Excitement for soccer in Cincinnati reached a new high in 2019 when FC Cincinnati debuted in MLS.
The area had long been a recruiting hot spot for girls soccer, but club teams such as Cincinnati United Premier and Kings Hammer have helped lift the boys game, as well. Area high schools such as Mason and St. Xavier are usually among the Ohio Division I state title challengers. This year, add Archbishop Moeller to the list as this Cincinnati private school features three of our preseason 11 to watch.
Here’s a glance at the players to watch this fall:
FORWARDS: St. Xavier senioris the featured player this year. He recently committed to Ohio State. He had a modest six goals and six assists last season, but will be asked to shoulder more in 2021 as the squad graduated several Enquirer Greater Cincinnati all-stars. … is a much-touted attacking player who was a first-team Enquirer Greater Cincinnati performer last year. Lahbabi, only a junior, can play in the forward or midfield positions. … Moeller senior rounds out the forwards. Kiper, like Lahbabi, was a first-team Enquirer Greater Cincinnati honoree in 2020.
MIDFIELDERS: Milford seniorand Colerain senior were first-team Enquirer Greater Cincinnati performers last year. Henke helped Milford to a 12-2-1 regular season. … Lakota West senior was a second-team selection. … Moeller’s is returning after a strong summer club showing.
DEFENDERS:of Lakota East is the highest-profile returning defender. He was a first-team Enquirer Greater Cincinnati pick last year. Moeller senior and Sycamore senior Grant Schafer are expected to be among the area’s top defenders in 2021.
GOALKEEPER:from Princeton gets the preseason nod over a pair of very talented keepers. In fact, Will Schutte from Colerain and from Anderson each made a strong case for the goalkeeper spot. Walker and Schutte, who is a junior, were second-team all-area performers last year. The second-team honor was a tribute to Walker’s ability as he was minding the goal for a team that struggled last year.
|D||Connor Pletikapich||Lakota East||Sr.|
|M||Cade Morgan||Lakota West||Sr.|
|F||Tanner Creech||St. Xavier||Sr.||Ohio State|
|F||Ziyad Lahbabi||Winton Woods||Jr.|