Brooklyn boys’ soccer teams raised the bar this year.
Grand Street emerged as a major player with its first trip to the Public School Athletic League Class A final — the Wolves won the B crown two years ago and nearly rose to the top of the mountain before falling to Beacon 1–0 in double overtime. Brooklyn Tech reached the quarterfinals as the No. 22 seed, and Franklin D. Roosevelt and Fort Hamilton shared a division crown. Poly Prep was once again one of the best teams in the five boroughs, placing second in the Ivy League — though the Blue Devils quest for a state title fell short with a penalty-kick loss in the semifinal.
Amongst some great teams were some even better players. Here are the best of the best from Brooklyn:
The junior midfielder was a major reason why Grand Street had the best year in program history. His physical presence and skill forced defenses to pay him extra attention, taking pressure off of other players on the Wolves’ deep roster. Wilson George netted 18 goals and dished out five assists. He scored five times in the postseason, including both of the quarterfinal upset’s two goals against Francis Lewis.
The former Grand Street and Long Island University soccer standout has revitalized his alma mater after five seasons at the helm. He pushed the Wolves to nearly capture the class A city title and firmly established the program as one of the city’s best. His knowledge of the game and ability to mesh and motivate a balanced and deep roster were keys to Grand Street’s rise.
All-Brooklyn First Team
The senior midfielder and co-captain ended his career in Bay Ridge with another productive season — he was Poly’s main offensive threat, scoring 16 goals and dishing out 10 assists.
The super sophomore forward made his presence felt in his first varsity season. Donaus helped Erasmus Hall to a playoff berth by scoring a team-high 16 goals and adding an assist.
Goalkeeper Espinoza was a big reason Franklin D. Roosevelt finished on top of Brooklyn A West for a second-straight year. The senior was tough to score on. He allowed just nine goals in 14 matches and made 76 saves.
The junior midfielder excelled in his first year on varsity thanks to his versatility — Herbert tallied nine goals and 15 assists to form a great one-two punch with Wilson George.
The senior forward was a catalyst for the Tigers’ sharing the Brooklyn A West title. Ibraham, who had just one goal last year, found the back of the net 12 times and dished out four assists this season.
Defender Johnson was the Wolves’ glue guy. The level-headed senior was a shutdown defender and used his smarts and pedigree from the B title to help guide Grand Street to new heights.
The No. 22 Engineers made a deep playoff run thanks to goalkeeper Moshchenko’s play between the pipes. The senior allowed eight goals in 11 regular season matches and posted a shutout in the second round of the playoffs.
The junior forward proved he is one of the city’s best pure strikers. He led the A division in goals with 31 and recorded an assist while helping the Orange Wave to a second playoff finish.
The senior midfielder has been a varsity stalwart for three seasons and certainly factored into Poly’s success. His aggressive play and scoring helped the Blue Devils boast one of the city’s top midfield units.
Poly was known for a stingy defense, and Thodiyil was the unit’s unquestioned leader. The senior’s smart and skills made it tough for opposing players to create quality-scoring chances.
F Dayo Adeosun, Poly Prep
M Keshane Bedward, South Shore
GK Nathaniel Francis, Thomas Jefferson
M Akeil Harper, Grand Street
F Michael John, St. Edmund
F Amet Maxwell, Canarsie
GK Nicholas Multiz, Poly Prep
F Heidara Nasser, Franklin D. Roosevelt
M Alex Sosa, New Utrecht
M James Vega, Xaverian
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