Long Island has long been a hotbed of boys soccer talent. The 2017 season is no different. Here is a look at 50 players to watch this year (players are listed in alphabetical order):
Bobby Abshire, Commack, M, Senior: Will attend West Point and play lacrosse. The 6-3, 205-pounder physically imposes his will on his opponents, and prides himself in doing hard work.
Nat Amato, Huntington, G, Senior: One of the top goalkeepers in Suffolk, Amato looks to lead Blue Devils in League III.
Eric Amaya, Center Moriches, M, Senior: Was sixth among Suffolk scorers last season with 17 goals and nine assists.
Flavio Anjo, Mineola, D, Junior: Talented player is the foundation of the Mustangs’ back line.
Bryan Argueta, Brentwood, D, Senior: Argueta will solidify the back for the Indians, who will challenge for the Suffolk AA crown.
Matt Barbery, Half Hollow Hills East, D, Senior: Three-year varsity player is one of Suffolk’s top defenders.
Matt Barresi, St. Anthony’s, D, Senior: Barresi, who had seven goals and one assist last season, anchors the Friars’ back line and has committed to American University.
Jelson Bonilla, Glen Cove, F, Senior: Powerful, aggressive and skilled athlete who played striker, forward, wing and holding midfielder a year ago with eight goals and seven assists for Nassau A champ.
Jake Bresnihan, Massapequa, F, Senior: Registered 11 goals and 6 assists for Nassau AA finalist Chiefs last season.
Justin Carrano, Northport, D, Senior: Anchors back line for tough Tigers team in Suffolk League I.
Rafael Celanti, Newfield, F, Junior: Tallied 15 goals and two assists a year ago for the Wolverines, who were voted top Suffolk AA team in preseason coaches poll.
Marcello Chacon, North Babylon, M, Senior: The talented midfielder is one of the leaders for the Bulldogs in Suffolk League IV.
Shawn Coles, Hauppauge, F, Junior: Super quick and strong on the ball, Coles was All-County as a freshman and the Suffolk League IV Player of the Year as a sophomore.
Alex Cooper, Jericho, D, Senior: Controls the Jayhawks’ defense and is the first point of the attack; he is brilliant in reading the game with excellent speed and control of the ball according to coach Dani Braga.
Giuseppe Coppola, Kellenberg, D, Senior: One of the top returning players in the CHSAA, Coppola looks to help Firebirds compete against league stalwarts St. Anthony’s and Chaminade.
Tim de Meij, Chaminade, M, Senior: The center-attacking midfielder is probably the Flyers’ most-skilled player coach Mike Gallagher said; had four goals and two assists for two-time defending state CHSAA champs.
CJ Emmerich, Syosset, M, Senior: The Braves’ captain plays center midfield and can play physical when needed and can also be calming force for his team.
Giovanni Fiore, Floyd, F, Senior: The four-year starter looks to help the Colonials compete in Suffolk League I and Class AA.
TJ Garcia, Whitman, D, Senior: The second-year varsity player will be center back and one of the leaders for the Wildcats.
Jose Gil-Mejia, Hicksville, M, Junior: Helps control the midfield for the Comets, and can play both at breakneck speeds, or slow things down for his team; has great vision and is Hicksville’s quarterback, said coach Steve Starkey.
Wilber Gomez, Brentwood, M, Senior: Talented Gomez mans the midfield for the defending Suffolk AA champs.
Tyler Grippo, Hauppauge, M, Senior: The returning All-County center midfielder is a tremendous two-way player and lockdown defender who had nine assists last year.
Sunny Gu, Sachem East, D, Senior: Gu dominates in the back for the Flaming Arrows, and was picked as a player to watch by opposing Suffolk League I coaches.
Rolman Guardado, Amityville, M, Junior: The speedy winger helps teammate Oscar Hernandez in controlling the midfield for the two-time defending Suffolk A champs.
Ben Hamilton, Center Moriches, F, Senior: The League VII MVP last season, Hamilton is on the preseason All-America watch list and is being recruited by a number of Division I schools, said coach Chris O’Brien.
Oscar Hernandez, Amityville, M, Senior: Possesses dynamic one-on-one ability, great vision and can score with either foot; had 13 goals and 8 assists for two-time Long Island Class A champs.
Kymani Hines, Amityville, F, Junior: The former Jamaican U-17 National Team player is expected to help shoulder scoring load for two-time defending Suffolk A champs.
Adrian Izaguirre, Newfield, D, Senior: The senior anchors the back line for the No. 1 Suffolk Class AA preseason favorite Wolverines.
Sal Inglima, Syosset, F, Senior: Gives the Braves a ‘wow factor’ up top, said coach Brett Waxer.
Luke Kasulke, Seaford, M, Senior: The solid senior bolsters the Vikings’ efforts at midfield.
Rob Leamey, St. Anthony’s, GK, Senior: One of the top goalkeepers on Long Island, who is as skilled with his feet as he is with his hands, had 12 shutouts last season.
Justin Maldonado, Glen Cove, D, Senior: Smart and fast with the ball, and is unphased no matter whom he marks according to coach Brian Smith.
Matteo Martino, Jericho, M, Senior: The center midfielder is one of the best players coach Dani Braga said he has ever trained; has great vision, controls the ball well and sees the entire field.
Andrew McDonnell, Smithtown West, F, Senior: One of the top forwards in Suffolk League II.
Tyler McElhinney, Jericho, G, Senior: One of the top keepers in Nassau, who looks to help the Jayhawks back to their first Nassau A title since 2013; had 83 saves last season and finished with the second-highest total in Nassau A-I.
Evan Meinke, Floyd, M, Senior: Meinke, who has verbally committed to Marist, controls the midfield for the Colonials.
John Murphy, Chaminade, D, Senior: As one of only two returning players for two-time CHSAA state champ Flyers, Murphy is expected to anchor Chaminade’s back line.
Leo Musacchia, Half Hollow Hills West, M, Senior: Dynamic playmaker, Musacchia has started the Colts’ last 35 games.
Stephen Padilla, Carle Place, D, Senior: Padilla will be counted on to lead young, but talented Frogs squad.
Sebastian Pereira, Southampton, M, Senior: The fifth-year varsity player has 36 career goals and started every game for the 2015 undefeated LI Class B title team.
Colin Sherlock, Lindenhurst, D, Senior: Fourth-year varsity player.
Alex Sipos, Calhoun, F, Junior: One of four returning starters for the defending Long Island Class AA champs will help key the Colts’ offense.
Chris Spalding, Glenn, F, Senior: The four-year starter is one of the top keepers in Suffolk with 24 career shutouts.
Stone Strongin, Hicksville, D, Junior: Comets’ captain has started every game the last two seasons.
Nick Tagios, Wheatley, F, Junior: The three-year varsity player will lead the Wildcats, who will compete for the Nassau Class B title.
Erik Treble, Massapequa, D, Senior: Will settle the Chiefs’ back line and help Massapequa be competitive in tough Nassau Class AA.
Wesley Vasquez, Lawrence, F, Senior: Scored seven goals last season..
Andrew Weiner, Mepham, F, Junior: The fourth-year varsity player is expected to boost the Pirates’ offense.
Andrew Weltner, St. Anthony’s, D, Senior: Key cog in the Friars’ strong back line that allowed a goal or less in 18 of 23 games in ’16.
Jack Wetzel, Northport, F, Senior: Led the Tigers in scoring (11 goals) and points (18) last season.