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[Chad Konecky, Special to USA TODAY High School Sports]
El Rancho (Pico Rivera, California) senior forward Cristian Roldan was sitting in marine biology class when he learned he’d moved to the top of the food chain in high school soccer. Roldan was named the 2012-13 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Two-time FIFA World Cup veteran Alexi Lalas delivered the news in a surprise visit.
’'Just to be mentioned in the same sentence as people who have won this award is mind-blowing,’' Roldan said. ’'It’s something I’ll probably never live up to, but this is also a day I’ll never forget.’'
The 5-foot-7, 165-pound Roldan led the Dons to a 29-2-1 record and the CIF-Southern Section Division III crown this past season. Roldan scored 54 goals and passed for 31 assists as El Rancho also captured the Division I title at the CIF Southern California Regional Soccer Championships. He has signed with the University of Washington.
The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Roldan is now a finalist for the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award. USA Today High School Sports administrates the nationwide selection process in collaboration with Gatorade.
’'Cristian has a midfielder’s mentality, but a finisher’s foot,’'said Sheldon Shealer, Editor of EliteSoccerReport.com. ’'Despite his small stature, he can be a physical player. His 54 high school goals against some of the best competition in the state this past season show he’s an effective goal-scorer. Cristian had opportunities to play for higher-profile clubs and even transfer to prominent private schools, but declined in order to stay with his El Rancho teammates, leading them to a sectional and regional title in 2013.’'
Roldan, who also plays central midfield, concluded his prep career with 94 goals and 71 assists despite missing all but two games of his freshman year with an arm injury. He was named the 2013 Southern Section Division III Most Valuable Player. Roldan also earned Southern Section Division IV MVP honors as a sophomore in 2011 when he led El Rancho to the first of two sectional titles in a three-year span. The Dons are 78-6-3 since 2010.
’'Soccer has grown exponentially across the U.S., but Cristian is a star in the hotbed of Southern California,’'said Lalas, 42, who was named Gatorade Michigan Boys Soccer Player of the Year in 1987-88 and is now a television analyst for ABC and ESPN. ’'That geography makes his accomplishments that much more impressive. What’s even more special is that this is about who he is off the field too’-the academics and the community service. In my experience, those additional tools are going to make him a better soccer player.’'
Also a three-year varsity volleyball starter, Roldan has maintained a 3.39 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as an American Youth Soccer Organization coach and as part of El Rancho’s Blue Pride service project for which students coordinate and execute annual refurbishment and beautification initiatives on campus. A member of the California Scholarship Federation for maintaining a B+ average and serving as a peer mentor, Roldan is a four-year participant on the Dons’ College Bound Athletes committee, which serves as a guidance and support group for aspiring college athletes in addition to assisting with school athletic department activities.
Roldan, 17, is a first-generation American citizen. He becomes the 60th prep athlete from California to earn national Gatorade honors in the award’s 28-year history, more than any other state. Texas (27), Florida (19) and Illinois (15) are next. Roldan is the fourth boys national winner from California, joining MLS defender Jordan Harvey (2001-02), former MLS midfielder Greg Dalby (2002-03) and University of California at Santa Barbara freshman forward Ema Boateng (2011-12). He is the first from LA County.
REY ORTIZ, Carlsbad Elite B16 Premier, 2012 CAL SOUTH PLAYER OF THE YEAR
JIMMY OBLEDA, Fullerton Rangers DOC, 2012 CAL SOUTH BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
B9 Champions Barcelona USA Academy/Finalists FC Blades
G9 Champions Eagles/Finalists LA Premier FC
B10 Champions FC Golden State Academy/Finalists Celtic Harps
G10 Champions Eagles / Finalists CSA Cypress White
B11 Champions Barcelona USA Gold /Finalists FC Los Angeles Black
G11 Champions Fullerton Rangers White/Finalists Eagles
B12 Champions Barcelona USA Academy / Finalists FC Man UTD
G12 Champions FC Blades/ Finalists Lazers SC
B13 Champions FC Golden State Gold/Finalists Baldwin Park UTD
G13 Champions LA Premier FC / Finalists Lazers SC
B14 Champions Olimpia SC Pachuca / Finalists CFC Unouchables
G14 Champions BYSC Blue / Finalists Crescenta Valley Blue
B15 Champions FC Man United / Finalists Oxnard Wave
G15 Champions FC Man United / Finalists NHB Black
B16 Champions FC Man United / Finalists Spartans CO United
G16 Champions Downey FC / Finalists FC Los Angeles Black
B17 Champions CUSC Blue / Finalists Oxnard AC Blue
G17 Champions Select Cities Avalanche / Finalists Barcelona USA Red
B19 Champions HG Eagles / Finalists Simi Valley Eclipse
G19 Champions FC Golden State Black / Finalists Lazers SC
For 2013, The Southern California National Premier League (SoCalNPL) will not only be accepting applications from existing CSL Clubs but also from individual CSL Premier level teams as well as qualifying Clubs/Teams from other Western States.
By widening the scope of participating teams to include teams from smaller clubs, we expect the standard of play to be even broader than it was this past year.
The Southern California National Premier League is a member of the US Club Soccer National Premier Leagues. The National Premier Leagues (NPL) offer a platform for long-term player development by providing consistent and meaningful games between the region’s top players and also provides opportunities for players to be scouted by U.S. Soccer national staff. Winners of each league within the NPL will qualify for US Club Soccer’s National Premier Leagues Champions Cup. More information about the National Premier Leagues can be found on the NPL website at nationalpremierleagues.com.
Also beginning in Spring 2013, The SoCalNPL will be hosting its inaugural season for girls’ clubs and teams. With the addition of the girls’ side, the SoCalNPL is now providing a complete and unified national developmental platform with the highest level of competition in its geographic area designed to elevate and change the competitive youth soccer landscape based upon US Club Soccer’s fundamental principles.
The founding members of the SoCalNPL for the boys’ are Albion SC, Carlsbad Elite, DMS 11, Fullerton Rangers, La Premier, Heat FC and Las Vegas SA.
In addition to these core clubs, other select teams and clubs will now be invited to participate for the 2013 season.
Acceptance of these teams and/or clubs will be based upon the following criteria:
1. History of Elite Youth Player Development;
2. History of Success in Elite Competitions Tournaments and Leagues;
3. Coaching Staff – Level of the Club’s Technical Staff, coaching education;
4. Overall positive club reputation within the Soccer Community.
If your club or team is interested in participating in the SoCalNPL and is confident it can play at the Premier level, then please contact the SoCalNPL director at: email@example.com
Fullerton Rangers Do It Again!
For the second time in two years, Fullerton Rangers White (CA-S) are national champions, notching a 1-0 victory over Challenger Crew Jrs (OH-N). For the second time in two years, Fullerton secured the title without conceding a single goal. Fullerton’s goal came when George Castro received the ball with his back to goal in the 16th minute, spun his defender and beat he keeper far post. Castro netted a tournament-leading four goals this week. Saturday’s game was a much closer contest than the game between these two sides on the first day of play, which Fullerton won 4-0.
The field must be rectangular as in full sided (11v11) soccer, it can not be square.
The field may be a minimum of 40 yards wide, and a maximum of 50 yards wide.
The field may be a minimum of 70 yards long, and a maximum of 80 yards long.
The goals may be between 6 to 7 feet high, and may be between 18 21 feet wide.
Mark a HALFWAY LINE.
The CENTER CIRCLE is an 8 yard radius.
CORNER ARCS are 2 foot radius.
The GOAL AREA is marked 6 yards to the side of each goalpost, and 6 yards out into the field.
The PENALTY AREA is 14 yards to the side of each
goalpost, and 14 yards into the field.
The PENALTY SPOT is 8 yards out from the center of the Goal Line.