It’s no secret the West Orange and Southwest Orange County area is packed with some of the best high school athletes in the state — regardless of the sport. But historically, one of the area’s top sports is the beautiful game of soccer.
The 2023-24 boys soccer season is no different and again should live up to the expectations set by the players who have come before.
Whether it be the area’s top teams returning their best players, up-and-comers looking to breakthrough on varsity and fill the production gap left behind by graduating seniors or rebuilding programs finding the foundational pieces needed to build a winning culture, this season of boys soccer is going to have a little bit of everything.
Here are 20 of the area’s top high school boys soccer players.
Editor’s note: Statistics were compiled from online data and coaches’ submissions. Athletes are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
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Angelo Arrivillaga Diaz, Windermere Prep
Attack | Junior | No. 7
Last season, the Lakers finished 12-5-1, and Diaz was their joint-top goal-scorer with seven of his shots finding the back of the net. His performance not only helped Windermere Prep reach the regional playoffs for the third time in four years, but he also was named a FACA All-State team selection.
Arthur Cavalcanti, Windermere
Attack | Senior | No. 11
With three goals and three assists to his name for the Wolverines through three games, Cavalcanti will look to help fill the gaps left behind by the 14 seniors for new coach Lou Romao. So far, Cavalcanti and company have been able to do just that; Windermere is 3-0 in the early season.
Ricardo Davila, Horizon
Attack | Senior | No. 12
With the Hawks losing their five top goal-scorers from a 14-4-4 2022-23 team, someone had to step up and put the ball in the back of the net, and that’s been Davila. So far this season, he’s bagged three goals and assisted one more.
Julian Filoni, Horizon
Goalie | Senior | No. 0
Filoni has been stellar between the posts for Horizon. Through 220 minutes minding the net in the Hawks’ first three games, he’s allowed only one goal and has made nine saves.
Ethan Freitas, Foundation Academy
Midfield | Junior | No. 11
In three games this season, Freitas has been crucial in the middle of the pitch for the Lions, assisting two goals. He’s continuing his good form from last season, where he scored three goals and had three assists for a 10-6-1 Foundation team that reached the regional quarterfinals of the FHSAA Class 2A state championships.
Jirapong Gareecharun, Windermere Prep
Midfield/Attack | Sophomore | No. 5
As a freshman, Gareecharun was a menace on the wing for the Lakers — scoring seven goals and assisting three more. His performances landed him on the FACA All-State teams and helped Windermere Prep reach the Class 3A regional quarterfinals.
Zack Grauer, West Orange
Midfield/Attack | Junior | No. 10
Through three games, the junior midfielder has scored two goals for what may be one of the best teams in the area. As part of a potent Warriors’ attack, Grauer will look to control the middle of the field and be one of their main creative options going forward.
Jose Moyetones, Windermere
Attack | Senior | No. 21
After being the joint-top goalscorer for the Wolverines last season, Moyetones has picked up right where he left off. In just three games, he’s scored six goals and had five assists. That’s already two more assists than last season and more than halfway to his goal total of 10. Alongside Cavalcanti in attack, Windermere is again a scary sight for any of its opposition.
Nicolas Mujica, Windermere
Defense | Senior | No. 3
The senior captain is not only a leader on the backline but also can be a factor from the fullback spot in attack. He scored three goals and had four assists in the 2022-23 season. This year, he already has scored once for the Wolverines.
Jacob Munoz, Ocoee
Midfield | Junior | No. 6
Munoz is both the top returning goalscorer — with nine goals — and the returning top playmaker — with three assists — for Ocoee coach Peter Moore and his Knights team.
Finlay Prain, West Orange
Midfield | Senior | No. 11
With 10 goals and 11 assists in the 2022-23 season, Prain not only is the top returner in both categories for a Warriors team that went 14-2-1, but is also a complete midfielder who will drive West Orange this season. So far in 2023-24, he scored five goals in the team’s three games — all victories.
Will Prunty, Foundation Academy
Midfield | Junior | No. 10
A key part of the Lions’ returning core, Prunty already has tripled his goal-scoring output from the 2022-23 season. Through two games, he has scored three goals. Last season, he bagged one goal and assisted three more.
Dylan Shuffield, West Orange
Defense | Senior | No. 3
Shuffield is a ball-playing center back who is dynamite in the air and has a solid understanding of when to lunge into a tackle. The senior captain has been vital to a Warriors team that has only given up three goals this year and 10 total goals last season.
Tyler Stanford, West Orange
Defense | Junior | No. 14
With Shuffield on the Warriors’ back line, Stanford adds even more physicality and speed to this talented defense. The junior’s athletic ability and improvement with the ball at his feet show he has the potential to play at the next level.
Nickolay Urbina, Windermere Prep
Goalie | Junior | No. 1
With eight clean sheets and his team only allowing 16 goals all of last season, Urbina was a FACA All-State team selection and one of the best keepers in the area last season.
Guilherme Valente, Olympia
Attack | Junior | No. 9
After a difficult 2022-23 season for the Titans and a new coach in Raymond Bornacelli, Valente has stepped up early on this season. The junior has already scored two goals in Olympia’s first two games and could be just the piece the first-year coach needs to rebuild this program.
Karson Vazquez, Horizon
Midfield | Senior | No. 10
Through three games this season, Vazquez has scored two goals and been an electric playmaker for the Hawks with five assists. The central midfielder controls the middle of the pitch for the Hawks, is the returning team MVP, and also has added team captain to his list of duties this season. Look out for him at the next level, as well: He already holds an offer from Stetson.
Wyatt Wapole, Foundation Academy
Attack | Senior | No. 15
Wapole is a true center forward who led Foundation in goals with 13 and in assists with four last season. The Lions’ line-leading striker has started the 23-24 campaign with one goal in two games.
Erik Wasendorf, Dr. Phillips
Attack | Senior | No. 16
Wasendorf was a goal-scoring machine for Dr. Phillips last season, bagging a team-leading 17 goals for the Panthers while adding two assists.
Sam Albuquerque is the Orange Observer Sports Editor, please contact him with scores, statistics and story ideas at this email: [email protected] or on Twitter at @SamBAlbuquerque