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

Who are the top midfielders 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 midfielders. 

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 midfielders you think should be added. 

M Alex Aguiar, Wilsonville, junior

Wildcats coach Ian Reschke appreciates how Aguiar likes to “hang out in the margins between the midfield and forward positions,” where he helped the Wildcats reach the 5A state quarterfinals last fall and earned all-Northwest Oregon Conference honorable mention. “He is sneaky, quick, with great vision and a nose for goal,” Reschke said.

M/F Jesus Aguilar Perez, Westview, senior

Aguilar Perez joined the program this season and has had an immediate impact on the Wildcats midfield. “He effortlessly dictates the game’s rhythm,” coach Jon Fresh said. “Adept at passing, dribbling, and visionary through-balls and possesses exceptional spatial awareness, reading plays, and creating scoring opportunities.”

M Michael Alva Ochoa, South Salem, senior

Ochoa arrives at South Salem as a transfer from crosstown rival North Salem, where he was an all-Central Valley Conference honorable mention selection. He’ll slot into the lineup as a central defensive midfielder. “Even though he will play the ‘6,’ we hope he will also get forward to help in the offense,” coach Eric Johansen said. “He is a high-level player with strong technical and tactical abilities.”

M Diego Alvarado Roldan, Glencoe, junior

Crimson Tide coach Tom Stephens said Alvarado Roldan had a breakthrough season as a sophomore, when he made the all-Pacific Conference honorable mention list. He’ll now be counted upon to take another step forward on a youthful squad this fall. “He will be running the center of the park for us as a central attacking midfielder,” Stephens said. “He’s technically very strong and a good distributor of the ball.”

M Cole Aman, Wells, senior

Aman spent the previous five seasons playing with the Timbers Academy, even seeing action in two games for the club’s T2 team in MLS Next Pro. The Cal Poly commit decided to play high school ball this year, much to Guardians coach Dylan Lomanto’s delight. “Cole is a tidy and efficient player capable of playing in all 10 outfield positions,” Lomanto said.

M Chris Amezcua, Woodburn, senior

Amezcua made the all-Mid-Willamette Conference honorable mention list last year, when he had a goal and three assists playing primarily as a central attacking midfielder. “He’s creative, works hard and has great vision,” Bulldogs coach Leroy Sanchez said.

M Moses Angel, Eagle Point, senior

Angel was the fuel that drove the Eagles attack last season, having a hand in every goal they scored (nine goals and 10 assists) and earning first-team all-Midwestern League honors. “He is a versatile player that can play any position but excels in the midfield, where he can influence the tempo of the game with his vision, passing and ball control,” coach Juan Palomares said. “His soccer IQ and understanding of the game is well above high school soccer.”

M Jack Armstrong, Central Catholic, senior

Armstrong is the Rams’ Energizer Bunny, someone who can run for 80-plus minutes, yet could go another 30 or 40 if needed. The 2022 second-team all-Mt. Hood Conference pick welcomes pressure, coach Chris Palmer said, and “his demeanor and confidence on the ball are something to watch.”

M Oliver Brown, Cleveland, junior

Brown spent much of his childhood living in Africa and playing soccer with friends and family. He played on the wing for the Warriors last year, finishing with four goals and four assists and receiving all-PIL honorable mention, but coach Nic Yoder moved him to his more natural midfield role this season. “Oliver is an extremely fast and talented dribbler, and I’m excited to see what develops for him,” Yoder said.

M Luis Camacho, McKay, junior

Camacho was a holding midfielder for the Royal Scots last season, yet he chipped in five goals and four assists while making the 5A all-state second team. “Luis is crucial to our midfield and us coming out playing,” coach Juan Llamas said. “His work ethic is phenomenal, and he always wants to learn and improve.”

M Jordan Castillo, Riverside, junior

Castillo last season was a key figure in the Pirates' march to the 3A/2A/1A state quarterfinals, leading the team with 10 assists and scoring eight goals from the left wing and earning all-state honorable mention.

M Henry Catlin, West Albany, senior

Bulldogs coach Kevin Branigan called Catlin “a huge catalyst for success in our program over the last few years.” He made the SBLive Oregon all-state second team last season in helping the team reach its first 5A state final and is on the High School All-American Watch List this fall. “A smart, hard-working, technically proficient midfielder who does everything,” Branigan said. “He’s as comfortable dropping into the backline as he is up top leading the attack.”

M Peter Conrad, Corvallis, senior

Conrad is a four-year varsity player whom Spartans coach Chad Foley said “has transformed his game the last couple of years,” with his selection to the all-Mid-Willamette second team last season “the culmination of the work he has put in.” He started his career strictly as an attacking midfielder but rounded his game to become a box-to-box central midfielder who even plays outside back for his club team.

M/F Ismael Esparza, Stayton, senior

Esparaza was the leader of a potent Eagles attack last season, finishing with team highs of 17 goals and eight assists for the Oregon West Conference champions and making the SBLive Oregon all-state second team — the third year in a row he made an all-state team. He is one of two players remaining from the Eagles’ title-winners during the COVID-shortened 2021 spring season and the younger brother of former state player of the year Jayden Esparza. “He has to live up to the name, and he’s done OK,” coach Chris Shields said. “But this needs to be the year that he puts his stamp on the season to lead us on a long run in the tournament.”

M Carson Farwell, Sprague, sophomore

The younger brother of all-CVC midfielder Carter Farwell wasn’t too shabby in his debut season with the Olympians, receiving all-conference honorable mention playing defensive midfielder. Coach Dwaine Richards described Carson as “a dynamic player whose ability to outfox opponents during a game, combined with the tireless determination he brings to every match, make him an essential part of our team.”

M Carter Farwell, Sprague, senior

Farwell moves between a central defensive and central attacking midfield role for the Olympians and made the all-Central Valley Conference second team last fall. “Carter’s competitive nature fuels his performance on the soccer field, where his technical and tactical ability shines,” coach Dwaine Richards said. “His determination to lead through his strong vocal presence not only motivates his teammates but also reflects his deep understanding of the game.”

M Hayden Galas, South Eugene, senior

Galas can play as a center back, central midfielder or wide player, but Axe coach Pete Peterson used him as a fullback last season, when he had one goal and 13 assists in earning second-team all-Southwest Conference recognition.

M Marvin Gamboa-Hernandez, West Albany, senior

Bulldogs coach Kevin Branigan likened Gamboa-Hernandez to having an extra coach on the field with his ability to guide the team at practice or during a game. Branigan also appreciates his positional versatility and plans to use him at up to five positions this season. “He has a high soccer IQ and understands what is needed in all situations,” Branigan said.

M/F Angel Garcia, Stayton, senior

Garcia was an unsung member of the Eagles attack last season, scoring 11 goals with six assists as a set-piece specialist while making the all-Oregon West Conference second team. “He’s a hard-working kid, and I expect him to be a force to be reckoned with in the league,” coach Chris Shields said.

M/F David Garcia, McKay, senior

Garcia was a first-team 5A all-state selection for the Royal Scots last season, when he was a critical member of the central midfield for the first-time state champions with five goals and four assists. Coach Juan Llamas anticipates using Garcia as an attacker more often this fall, but he added that “David is crucial in the midfield as he is a leader and he maneuvers the midfield.” He was named to the High School All-American Game Watch List in August.

M Luis Garcia Garcilazo, Franklin, senior

Garcia Garcilazo made the all-PIL honorable mention list last season, and he’s one of several players Lightning coach Jose Milian believes is ready to take a big step forward as a senior. “He’s just finding himself within the formation and what we wanted him to do,” Milian said. “He’s definitely taking more of a determined role in everything he’s doing this year.”

M Diego Garcia Lopez, Westview, senior

Garcia Lopez has steadily moved up the all-Metro League honor roll over his career — from honorable mention as a freshman to second team, then the first team last season, when he helped the Wildcats reach the 6A state final. The High School All-American Game nominee had a goal and three assists in Westview’s first two games this season. “One of our strongest players and a creative playmaker,” coach Jon Fresh said.

M Julio Gasca, Woodburn, senior

Gasca has been the team leader in assists each of the past two seasons, making five last year and scoring twice in making the all-Mid-Willamette Conference second team. “He’s a very different type of midfield player,” Bulldogs coach Leroy Sanchez said. “He’s very creative, and there’s a pizzaz to his game that we haven’t seen in our program in a few years.”

M Blake Griffin, Molalla, junior

Griffin was a second-team all-Tri-Valley Conference defensive midfielder last fall, but first-year coach Sergio Maldonado wants to see him get in the attack more this season. “Although he provides defensive stability, Blake is also very good at breaking down defenses with his dribbling and passing ability,” Maldonado said.

M Jose Guzman, Woodburn, senior

Guzman led the Bulldogs in scoring as a sophomore and had eight goals and four assists last season floating between central attacking and defensive midfielder, earning first-team all-Mid-Willamette Conference honors. “He has great change of pace and speed and the ability to score in instances where you don’t expect,” coach Leroy Sanchez said. “He’s scored some amazing goals for us.”

M/D Kevin Havlik, Scappoose, senior

Havlik moved between midfielder and defender (where he was a first-team all-Cowapa League selection) last season, finishing with three goals and 16 assists. He also serves as Scappoose’s ASB President, volunteers as a Doernbecher’s rep and is an Eagle Scout.

M Cesar Hernandez, Springfield, senior

Hernandez made the all-Midwestern League second team last season, and Millers coach Juan Gonazlez said that taste of success has made him hungry for more before he heads to Lane Community College next year. “He wants to move to the first team this year,” Gonzalez said. “He is a key player for us this year.”

M Robbie Hernandez Tavera, Liberty, senior

Hernandez Tavera was a playmaker at central defensive midfielder for the Falcons last season, assisting on five goals and scoring once in making the all-Pacific Conference second team. “Robbie’s signature smile is usually the last thing opposing attackers see after he’s stolen the ball and is headed the other way,” quipped coach Tom Olen. “The combination of his excellent touch, calm composure and pinpoint passing allows us to play through him to start our attack when building forward.”

M Jaden Igarta, Wells, senior

Igarta is a four-year starter for the Guardians who led the team with five goals last season in earning second-team all-PIL honors.

M Johnathon Islas, Dayton, senior

Islas returned last season after playing a significant role for a surprise 3A/2A/1A state finalist two years ago and made the all-state honorable mention list while leading them to a quarterfinal appearance. “His vision and passing ability make him special,” Pirates coach Jony Miramontes said. “Being technically sound with the ball allows him to create chaos in the attacking third.”

M Tobias Karl, Oregon Episcopal, junior

Karl is one of the few Aardvarks returning from last season's 3A/2A/1A state champions to have earned any postseason recognition, making the all-district second team after scoring six goals with four assists as a center midfielder. “Toby is equally capable of being players off the dribble as he is distributing and creating opportunity for his teammates,” coach David Rosenberg said. “His play is composed and intentional, and he has so many facets to his game that suggest he's in for a big junior season.”

M Jackson Luebbert, Sandy, senior

Luebbert started at left back for the Pioneers last year, making the all-Mt. Hood Conference honorable mention list and ending the season with three assists. Coach Christopher Cramer has moved him to the center midfield this season, where he expects Luebbert to “build on his successful season and play a big role for us this year. He has solid technical abilities, is a versatile player that could play anywhere on the field for us, and on top of that, has the engine to be an 80-minute player for us.”

M Ethan Martinez, Phoenix, senior

Martinez played holding midfielder last season, yet he scored seven goals for the surprise 4A finalists and made the all-Skyline Conference second team. Pirates coach Chris Gallegos has shifted him to attacking central midfielder this season, “and he’s hoping to put more goals into the back of the net,” Gallegos said.

M Christian Martinez Trejo, Glencoe, senior

Martinez Trejo has played varsity for the Crimson Tide since the COVID spring 2021 season, earning third-team SBLive Oregon all-state honors last fall and making the High School All-American Game Watch List in August. “Just a dynamic player and fantastic leader,” coach Tom Stephens said. “He’s a prototypical ‘10,’ floating around to where we have the greatest need. If we’re being pressed, he will drop back. I’m just looking forward to him leading the team this year.”

M Milo Mavrak, Aloha, senior

The Warriors missed their second-team all-Metro League midfielder, who had seven goals and four assists as a junior, in their 6A semifinal loss to Westview after he suffered an injury in the quarterfinals. “A very smart midfielder who has the capacity to predict plays and make passes to the forwards,” coach Enrique Abad said. “This year, he is ready and healthy.”

M Gunder Miller, Lincoln, senior

Miller turned out for high school soccer for the first time last season after spending six years playing for the Portland Timbers Academy, and he had an immediate impact for the Cardinals. He scored 16 goals — including a brace in handing eventual 6A state champion Jesuit its only loss of the season — and earned PIL player of the year and SBLive Oregon all-state second-team honors. He has made official visits to Penn and UMBC and drawn interest from several high-profile West Coast programs. “Many doors open to him,” coach Brandon McNeil said. “Gunder is a very dynamic player with great size, speed and technical ability. His creativity, especially in 1 vs 1 duals, is different. His ability to play nearly every position on the field is a huge strength, combined with a huge engine, really allows him to put a stamp on the majority of games.”

M Eduardo Murillo, West Salem, junior

Titans coach Sean Young believes his second-team all-Central Valley Conference midfielder, who had two goals and an assist last year, is not only an excellent team barber, providing fades and cuts for his teammates, but also “has incredible potential with a high ceiling. He has an engine that never stops, which makes him a great box-to-box midfielder who can score goals as well as create for his teammates.”

M Tristan Olvera, South Salem, senior

Olvera has been a steady presence in the central midfield for the Saxons over the course of his career, going from the all-Mountain Valley honorable mention list as a freshman to the second team in 2021 to the all-Central Valley Conference first team last year, when he had five goals and four assists. “Tristan is a highly technical and tactical soccer player,” coach Eric Johansen said. “Our offense will likely run through him.”

M Lupin Paz, Ashland, senior

Paz, an all-Midwestern League honorable mention selection last fall, is a co-captain with top scorer Cash Cota this season. “He understands the game and brings energy and leadership to the field,” Grizzlies coach Abdiaziz Guled said. “He brings control in the middle.”

M Tristan Peia, West Linn, sophomore

Lions coach Ryan Gates appreciates how Peia, a second-team all-Three Rivers League selection as a freshman, isn’t afraid to do the dirty work that a central midfielder must put in for 80 minutes. “He tracks back to help the defense, then immediately is able to take the ball he has won and hit an accurate ball to spring our transition,” Gates said.

M Santiago Peña de la Cruz, Springfield, senior

Peña de la Cruz is a four-year varsity player who scored three goals as an offensive midfielder last season. Millers coach Juan Gonzalez raved about his “great ball control” and believes he can achieve his goal of at least doubling his goal tally this year.

M Alexander Pereira, Scappoose, freshman

Pereira starred for the Saints Premier 09 club that qualified for the Presidents Cup national championships over the summer, scoring 17 goals with five assists. His grandfather played professionally in Sweden.

M Ben Perez, Corvallis, senior

Perez’s game has grown tremendously over the past 18 months, with Spartans coach Chad Foley calling his second-team all-Mid-Willamette holding midfielder “our most consistent player last season. I’m incredibly impressed with him. He’s very defensive-oriented, and we rely on him as our first line of defense. But he’s grown his game in his distribution and starting our offense.”

M Nathan Peters, Jesuit, senior

With junior Andrew Bromert returning to the Timbers Academy and SBLive Oregon player of the year Drew Pedersen (26 goals, 12 assists) off to Gonzaga University, there’s more pressure on players such as Peters to pick up the slack. Peters had two goals and matched Pedersen for the team lead with 12 assists last year. “Nathan is an excellent two-way player, equally as good on offense and defense,” coach Geoff Skipper said. “He was our assist guy last year; we will look for him to be more of a goal scorer this year.”

M/D Max Reckerman, Lake Oswego, senior

Reckerman made the all-Three Rivers League second team last year, when he had three goals and a team-high 12 assists, then had a solid club season with Oregon Premier Football Club, helping it reach the Far West Regionals championship match as an outside back. He was voted team captain this year as he decides between Gonzaga, Seattle Pacific and Cal State Monterrey Bay to play next season.

M Julian Romero, West Albany, sophomore

Romero had a solid first season with the Bulldogs, finishing it by receiving all-Mid-Willamette honorable mention. “A powerful and explosive mid that can tear a defense apart with his running and vision,” coach Kevin Branigan said. “He scored in some big games last year, and big things are expected this year from him.”

M/D Josue Ruelas, South Salem, senior

Ruelas made the all-Central Valley Conference second team last season as a winger, finishing with six goals and an assist. He also is a strong defender, and coach Eric Johansen said he might move him to an outside back at times this fall.

M Matias Sanchez, Coquille, senior

Sanchez led the Red Devils to a school-record 12 wins last year and a district title, finishing with seven goals and six assists and earning 3A/2A/1A all-state honorable mention. “Mati is a pleasure to watch on the field as he relies on his silky touch to make defenders commit and beat them with his large array of skill moves,” coach Michael Wallis said.

M/F Javi Sandoval Gongora, Marist Catholic, senior

As a junior, Sandoval Gongora led the Spartans with seven goals and seven assists, earning first-team all-Sky Em League honors and leading them to a fourth league championship in the five seasons since they dropped from 5A.

M Tomas Serrano, South Eugene, junior

Serrano is a native of Chile who has started every match since joining the Axe two years ago, making the all-Southwest Conference honorable mention list last fall. “He has untouchable close ball control, long-range distribution and finishing,” coach Pete Peterson said.

M Kevin Serrano-Maldanado, La Salle Prep, junior

Serrano-Maldanado had what Falcons coach Monty Hawkins described as a truncated sophomore season when his club team sent him to play in Brazil, meaning he didn’t return until mid-September nor hit the field until the start of Northwest Oregon Conference play. He finished with seven goals and four assists, but the ceiling is much higher for the second-team all-NWOC selection. “He brings a polished left foot and is deadly on free kicks and corner kicks,” Hawkins said. “He can score from distance, has good timing and sense of the game, and shows real composure around the box.”

M Patrick Staton, Junction City, senior

Staton has been a cornerstone for the Tigers program for the past three seasons, making the all-Sky Em League first team last season with two goals and four assists as a defensive midfielder. “Patty sets the tone for the team,” coach Beau Dussell said. “He has an incredible work rate and never tires. He is poised to have a dominant senior year.”

M Bowen Teuber, Summit, senior

Teuber is the only remaining player from the Storm’s 2021 Class 6A championship team. The three-year starter had nine goals and five assists last year and made the all-Intermountain Conference first team. “He’s a stud and a mainstay for us,” said first-year coach Tom Bunnell. “It’s fun to have him as a leader who will score a bunch of goals.”

M Kaito Thammavong, Lincoln, senior

Thammavong had his junior season hampered by a nagging ankle injury, but he still received all-PIL honorable mention. He spent much of the offseason in Japan, and Cardinals coach Brandon McNeil is excited to catch up with him and see his progression on the pitch. “Kaito is a dynamic wing player who can beat players off the dribble to unbalance opposition defenses,” McNeil said. “His ability to glide by players is his strength.”

M Marco Torres, Sandy, junior

Torres showed off his powerful leg last year as a placekicker for the football team, when he kicked a 51-yard field goal against Clackamas and made the all-Mt. Hood Conference first team. While he didn’t get the same recognition on the soccer pitch, he did lead the Pioneers with eight assists and is a third-year starter this fall.

M Jack Truong, Franklin, sophomore

Lightning coach Jose Milian called Truong “a high-IQ central midfielder with a lot of potential.” Truong made the all-PIL second team last season, and Milian said, “I feel like he dominates on both ends of the field” as a box-to-box 8.

M Colson Tubbs, Oregon Episcopal, senior

Tubbs doesn’t put up big statistics as a central defensive midfielder (two assists in 2022), but Aardvarks coach David Rosenberg understands the immense impact he had on his team’s march to the 3A/2A/1A state title. “He was integral in our midfield and defensive shape and is an incredibly capable distributor and finisher,” Rosenberg said. “Colson’s strength and presence will be integral to the success of this team.”

M Marcos Ulloa-Ford, Mazama, senior

Ulloa-Ford was a second-team all-Skyline Conference selection as a center back last season, but Vikings coach Arnulfo Gutierrez moved him to central defensive midfielder this year. “He knows how to use his body to get you off the ball,” Gutierrez said. “That will be huge for him in his new role.”

M Marco Uscanga Lopez, Corvallis, senior

Uscanga Lopez moved to the Willamette Valley (his father works for Oregon State University) from Stillwater, Okla., where he played for the Oklahoma Energy, which won the ECNL U16 championship, and was a team captain for his high school team. “He’s transitioned into the program seamlessly,” Spartans coach Chad Foley said. “Marco is the soccer equivalent of a gym rat. He can play anywhere in the midfield, and I love his creativity on the ball.”

M Carlos Vega, Thurston, senior

Vega comes off a breakthrough junior season for the Colts, when he had five goals and three assists and received second-team all-Midwestern League recognition. “He’s ready to lead our midfield this year,” coach Jake Bonnett said.

M Ruben Velasquez, Wilsonville, junior

With all-Northwest Oregon Conference midfielder Yazly Nazarov off to the Midwest to play for the Minnesota United U-19 squad this season, Velasquez gets the opportunity in his third season on varsity to take over as a central defensive midfielder. “We’ll miss Yazly’s physical presence, composure and skill in our midfield, but Ruben will be an anchor of our central midfield as we look for him to be a key link between our back and front lines,” Wildcats coach Ian Reschke said.

M Ari Walling, Churchill, senior

Walling led the Lancers in scoring with eight goals last season, earning first-team all-Midwestern League honors. Coach Andrew Perez said he and twin brother Leo have similar playing styles. “Ari loves to play attacking soccer and isn’t afraid to shoot from anywhere,” Perez said. “Win, lose or draw, these boys are the first ones to give credit to teammates and lift them up when needed.”

M Leo Walling, Churchill, senior

Walling played primarily as a sweeper last season, scoring twice and earning second-team all-Midwestern League honors for the Lancers. Coach Andrew Perez is moving Walling to join twin brother Ari in the midfield, where he can take better advantage of his willingness to shoot from anywhere on the field. “He has a great work ethic and is one of the most positive and respectful young men I've ever been around,” Perez said. “I’m expecting great things from him this season, and his teammates love playing with him.”

M/F Jesse Wright, Stayton, senior

Wright was the third member of the Eagles attack to reach double digits in goals last season, scoring 12 to go with six assists in being named to the 4A all-state second team as a left winger. “He’s one of the quickest players in the state at our level and good with both feet, so he can play on both sides of the field,” coach Chris Shields said. “He’s a blue-collar kid. He just shows up and works really hard.”