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Willmar Cardinals boys soccer preview

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sports Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

COACH

Richard Courtney, 7th season

ASSISTANT COACHES

Chad Akerson; Matt Williams, Ross Dahl JV 1; Brad Haugen, JV 2

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LOOKING BACK

Central Lakes Conference: 7-7, fifth place

Overall: 14-9, Section 2A champions

OPENER

Season: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Mankato East.

Central Lakes Conference: 5 p.m. Tuesday at St. Cloud Apollo

ROSTER BREAKDOWN

SENIORS: Abshir Ahmed, attacker; Abdiqadir Yusuf, attacker; Abdiweli Yusuf, defender; Badal Ali, midfielder; Joshua Centellas, midfielder; Spencer Davis, midfielder; Josh Freitas, goalkeeper; Ahmed B. Hussein, midfielder; Ahmed Hussein, attacker; Tim King, defender; Stephen Reynolds, midfield; Josh Wright, defender

JUNIORS: Abdifatah Ali, defender; Muktar, Dahir, attacker; Mitch Fader, midfield; Omar Hussein, attacker; Kevin Keenan, defender; Liam Johnston, midfield; Jeff Newberg, midfield; Landon Peterson, midfield

SOPHOMORES: Bakar Aden, attacker; Graham Dahl, midfield; Caesar Jimenez, attacker

OVERVIEW

- The Cardinals won 14 matches for a second year and reached the state tournament for the first time, losing in the quarterfinals at St. Cloud State to eventual state champion Breck.

- There is good experience on the 22-player varsity roster, which includes 10 letterwinners and six returning starters. There is a large freshmen turnout, which will help stock the JV 1 and JV 2 teams.

- Josh Freitas, last fall's JV 1 goalie, will patrol the net with the graduation of all-conference pick Steve Kluver. Freitas must play well for Willmar to challenge for the top-three finish in the conference.

- Senior Ahmed B. Hussein, a starter in 10th grade, returns after attending school in Connecticut last year.

- Badal Ali can play defense, midfield or attacker with equal authority. His switch to sweeper toward the end of the season ignited Willmar's late run.

- Josh Wright, Tim King and Kevin Keenan, who is up from the JV, will lead the defense. Liam Johnston and Landon Peterson are returning starters at midfield. Abshir Ahmed is a returning striker who will be counted on for scoring.

- The CLC goes to nine teams with the St. Cloud Apollo and Sauk Rapids pairing at an end, creating two teams from one. Defending champion St. Cloud Tech and runner-up Brainerd again are the teams to beat.

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West Central Tribune (320) 235-6769 customer support

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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