Wayzata is a team favorite in Minnesota thanks to three players who made the Minneapolis/St. Paul preseason All-Metro squad.
Here’s our look at the preseason top players in the Twin Cities:
FORWARDS: St. Louis Park senioris a two-time Region 2 ODP player and a three-time Youth Futsal National Champion. His technical skills helped lead the team to an 11-1-1 record in 2020. Kouame returns as a highly touted prospect. … Rogers senior is a clinical finisher in and around the 18-yard-box. He netted 18 goals and managed five assists in 10 matches in 2020. The all-state returnee will look to boost his numbers this season. … Champlin Park junior was one of the top players in the state in 2020. He netted 16 goals and tallied five assists as a sophomore, leading Champlin Park to an 11-1 season where they ended as the No. 2-ranked team in AA.
MIDFIELDERS: St. Paul Central senioris a creative midfielder who scored five goals and tallied eight assists during the 2020 campaign. He sees himself more as a defensive-minded player but finds himself in central spaces moving forward quite often. Barrett could be set for a breakout season in 2021. … Southwest Christian senior is one of the top prospects in Class A. He scored 24 goals and added five assists in 14 matches during the 2020 season. Brain was tied for third in the state in goals scored last year. He’s set for a possible breakout 2021 season and is predicted to be a candidate for Class A Mr. Soccer. … Wayzata junior Joe Highfield returns after a stellar sophomore season that saw him add nine goals and seven assists in 10 games. … Park Center senior was the shining star for the Pirates during their 2020 season. The creative central midfielder scored six goals and provided 10 assists in 10 matches. Jabateh earned second-team all-state in 2020.
DEFENDERS: Wayzata seniorwas one of the top-rated defenders in the state in 2020, but not just for his defensive prowess. The center back scored six goals while leading the No. 1-rated Wayzata to a 12-1-1 season. Akhigbe returns to an already stacked Trojans side, looking to show off his versatility on both sides of the pitch once again in 2021. Minneapolis Washburn senior , a 6-2 center back, was only able to play seven matches in 2020 but plays year-round club ball for Minneapolis United. He was voted first-team all-conference and second-team all-state in 2020. He returns to captain Washburn. … Wayzata senior is a versatile and forward-thinking defender. He scored two goals and added six assists during the 2020 campaign alongside teammate . The Trojans defense will look to lead from the back with two of the top defenders in the state centrally paired.
GOALKEEPER: Champlin Park seniorfinished the 2020 season with 56 saves in 12 matches. During that span, he only allowed six goals while averaging a .903 save percentage. He’s set to lead the state coaches Class AA No. 2-ranked Rebels this fall.
|GK||Darius Givance||Champlin Park||Sr.|
|D||Lewie Bent||Minneapolis Washburn||Sr.|
|M||Dylan Barrett||St. Paul Central||Sr.|
|M||Jonathan Brain||Southwest Christian||Sr.|
|M||Sidike Jabateh||Park Center||Sr.|
|F||Leo Conneh||Champlin Park||Jr.|
|F||Bennett Kouame||St. Louis Park||Sr.|