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Minneapolis Washburn's passionate Darley Florvil is the Star Tribune boys' soccer Metro Player of the Year

By DAVID LA VAQUE, Star Tribune , 10/21/19, 4:00PM CDT


Already possessing a scorer's touch, the Haiti native expanded his playmaking to help lead the Millers to the state tournament.

This season the veteran Florvil (in blue) encouraged his Washburn teammates to “be passionate about what you’re doing. When you step on the field, play with intensity. Those things will put you on the next level.” Photo by Jerry Holt * jerry.holt@startribune.com

Minneapolis Washburn senior Darley Florvil grew up playing street soccer while barefoot in his native Haiti.

On good days there was an actual soccer ball. Other days, a tennis ball would suffice. Sometimes, a plastic water bottle was all the neighborhood kids had.

“It was pretty poor,” Florvil said. “But we loved soccer there. Everyday you’d see 30 kids playing street soccer.”

The passion followed Florvil to the Twin Cities. He arrived at Washburn as a freshman and quickly took his place among the state’s top forwards. Always a strong finisher, Florvil expanded his playmaking abilities this season.

As a result, Florvil, the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, leads the Millers into the Class 2A state tournament with 24 goals and 10 assists.

Washburn began the season with four new starters and a rebuilt defense. The veteran Florvil encouraged them to “be passionate about what you’re doing. When you step on the field, play with intensity. Those things will put you on the next level.”

Good teammates help, too. Washburn midfielder Jameson Charles was a soccer teammate of Florvil in Cite Soleil, a city in Haiti, through a program operated by The Sanneh Foundation called the Haitian Initiative. The two came to Minnesota through an exchange with the foundation, started by St. Paul native and former Major League Soccer player Tony Sanneh, to empower youth through developmental relationships and opportunities.

This season Charles has 28 assists, many of them feeding Florvil’s goals.

“He’s such an amazing soccer player,” Florvil said. “We have that connection. I can tell when he’s trying to pass and where he wants me to go.”

Washburn coach Aaron Percy advised Florvil around midseason to look for open teammates more often. Florvil responded with six assists over the next five games.

Some of what makes Florvil a top soccer player draws from his modest roots.

“Being able to control the tennis ball — and I used to juggle with a tennis ball — I feel like it gives me more control of an actual soccer ball,” he said.

Darley Florvil celebrated with teammates after a recent victory over Hopkins. Photo: Jerry Holt • Jerry.holt@startribune.com

Past boys' Metro Players of the Year

2018: Herbert Endeley, Totino-Grace

2017: Matt Lindberg, Edina

2016: Ata Claremond, North St. Paul

2015: Suad Suljic, Minnetonka

2014: Suljic, Minnetonka

2013: Zach Neiberger, Minneapolis Southwest

2012: Justin Oliver, North St. Paul

2011: Mario Aleman, Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony

2010: Eric Miller, Woodbury

2009: David Rosenthal, Apple Valley

2008: Whitney Browne, Osseo

2007: Keido Pour, St. Bernard's

2006: Colin Monasterio, Wayzata

2005: Ryan Vint, Wayzata

2004: Geoffrey Myers, Robbinsdale Armstrong

2003: Myers, Robbinsdale Armstrong

2002: Aaron Witchger, Edina

2001: Chris Lange, Bloomington Jefferson

2000: Drew Roddy, Orono

1999: Bobby Lish, Mounds View

1998: Chad Morse, Maple Grove

1997: David Dulyx, Wayzata

1996: Marshall Morehead, Stillwater

1995: Kareem Aal, Minneapolis South

1994: Eric Otto, St. Paul Academy

1993: Leo Cullen, St. Paul Academy

1992: Duncan Susee, Bloomington Jefferson

1991: Matt Gerlach, Burnsville

1990: Jeff Kogl, Stillwater

1989: Manuel Lagos, St. Paul Academy

1988: Manuel Lagos, St. Paul Academy

1987: Gerard Lagos, St. Paul Academy

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