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A heads up on west metro's best soccer teams, players

By Star Tribune, 09/05/15, 5:01PM CDT


West metro top 10 teams

West metro top 10 teams

1. Minnetonka: Pretty simple. 2014 Metro Player of the Year, Suad Suljic, is back. The state’s most dynamic playmaker would elevate any team to elite status.

2. Wayzata: Seven returning regulars, including most of its midfield, and a three-year stopper in goal in keeper Troy Louwagie.

3. Minneapolis Washburn: The Millers move up from Class 1A, where they were ranked No. 1 for much of last season, to Class 2A. Having 12 varsity players back should smooth the transition.

4. Edina: A talented and stingy back line will keep the Hornets, who have only five seniors, competitive in every game.

5. Maple Grove: A move to Class 2A, Section 8 might make the path to the state tournament a little easier for the defending Northwest Suburban champs.

6. Chaska: Lots of offense back for 2014’s Class 1A third-place winners: Jose Cholico, Andrew Leck and Josh Prater each scored more than 10 goals. The Hawks move up to Class 2A this season.

7. Orono (Class 1A): The veteran Spartans got the season off to a strong start with a 2-0 shutout of highly regarded Maple Grove.

8. Minneapolis South: The Tigers have 13 players returning from the west metro’s most underrated program.

9. DeLaSalle (1A): Expectations are at an all-time high after the Islanders’ 2014 Class 1A runner-up finish. A senior core will keep them from falling too far despite losing 12 seniors.

10. Bloomington Jefferson: The Jaguars ended 2014 on a strong note, nearly upsetting Minnetonka in the Class 2A, Section 2 final. Another strong finish will be needed after losing their first three games.

Individuals (In alphabetical order)

• Hamza Abdujalil, Minneapolis South, sr., MF

• Avi Eller, Breck, jr., F

• Joe Engel, Bloomington Jefferson, sr. GK

• Luke Horton, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, sr., F

• Alex Kill, Orono, sr., F

• Evan Kill, Orono, sr., D

• Callen Knutson, Mpls. Southwest, sr. F

• Juan Louis, Minneapolis Washburn, jr., F

• Troy Louwagie, Wayzata, sr., GK

• Tanner Scott, Heritage Christian, sr., F

• Suad Suljic, Minnetonka, sr., MF

• Michael Wageman, DeLaSalle, sr., F

Circle the calendar

Thur., Sept. 10: Edina at Wayzata, 5 p.m.

Thur., Oct. 8: Wayzata at Minnetonka, 5 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 26: Mpls. Southwest at Mpls. South, 4 p.m.

Jim Paulsen