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Oregon’s top high school boys soccer players: Meet the state’s best forwards

Who are the top forwards in Oregon boys soccer this season?

We’re taking a position-by-position look at some of the top players in Oregon high school boys soccer. This list focuses on the forwards. 

There are hundreds of standout boys soccer players in Oregon and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive! Let us know about any other forwards you think should be added.

Vance Sheffield (La Salle Prep) photo by Dave Ball

F/D Trevor Baird, Roseburg, senior

As a junior, Baird shared the team lead with four goals and had a team-high three assists in making the all-Southwest Conference second team. Coach Ronald Bustamante will look to this versatile player to spark a rebound from a one-win campaign last fall. “His dynamic style of play ensures that he consistently influences the game’s outcome,” Bustamante said. “His ability to seamlessly transition between roles sets him apart from others on the team.”

F Solomon Barnett, Cleveland, senior

Barnett had six goals and five assists last season playing mainly in the midfield for the Warriors, making the all-PIL first team and helping them advance to the 6A state playoffs. Coach Nic Yoder plans to move him to the wing this year, taking advantage of his positional versatility. “His touch on the ball is incredible, but his intelligence and spatial awareness is off the charts,” Yoder said. “He’s going to have a huge year for us before playing in college.”

F Cameron Barney, Liberty, sophomore

Barney had a breakthrough freshman season for the Falcons, scoring a team-high nine goals in earning first-team all-Pacific Conference honors and helping them make a fifth consecutive 6A playoff appearance. “Cam has high aspirations for this season, aiming to outpace his tally from last season,” coach Tom Olen said. “He has explosive speed, and his relentless attack is what allows him to score when others would not.”

F/M Julian Brody, Central Catholic, junior

Rams coach Chris Palmer can deploy Brody in several ways — up top, out wide as a winger or as a central attacking midfielder directing the attack, which is where he made the all-Mt. Hood Conference honorable mention list last fall. “He’s great at distribution into the box,” Palmer said. “The ball seems to be glued to his foot. He can weave in and out of bigger guys and has a rocket with either foot.”

F Riley Burns, Stayton, senior

Burns was poised to have a big 2022 season for the Eagles, scoring eight goals in their first five games before breaking his collarbone and missing the rest of the season. Coach Chris Shields called him “the best of the group” and pronounced him back and fully healthy this season.

F Darek Castaneda, Riverside, junior

Castaneda scored 13 goals — tops among Pirates returners — and assisted on six more in making the 3A/2A/1A all-state honorable mention list and leading the team to a 2022 quarterfinal appearance.

F/M Hugo Ceron, Riverside, sophomore

Ceron had a banner freshman season for the Pirates, finishing with 12 goals and six assists while swinging between striker and center midfielder for the 3A/2A/1A state quarterfinalists. He received all-state honorable mention.

F Memo Cervantes, Delphian, senior

The three-time first-team all-league striker made the 3A/2A/1A all-state honorable mention list last fall after scoring 12 goals with three assists for the Dragons, who won the district title and reached the state quarterfinals.

F/M Cash Cota, Ashland, senior

Cota’s family is well-known in the Southern Oregon football circles, with his uncle Chad spending eight seasons in the NFL after starring at the University of Oregon and his cousin Chase playing at UCLA and Oregon. Cash focused on a different fútbol, and he’s been a standout for the Grizzlies on the pitch, making the all-Midwestern League first team last fall with nine goals and five assists. “Wherever he is on the field, he’s valuable, a fast, skilled player,” coach Abdiaziz Guled said. “We can use his passing skills and speed in the attack.”

F Sergio Day, Wilsonville, junior

Day enters his third year on the Wildcats varsity following a sophomore season in which he received all-Northwest Oregon Conference honorable mention. “Sergio is poised to garner attention from opposing defenses,” coach Ian Reschke said. “His vision and soccer IQ will be among the best in the league.”

F Ariel de Dios Cruz, Willamette, senior

De Dios Cruz was the Southwest Conference player of the year and an SBLive Oregon first-team all-state selection who led the Wolverines with 15 goals as they reached the second round of the 2022 state playoffs.

F Yoke Duku, David Douglas, senior

Duku led the Scots in scoring last season as the second-team all-Mt. Hood Conference pick helped them to their most victories (8-6-1) since 2018. “Yoke is a calming presence in our midfield,” coach Logan Marquardt said. “He seamlessly moves from defensive responsibilities into the attack.”

F Julian Ettinger, Oregon Episcopal, senior

Ettinger missed the first half of his junior season because of an ankle injury, but upon his return, he provided a vital boost to the Aardvarks’ push to their first 3A/2A/1A state title since 2014 and seventh overall, finishing with 14 goals and an assist — including seven in the final three rounds of the state playoffs. “Julian plays with passion, enthusiasm and endless energy,” coach David Rosenberg said.

F/M Moses Finlay, Roseburg, senior

Finlay last season scored four goals, tying for the team lead, and made the all-Southwest Conference honorable mention list. Coach Ronald Bustamante praised Finlay for “his high skill level and exceptional game awareness, making him a player with a natural talent for finding the goal.”

F Jonathan Fiscal, West Albany, senior

Fiscal led the Bulldogs with seven goals last season, making the all-Mid-Willamette second team and helping them reach the 5A state final for the first time. “Jon is fast and tenacious,” coach Kevin Branigan said. “He is a threat to score from anywhere on the field and a very solid defender who is asked to do a lot of work and cover a lot of ground in game.”

F/M Jonathan Flores, Lost River senior

Flores tied for the team lead with 11 goals last season, making the all-district first team and helping the Raiders win 10 games and reach the 3A/2A/1A state playoffs in the program’s first season. Coach Rafael Hernandez anticipates moving him between the front line and the midfield this season to pick up the slack for a young roster. “Jonathan is a magician with the ball and has a smile on his face the entire game,” Hernandez said. “He has a knack for the ball, and at times it looks like he has the ball attached to his feet.”

F Jose Garcia, Klamath Union, junior

Garcia moves to the attack this season after making the 2022 all-Skyline Conference second team as a midfielder, where he was one of the team’s leading playmakers. “He is incredibly quick and aggressive in his attack on the goal,” said Pelicans coach Trevor Petersen. “He sees the field well and can create great scoring opportunities for other players.”

F Miguel Garcia, McKay, senior

Garcia last season scored the winning goal in the Royal Scots’ 5A semifinal win over La Salle Prep, then assisted on Abdoulie Jallow’s winner in the 53rd minute of the state final as the program earned its first championship. He ended the season with nine goals and 10 assists in making the all-Mid-Willamette Conference second team.

F Gailen Garcia-Lewis, Corvallis, senior

Spartans coach Chad Foley likened Garcia-Lewis to teammate Ben Perez in how the striker has transformed his game the past two seasons. When Garcia-Lewis first made the varsity last year, Foley asked him, “Do you still love the game?” After his performance, Foley could tell “he’d found it again. He dedicated himself to see what he can do beyond high school. He’s still a little raw, but he’s constantly hustling.”

F/M Alejandro Guerra, Junction City, sophomore

Guerra broke his collarbone in the Tigers’ second game last season, and coach Beau Dussell is excited to see what he can do now that he’s 100% healthy. “He is a creative attacker playing both striker and mid,” Dussell said. “He’s fearless for his size, shifty on the ball and creates some of our best scoring chances in training. He is ready for a breakout season as a sophomore.”

F Fletcher Hand, Central Catholic, junior

Rams coach Chris Palmer describes the first-team all-Mt. Hood Conference striker as “your complete forward, someone who can get stuck in behind, hold up the ball, apply pressure to opposing center backs, or attack and create goal-scoring opportunities.”

F Brady Housley, Westside Christian, senior

Housley was one of the most proficient strikers in 3A/2A/1A last year, finishing with 25 goals and 15 assists to help lead the Eagles to their first state playoff berth since 2012 and making the all-state second team. “Brady is a strong player and will beat his defender off the dribble,” said his coach and father, Jason Housley. “He also manages the game well and looks to score and can finish from inside and outside the 18. In addition, Brady creates many opportunities for his teammates through his speed and quick decisions.”

F Evan Huber, Lake Oswego, senior

Huber, a former player in the Portland Timbers Academy, led the Lakers with 11 goals and seven assists last season in earning first-team all-Three Rivers League honors. He spent the summer playing in Holland. “A very skillful and direct player,” coach Fraser Morrison said.

F Abdoulie Jallow, McKay, senior

Jallow had one of the most interesting stories of any player in the state last season. He and his brother, Musa, arrived on campus from The Gambia along the West African coast less than a year before joining the Royal Scots. By season’s end, the High School All-American Game nominee had scored a team-high 16 goals with nine assists, making the SBLive Oregon all-state first team and leading the program to its first 5A state championship.

F Ryan John, Corvallis, senior

John is a two-time 5A all-state second-team selection who led the Spartans to the state final in 2021 and a first-round berth last fall, when he led the team in scoring for the second consecutive year. “There’s always been this calmness about him in front of goal,” coach Chad Foley said. “That’s the trait of any goal scorer, but he’s also not selfish.”

F Frank Kilongo, South Salem, senior

Kilongo had a breakthrough junior season for the Saxons, leading the team with eight goals and eight assists and making the all-Central Valley Conference first team. “The best word to describe Frank as a soccer player is tenacious,” coach Eric Johansen said. “Whether he is playing up top or in the middle or in the back, he always plays with a fierce tenacity.”

F Leon Liu, Catlin Gabel, junior

Liu entered the Eagles lineup last season and became one of their top threats in the attack, finishing the season with 12 goals and six assists. “Leon is a physical player with an excellent engine,” coach Peter Shulman said. “Fast and powerful, he is relentless in gaining and retaining possession in duels. He has played almost every position for the team.”

F Giovanni Lopez, Woodburn, senior

Lopez scored a team-high 11 goals with two assists last season, earning first-team all-Mid-Willamette Conference honors while leading an attack that scored 36 goals, third-most among 5A schools. Over the summer, he played on an all-star team that traveled to Spain for an elite tournament. “He’s super committed to this year and winning a state championship,” coach Leroy Sanchez said.

F Cielo Marlia-Larsen, Phoenix, senior

The Pirates’ surprise run to the 4A state final last season was fueled by several seniors, led by SBLive Oregon all-state third-teamer Daniel Palomino. Marlia-Larsen played center back last season, chipping in two goals and an assist while earning second-team all-Skyline Conference honors, but coach Chris Gallegos has moved him to center forward this year. “He has already shown great potential,” Gallegos said.

F Emiliano Martinez, Thurston, junior

Martinez, better known as “Nano,” sustained a season-ending injury during nonleague play last year, scoring three goals with two assists before going down. Colts coach Jake Bonnett said that “he’s come back from injury stronger and with an even higher skill level. He’s a versatile player who I’m comfortable playing as an outside back, wing, midfielder or striker. He’s got an incredibly high soccer IQ, works hard for 80 straight minutes and has tremendous potential.”

F Adrian Millage, Aloha, senior

Millage became a force in front of the net for the Warriors last season, knocking in six goals with three assists and receiving all-Metro League honorable mention. “He is smart, with a great capacity to make quick decisions in front of goal,” coach Enrique Abad said.

F Evan Motsko, Wells, senior

Motsko scored four goals as a left winger last year, making the all-PIL honorable mention list. He’s been selected as a captain this season, and Guardians coach Dylan Lomanto called him “the most likely candidate to lead the team in scoring this year.”

F Andrew O’Dell, West Salem, senior

O’Dell was a second-team all-Central Valley Conference selection as a defender last season, finishing with two goals and an assist. Titans coach Sean Young expects him to blow those numbers away this fall after moving to striker. “He is an incredible aerial threat who has clinical finishing with either foot,” Young said.

F Emori Pauli, South Umpqua, senior

Pauli had a tremendous junior season for the Lancers, finishing second in the state with 33 goals with three assists and earning 3A/2A/1A all-state honorable mention. He will play for the University of Oregon’s club program next year. Coach Doni Hamilton didn’t hesitate to declare Pauli “by far the best player in our league and possibly the state. He is very fast, has a high soccer IQ and is a tremendous athlete.”

F Rowen Pierce, Wells, senior

Pierce started in the middle of the Guardians front line last season, receiving all-PIL honorable mention. Coach Dylan Lomanto described him as “a physical and combative player with good ball-striking with both feet.”

F/M Riley Ring, Summit, senior

First-year Storm coach Tom Bunnell called Ring “one of those Central Oregon hidden gems” and predicted the second-team all-Intermountain Conference pick will have a big senior season. “He’s crafty, has got pace and is a great teammate and absolutely fantastic player,” Bunnell said. “I think he’s got some sneaky specialness to him.”

F/M Oswaldo Rosas, Dayton, junior

Rosas started as a freshman on a Pirates team that made a surprise run to the 3A/2A/1A state final in 2021. Last year, he helped them advance to the quarterfinals and earned all-state honorable mention. “His hold-up play and ability to create separation in 1v1 situations helps our team’s offensive goals,” coach Jony Miramontes said. “A great player and hard worker on the field.”

F Nevin Ruegger, Franklin, junior

Ruegger built upon a solid freshman season by leading the Lightning in scoring last year and earning all-PIL honorable mention. “He’s coming in a bit more experienced, but also taking ownership and realizing how important his role is to this team,” coach Jose Milian said.

F/M Vala Saghafi, La Salle Prep, freshman

Saghafi’s connection with Falcons coach Monty Hawkins goes back many years. Saghafi’s father played indoor soccer at Hawkins’ facility for 20 years, and Saghafi played club soccer for Hawkins for four years before joining the Timbers Academy. His arrival adds another potent attack option to an offense that led 5A with 67 goals in 18 games last season. “He’s an incredibly talented wide player, a crafty and skilled playmaker,” Hawkins said.

F Jeb Scipio del Campo, Lake Oswego, senior

Scipio del Campo took a winding route to becoming a second-team all-Three Rivers League selection last fall, finishing with seven goals and six assists. He grew up playing soccer in France, then moved to Canada before arriving at Lake Oswego in time to start his high school career. He was voted ASB President this year.

F Vance Sheffield, La Salle Prep, junior

Sheffield is a leading candidate for 5A player of the year honors after starting as a freshman for the 2021 state champions, then following with a sophomore campaign in which he made the all-state second team, scoring 23 goals with 11 assists for a team that reached the state semifinals. He is also the placekicker for the Falcons football team. “He’s our talisman,” coach Monty Hawkins said. “He’s the goal scorer.”

F/M Christian Silva, Aloha, senior

Silva has been one of the Warriors’ top goal scorers the past two seasons, following a 12-goal campaign as a sophomore by recording seven goals and four assists last year in making the all-Metro League first team. With top goal scorer and SBLive Oregon first-team all-state midfielder Yahir Ocampo-Navarro having graduated, he’ll be counted upon even more to find the back of the net this season. “Very smart and fast controlling the ball, he makes it so difficult for the other team to stop him,” coach Enrique Abad said.

F Dexter Stremming, Central Catholic, junior

Stremming has developed into one of the Mt. Hood Conference’s leading wingers, earning first-team all-MHC recognition last fall. “He’s one of the fastest wingers you’ll see, and his technical ability is something to behold,” coach Chris Palmer said. “He’s always looking to use his speed to his favor and beat someone off the dribble, then distribute.”

F Andres Torres Diaz, Westview, senior

Torres Diaz is a newcomer to the Wildcats attack this season, stepping in for graduated SBLive Oregon all-state second-team striker JJ Diaz and notching three goals and two assists in Westview’s first two games. “He’s a dynamic, agile forward with exceptional ball control,” coach Jon Fresh said. “Expert in creating scoring opportunities through intelligent positioning, quick decision-making and precise finishing, and adept at exploiting defensive gaps.”

F Luis Uhtoff, Ashland, sophomore

Grizzlies coach Abdiaziz Guled thinks Uhtoff is ready to make a big leap after he made the all-Midwestern League second team as a freshman. “He’s a quiet leader with good ball-handling skills and vision,” Guled said. “He’s very dangerous and distributes the ball well.”

F Gabe Valdes, West Linn, senior

Lions coach Ryan Gates values Valdes for so much more than what he contributes on the pitch — which last year was good enough to earn him second-team all-Three Rivers League recognition. “He is our team captain, and the respect that everyone has for him on and off the field helps make every single one of his teammates better,” Gates said. “He plays the attacking midfield position and has the technical skills to get out of many difficult situations.”

F Cesar Velasquez, McKay, senior

Velasquez last season cemented his place in program history when he scored a goal with five seconds left in the Royal Scots’ 5A semifinal against La Salle Prep that sent them to overtime — they won 2-1 en route to their first state title. Velasquez finished the year with five goals and four assists, making the all-MWC second team.

F/M Alex Villanueva, Roseburg, junior

Roseburg coach Ronald Bustamante considers Villanueva a breakthrough candidate this fall after making the all-Southwest Conference honorable mention list as a sophomore. He plans to move him from a defensive midfielder role to an attacking position this season. “Alex is a highly skilled player known for his exceptional technical abilities,” Bustamante said.