The boys’ football season was shortened to an 11-game season because the AIA postponed the start date to January 18. There are still teams that need to be considered to make good runs in this truncated schedule.
Here’s the Arizona Republic’s preseason poll with some predictions of the top Arizona Interscholastic Association high school boys’ soccer teams from conferences 3A, 4A, 5A, and 6A for the 2021 season.
All team stats come from MaxPreps.com. Their ranking is based on their performances last season, feedback from coaches and the best players they come back to. The ranking will be updated throughout the season.
1. Phoenix Brophy Preparation
The two-time defending 6A champion is the youngest in some time, but coach Paul Allen fires All-State players Charlie Cobb and Jose Mejia, seniors who will be relied on to coach the young players.
2. Phoenix Carl Hayden
The Falcons finished last season as one of the hottest teams in the state. They finished with a 23-2 record, a 14-game winning streak, and walked away with the 5A state title. that of the Republic All-Arizona senior forward Edwin Yepiz is the best player on the team looking to put Carl Hayden back in contention for the championship.
The Huskies are still championship contenders and are now bringing in coach Nick Barker, who created a mini-dynasty in Scottsdale Coronado. These guys should be able to do a 6A run to the finals with Brophy Prep on the way. The MLS league has brought in some of the best players, but seniors Adnan Elaqad and Pedro Landeros could be the defensive glue to keep the Huskies in the championship hunt.
4. Tucson Salpointe Catholic
This team is locked and loaded with the return of 15 letter winners, including six seniors, who were part of last year’s 4A Championship team, the school’s seventh title since 1985. Coach Wolfgang Weber should have another title contender with a solid goal tending between Owen Lynch and Logan McLoughlin and the explosive offense with captains Fernando Garate and Diego Veliz returning.
5. Scottsdale Chaparral
Coach Jason Speirs says he’s lost three starters due to Major League Soccer’s new academy league, so he’ll have to wait and see how his team comes together. The Firebirds reached the 6A final last year, before losing to Hamilton.
6. Phoenix Desert View
I went 11-9 last year, but they’re a proud team that’s usually in championship contention. The Thunder won the state three years ago when they shut out a Brophy Prep team that was vying for a national championship.
7. Glendale Ironwood
The Eagles won 14 games last year, losing to Carl Hayden 1-0 in double overtime in Semi-Final 5A. It’s a program rooted in the tradition of soccer with a physical and aggressive style that always puts pressure on the goalkeeper.
The Badgers are still part of Southern Arizona’s elite programs with a fast style. Watch for the Badgers to have a solid run in 6A, after going 11-4 last year.
9. Phoenix Alhambra
The Lions won 16 games and surged into the 6A playoffs, before losing to eventual champion Brophy Prep. They fired 41-goal scorer Marlon Arce, but Julian Aceves had 19 goals and 15 assists in 22 games as a junior.
10. Tucson Sunnyside
If these guys are allowed to leave, be careful. The Blue Devils went 24-2 last year, losing to Carl Hayden in the 5A Final, 3-0, after posting 17 shutouts this season. They will see how they can react after losing their top three scorers at graduation.
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