regional titles, and many more program records. Comfortable with either foot and capable of covering immense chunks of territory in his own end, this elegant first-time all-area pick dominates the action in front of his keeper, and does it all with class, composure and guile. With his technical skill, could easily been used at midfield if he'd been needed there. Finished with a goal and 3 assists.
Demo Drakoulis Buffalo Grove
This exciting goal-scorer had a breakout season for the MSL East champs, bagging a team high 15 goals (and 4 assists) to become the perfect fit with teammate Irving Balboa. Coach Rick Carlson made great use of their combined talents in high-flying attack. "Demo had great energy, and a physical presence for us up top," said Carlson. "His constant running and pressure in our opponent's end caused plenty of mistakes, and in turn would generate quality opportunities to score for himself and his teammates." The Bison captain and two-year starter was one of the driving forces for a sensational start to the season for the Bison. With abundant speed, the senior proved he could finish with his ability to break into the box, create his own shot and score goals out of the blue. A first-time all-MSL and all-sectional choice.
Irving Eloiza Buffalo Grove
An elite midfielder who doesn't shy away from attacking, this four-year veteran is one of the state's finest at his craft. The savvy Bison captain has the organizational skills to be the glue that helped hold his club together on its first run to the MSL Cup since 1989. The postsason honors flooded in: Eloiza was chosen the top player in the sectional by area coaches as well as earning all-state honors and Player of the Year in the MSL East. "Irving was the focal point in all of our games," said BG coach Rick Carlson. "He is as explosive an attacking midfielder as there is, and he dominates opponents, the run of play and plays a big role in most of our scoring opportunites. But the best thing among Irving: he's a tremendous young man, great teammate, and an ultimate leader and team captain." A three-time all-MSL pick has all the skills, and if they don't beat you, his electric pace will. The two-time all-area senior has few peers going forward, but his play as a defender is often overlooked. It's something he took great pride in, as well as the way he captained his championship side. Finished with 6 goals and 13 assists this year; had 7 and 10 the season before.
Alberto Eloyza Buffalo Grove
This senior joined his teammate Irvin Eloiza on the all-state team to give the Bison one of most dynamic midfield duos around. As a holding midfielder, the three-year starter lagged behind strikers Drakoulis and Balboa and was deployed as a deep-lying playmaker, frequently functioning as a secondary striker. "Alberto's toughness and skill was futher enchanced this season by his increased athleticism and strength, which he used to dominate the midfield from sideline to sideline," said his coach, Rick Carlson. "Yet he can turn around to be a superb attacking center (midfielder) when we need him also." The Bison's leading scorer as a sophomore, he has also been tops in assists the past two seasons. The multi-dimensional two-time all-MSL pick covers massive amounts of ground, ranging across the entire field to tackle and help start the attack, all with great composure. The tireless Bison star provided the platform for others to succeed and was capable of spectacular things himself. Finished with 3 goals and 10 assists for the MSL East champs.
Jose Garcia Wheeling
The emergence of this superb attacking midfielder did not go unnoticed during the postseason when area coaches considered the first-time all-MSL pick for all-state honors following his break-out season for coach Ed Uhrik's Wildcats. "Jose is an exceptional player," Uhrik said. "He can turn on a dime, cause entire backlines to shift in the wrong direction, and create many of his goals with highlight reel runs and shots which are truly fun to watch. There are times when you get a player like Jose who is great with the ball, but not a good teammate -- but not him. He's polite, respectful of others and an absolute joy to coach." Quick-footed with a sharp finishing touch when he breaks into the area, Garcia's numbers were astounding for a club which went 8-13-0. He ended up with 19 goals and 14 assists, accounting for 66 percent of the Wildcats' scoring, to give him career totals of 27 goals and 22 assists so far and positioned to break several program scoring records next season.
Tony Guzman Leyden
Technically speaking, the Eagles' two-year starter job was to sit in front of the back four, win back possession and distribute the ball to his teammates. In practicality, the junior formed the perfect partnership with midfield teammate Juan Recendez to initiate the bulk of the offense for a team that won 14 games. "Tony can play anywhere, and he always does what's best for our team," said Leyden coach Mark Valintis. "This season, he's had the task of marking our opponent's best central players, but he's been so instrumental in winning the ball, starting the counter, and doing all the little things for 80 minutes." When called upon, the all-WSC selection also played along the back to help protect leads, and he also pushed up top when needed. "Even though (Tony) doesn't have the stats of others (1 goal, 5 assists) his value to the team cannot be measured, and without him, we don't win the games that we did this season."
Nelson Herrera Maine West
An explosive finisher, this record-setting junior from Maine West can bully his mark into submission before sprinting into the area with surprising ease before belting the ball into the top half of the net much like high-profile international forwards will do. "Nelson has been an impact player ever since his call-up halfway through his freshman season," says Maine West acting coach Alan Matan. "We haven't seen a scorer of this talent since Steve Gonzalez in the mid-90s, and Nelson has shattered his records for scoring in just three years with us thus far." The two-time all-area forward accounted for 50 percent of this year's total offense with his 25 goals and 8 assists. That included 4 hat tricks to give him 56 goals in his career. Powerfully built to take 80 minutes of action, but can astonish with incredible goals, including scorching free kicks. Already a three-time all-CSL choice.
Jeremy Kosacz Fremd
This standout is the lone true attacking holdover from Fremd's 2011 state team. The three-year veteran embraced the challenge of leading a mostly new group by getting his first all-area and all-sectional honor, to go along with a second appearance on the all-MSL team. "Jeremy is the heart and soul of our team, our MVP, and brings a work rate and desire to win that makes a huge impact on the game," says Fremd coach Steve Keller. Versatile, tactically aware, and able to unbalance a defense with his skill and pace, Kosacz controlled the middle of the park with his all-out intensity. Had 10 goals and 3 assists this season, plus a 4.4 GPA that might lead to a roster spot at either Drake or the University of Buffalo next fall.
Kyle Leber Palatine
After taking his turn on occasion in goal last season behind top keeper Evan Held (now at St. Xavier), the senior showed his full value in 2012 with an all-star season. It led to his selection on the all-area team, as well as being recognized as one of the top three keepers among the 27 teams in his sectional voting area. "Kyle is one of the most agile and athletic keepers to play here and also one of the shortest, but many of our opponents falsely thought that by putting service into the box, or more specifically into the six, they would create chances and goals due to the lack of his height," said coach Willie Filian. "They would soon find out it was impossible to get anything past him." Fearless when coming out for crosses, the first-time all-MSL senior possesses superior reflexes and positioning, and always remained composed, which helped him record 7.5 shutouts (12.5 for his career) while conceding just 12 goals for the MSL champs.
Spencer Moore St. Viator
Primarily a creator of goals for his teammates due to his superb vision and awareness, this two-time all-ESCC star is the engine that makes the Lions' attack tick. Moore's efforts helped hold together the club side during the rough times as he played at an elevated level. Coaches selected him for both the all-state team and his first all-area selection. "We aren't where we are without Spence," said coach Mike Taylor. "We have the chance to get into the last four and challenge for the 2A state title because of that high level he's playing at, and because of all the things he does with and without the ball on his foot." This junior is a technical wonder and a fearless competitor, who never shies away from the responsibility of accepting the ball and moving forward with it. Has 5 goals and 16 assists for St. Viator -- thus far.
Conor Murphy Elk Grove
The Grens' big, strong captain is a bit of an old-fashioned kind of striker. His hard-working, physical running style of play regularly conjures up scoring chances for himself and his teammates. "Conor and I met several times during the preseason to talk about the upcoming year, and he said he would lead by example -- and he did all that and more," said Elk Grove coach Joe Bush of his three-veteran, who made the transition for ultra-versatile to pure goal-scorer this season. "His value to the team, aside from what he does on the field, is his leadership and ability to bridge the gap between the coaching staff and our players. It's his positive attitude which gives us almost another coach on the field." Murphy also regularly tracked back to tackle and defend. An aerial force and high-percentage 50-50 winner, he finished with 7goals and 7 assists, many coming from a long throw he developed during the off-season. A first-time all-MSL and all-sectional choice.
Juan Recendez Leyden
This two-time all-area senior was the pulse of his team, with penetrating runs and passes causing no end of problems for the opposition. "Juan is a high-quality defender by nature with his club team, but he has placed the team needs ahead of his own to play in the middle and up top for the last three years to help us win 49 games, a conference championship, two regional titles and a spot in the supersectionals," says coach Mark Valintis. Everything ran through the two-time all-WSC and all-sectional choice, whose ability to break down defenses via the dribble made him a dangerous 1v1 player. The Eagles captain and MVP could shed defender with his tremendous ball control, but he also succeeded as a true striker, witnessed by 25 career goals (8 this season) and outstanding playmaker skills which led to 13 in 2012 and 35 overall. Also a deadly free-kick specialist.
Kendalll Stork Barrington
This freshman striker turned out to be arguably the most talented newcomer the MSL has seen for years. "No other player had more value for our team," said Barrington coach Scott Steib. "His goal scoring and ability to create, break down the other team, and set up his teammates made us so much better, and helped us enjoy the results and season that we've had thus far." In his first week, the rookie scored twice to help the Broncos defeat Boylan in the Barrington Classic final. Five days later, he poured in three against Fremd. Stork has had a brilliant display in the postseason with 4 more goals to run his season total to 16. Lightning quick, this exciting talent is capable of scoring at any moment. With searing pace and surprising strength on the ball, this all-MSL and all-sectional choice loves to run at defenders, and has already become an explosive finisher who needs only half a chance to do so. In addition to all the scoring, finished with 10 assists.
Fernando Telles Barrington
This senior started on the Broncos JV team in 2011, and just one year later developed into one of the best back-line players in the area for one of the stingiest sides around. "Fernado has a very bright soccer mind, and almost always seems to anticipate what is about to happen before it does," says Barrington coach Scott Steib. "His intelligence has helped us concede the fewest goals allowed through 23 games since 2007." A first-time all-MSL pick, this defender can get forward, cross the ball, and is Mr. Reliable on the back foot, often tackling and dispossessing the unsuspecting with ease. Enterprising runs down the right side provide a great avenue for the Broncos' attack, as does his ability to strike an accurate, piercing long ball on set pieces. An aerial force with his 6-foot-3 frame, especially when defending corners or kicks in the area.
Jecsan Torres Maine West
Without his acrobatic saves, Maine West might not have enjoyed the success it has during his time in goal since joining the Warriors' starting lineup three seasons ago. "He has been the heart and soul of our defense, always stepping up when we've needed him, and it's because of the pride and hard work that he puts in each and every day that he's become one of the best keepers around," says Maine West's acting coach, Alan Matan. The first-time all-area and all-sectional senior has the stats to back him up: 31 career shutouts and a 0.44 goals-against average, to go along with a 42-9-10 overall record. Terrific in 1v1 situations and stopping spot kicks, the Warriors' captain brings a calm demeanor to his place on the end line and never shies away from the high ball in a crowd or a 50-50 challenge. Torres' rapid distribution also served as a splendid starting point for the attack, which was quite adept from building from the back.
Jeremy Velinski Palatine
The MSL West player of the year succeeded by using an impressive arsenal -- devastating long throws, aerial dominance and a high-level work rate. Those became the defining traits of the MSL's champions throughout the fall. "Jeremy's long throws were impressive and obvious to anyone we played, but what his presence in the middle really did for us was give us immediate credibility while helping impress our type of game to achieve the results against so many quality opponents in and out of the league," said coach Willie Filian. The Pirates' leading scorer (8 goals, 13 assists), Palatine's co-captain was the ultimate no-nonsense midfield enforcer, dominating the air and 50-50 chances while distributing the ball to others with surprising accuracy and touch for such a big man. After an injury-filled 2011 season kept him in street clothes for most of the year, the senior came back to win several honors, including his first ever appointment to the all-MSL and all-sectional teams.
Kacper Wasilewski Schaumburg
Took over as leader of his team after most of the top performers from the previous year's team moved on to college. His contributions on the pitch match his elite academic presence. "I've never coached a player that possesses such excellence in everything they do in their lives," says Saxons coach Hamid Mehreioskouei. "The respect his teammates have for him is inspiring, and it defines our soccer program. His work during training and in games is at such a high level, and he's proven to be such a great captain and leader, which I hold in very high regard." Tremendous work rate all across the field, allied with superior ability to strike from range -- this is your classic box-to-box player, who goes 80 minutes hard, despite playing with nagging injuries for most of the year. Became one of the top overall scorers in the area with 17 goals and 5 assists. Ranked No. 1 in his class of 625, the senior is also a candidate for the Chicago Fire All-Academic Team for 2012. An all-MSL and all-sectional choice for the first time.
Troy Wheeler St. Viator
Considered one of the top center-backs in the area, this two-time all-ESCC senior and Lions captain reeled in a brand new backline to help bring the club within a whisker of a conference title while helping build this side into one of the top 2A teams in the state this year. "Troy is flat-out a quality leader, and his rapport and patience with our inexperienced players was the key to bringing it all together back there, and that went a long way into making us the team that we are," says coach Mike Taylor. The two-time all-area senior is one tough customer -- strong and hard in the tackle, while flawless in his reads of potential danger in the area. Outstanding going forward as he regularly overlaps the midfield before either crossing or passing the ball inside to a teammate, or having a go for himself, he can easily transition into the role of an attacking MF when the need is there. He's always a factor in set-piece opportunities, too. With 7 goals and 4 assists, this three-year veteran earned all-sectional honors.
Craig Zahour Barrington
The four-year veteran is a powerhouse of a player, whose ball-winning and passing skills help bind the Broncos' midfield together. His range of passing and positional awareness helped protect a new back four and keeper for the regional champions. "In my opinion, Craig is one of the best defensive midfielders in the state, and when he's in form and cranks up his work rate, there are no other players that I've seen who can match his intensity and impact on a game," says coach Scott Steib of his three-time all-MSL senior, who is off to play at Ohio State next fall. Few are better at providing a screen for the defense, and even fewer are so ferocious in the tackle and as confident on the ball. The two-time all-area and all-sectional selection is highly skilled at finding his front-runners with balls over the top, or helping start the point of the attack along with teammates Ethan Claes and Connor Hennelly.
Noe Zarate Rolling Meadows
This two-year starter shined brightly all season with his fantastic passing and creative ability. He also chipped in with an impressive 14 goals (and 4 assists) for an inexperienced side which struggled to generate offense. "Noe in 1v1 situations is so dangerous because he uses his body to hold and create space for himself so well, but he is equally dangerous with the free kick, which he can bend around the wall from 30 yards to beat most keepers," says his coach, Peter Mikulak. Neat, inventive, and dynamic, this first-time all-MSL and all-sectional senior was the player his teammates looked for all over the pitch. His uncanny awareness and vision allowed him to switch fields or thread passes to spring free others. Zarate, who finished with 20 goals in his career, wore the captain's armband well, showing tireless energy and a willingness and desire to track back and tackle for 80 minutes while still running the attack as well.
Player School Yr. Pos.
Irving Balboa Buffalo Grove Sr. F-MF
John Cappuccitti Hersey Jr MF-F
Ethan Claes Barrington Sr MF
Kyle Clancy Palatine Jr D
John Deleon Maine West Sr D
Demo Drakoulis Buffalo Grove Sr F
*Irving Eloiza Buffalo Grove Sr. MF
Alberto Eloyza Buffalo Grove Sr MF
Jose Garcia Wheeling Jr MF
Tony Guzman Leyden Jr MF
Nelson Herrera Maine West Jr MF
Jeremy Kosacz Fremd Sr MF-F
Kyle Leber Palatine Sr GK
Spencer Moore St. Viator Jr MF-F
Conor Murphy Elk Grove Sr F
Juan Recendez Leyden Sr MF
Kendall Stork Barrington Fr F-MF
Fernando Telles Barrington Sr D
Jecsan Torres Maine West Sr GK
Jeremy Velinski Palatine Sr MF
Kacper Wasilewski Schaumburg Sr MF
Troy Wheeler St. Viator Sr D
Craig Zahour Barrington Sr DMF
Noe Zarate Rolling Meadows Sr MF
* All-area team captain
Ulises Alcaraz (Palatine, Sr, D), Steven Barrios (Hersey, Sr, MF), Travis Bennett (Christian Liberty Academy, Jr, MF), Lucas Cholewa (Fremd, Sr, MF), David Colbert (Christian Liberty Academy, Sr, MF), Charlie Davenport (Hersey, Sr, F), Konrad Dziedzic (Leyden, So, GK), Curtis Glennon (Prospect, Sr, D), Anyer Gonzalez (Leyden, Sr, D), Ethan Graven (Prospect, Sr, D), Ozzie Fernandez (Maine West, Sr, MF), Christian Hernandez (Leyden, Jr, F), Nathan Laude (Wheeling, Jr, D), Danny Jaderholm (Barrington, Sr, F), Josh Lee (Palatine, Sr, F), Jesse Lopez (Schaumburg, Fr, MF), Michael McGrath (St. Viator, Sr, GK), Kennedy McNamara (Prospect, Sr, MF), Dylan Nelson (Barrington, Sr, D), Luis Ortiz (Hoffman Estates, Sr, MF), Manuel Pillado (Elk Grove, Jr, D), Kevin Quinn (Conant, Sr, D), Daniel Ramirez (Buffalo Grove, Sr, D), Giovanni Rocha (Conant, Sr, F), Jack Salsgiver (Christian Liberty Academy, Sr, GK-MF), Irvin Velasquez (Hersey, Sr, GK), David Zarate (Rolling Meadows, So, F).
Jon Arzeta (Elk Grove, Jr, MF), Matt Burikas (Prospect, Sr, D), Dave Clark (Palatine, Sr, MF), Ashwin Cornelius (St. Viator, Sr, MF), Jerry Espinoza (Maine West, Sr, MF), Matt Fleischhauer (Palatine, Sr, D), Giovanni Garcia (Elk Grove, Jr, MF), Connor Hennelly (Barrington, Jr, MF), Christian Huerta (Schaumburg, Sr, MF-F), Christian Mikalowski (Schaumburg, Jr, D), Zach Masciopinto (Buffalo Grove, So, MF), Alan Santana (Schaumburg, Sr, MF), Nikola Vukovic (Hersey, Sr, MF).
Selections by Mike Garofola