It was an outstanding year for New York City boys’ soccer. Two teams – Beacon and Martin Luther King Jr. – were ranked nationally at points and Archbishop Molloy completed an incredible run to win its 12th CHSAA Class A intersectional championship.
In the PSAL, King had its own trying season, losing twice to Manhattan rival Beacon in the regular season. But, in the end, like they had 10 times before, the Knights were the ones holding the PSAL Class A trophy. Goalkeeper Malick Faye was a monster in the final against Beacon in penalty kicks, stopping the first three Blue Demons shots.
All-City Boys’ Soccer
Player Of The Year
Malick Faye, Martin Luther King Jr.
Put Faye on any team – ‘A,’ ‘B,’ developmental, youth league – and it would win games. There was no greater difference maker in the entire city than the 6-foot-3 senior from Senegal. Take the PSAL Class A city final for instance. In penalty kicks against Beacon, Faye stopped the first three Blue Demons shots, then ripped in a PK of his own.
In the semis, Faye was just as amazing. He stopped two sure goals by Francis Lewis junior Sebastian Guenzatti, one of the best creators in the PSAL. Patriots coach Roger Sarmuksnis called him the best keeper he has seen and MLK coach Martin Jacobson said he’s the best PSAL goalie in the last six years or so.
All-City Boys’ Soccer
Coach Of The Year
Andy Kostel, Archbishop Molloy
His team wasn’t the most talented, didn’t have the top striker and wasn’t loaded with Division I players, but Andy Kostel found a way to turn Archbishop Molloy into a CHSAA Class A intersectional championship team. With the Stanners struggling early in the season, Kostel kept the group together and turned the ship in the right direction.
All-City First Team
F Cemil Turan, St. Peter’s
He isn’t the all-time leading scorer in St. Peter’s history – that honor belongs to his coach John Liantonio. But there was no one more dangerous with the ball at his feet in the city this year than the left-footed Turk, who scored 29 goals and led the Eagles to the Class A intersectional semifinals.
F Stanley Ballantyne, Thomas Jefferson
It’s rare that a ‘B’ player would even be considered for such an honor, but Ballantyne is a rare talent himself, skillful and strong. He could’ve started on any team in the city, so we weren’t going to ignore him.
F Baimba Freeman, Beacon
His leadership qualities are even more impressive than his talent, which is top notch itself. He didn’t put up the most prodigious numbers – 10 goals and nine assists – but that was due to Beacon’s tactical style, not any shortcoming. Freeman may have left with just that one city championship his freshman year, yet he exits having been one of the more prominent figures in establishing the Blue Demons as a powerful program on the rise.
M Greg Davis, Archbishop Molloy
The junior has all the tools to play on the next level – he is quick, smart, has an accurate shot and is a great passer. He is extremely dangerous with the ball at his feet and the worst part is for the rest of the CHSAA is that he’s back next year.
M Caetano Sanchez, Beacon
There wasn’t any other midfielder who did a better job at controlling a match’s pace and putting his team in better position than Sanchez. Plus, as Beacon advances further into the playoffs, the senior looked for his offense more and delivered a goal in the city final loss to Martin Luther King Jr.
M Jeffrey Horn, Fordham Prep
Naturally a playmaker, the senior was asked to play in a more defensive role in the midfield this year and Horn thrived there, as well. Horn has incredible vision and sprays balls to all parts of the field, a sure Division I player.
M Sebastian Guenzatti, Francis Lewis
Excellent with the ball at his feet and creative in his playmaking, Guenzatti was undoubtedly one of the best offensive players in city this year – whether he played forward or midfield. The junior helped lead Francis Lewis to the PSAL Class A semifinals and will be back next year with his eyes on a possible city championship.
D Will Congdon, Beacon
The senior sweeper was the driving force behind the PSAL’s finest defensive team. His consistent play only was strengthened the more important the matches got. Congdon was always there to cut off an attack or break up a long ball. He will be missed by coach Alec Mahrer.
D Ian Hall, Regis
Hall’s assignment – shutting down the opposition’s top striker – was never easy, but Hall made it appear so. The junior defender will be one of the best man-marking defenders in the city next year.
D Ramzy Salem, Fordham Prep
One of the best fullbacks in the city, Salem did a little bit of everything for Fordham. He defended well, got up in the attack and he not only set up scoring chances with pinpoint crosses, but from long distance throw-ins as well.
GK Chris Seibel, St. Peter’s
A solid shot stopper who dominated his 18-yard box, Seibel registered 10 shutouts during the year, including a remarkable seven in a row midway through the season.
All-City Second Team
F Stephen Furze, Columbus
He came inches away from kicking the Explorers into their first ever PSAL Class A final. The epitome of clutch, Furze was the driving force in a season the Bronx A champions won’t soon forget.
F Chris Nistico, Monsignor Farrell
Nistico led Staten Island in scoring a year ago and proved that wasn’t a fluke with another stellar performance this season. With Turan graduating, all eyes will be in Nistico next year.
F Nick Paganelli, Fordham Prep
Paganelli was the guy who scored the clutch goals for Fordham Prep and was a big reason why the Rams played for the CHSAA Class A intersectional title for a third straight year.
M Dominick Parrelli, Xaverian
The senior midfielder was a threat every time he touched the ball and was a big reason why the Clippers came within a goal of upsetting Fordham Prep in the Class A intersectional quarterfinals.
M Souleymane Kone, Martin Luther King Jr.
Kone did whatever coach Martin Jacobson asked of him this season, whether it be finishing at forward or winning 50-50 balls in the midfield. He was excellent at both and should be a leader next year as MLK looks to win its 12th title in 14 years.
M Idris Mashriqi, Francis Lewis
His height, strength and balance in the midfield were the perfect complement to the Patriots’ explosive strikers up front. The lanky senior was as accurate a passer and as smooth a player with the ball at his feet as you’ll see.
M Justin Griffiths, Regis
The senior midfielder was a threat anytime he touched the ball, both in terms of being able to run at defenders, as well as his knack for heading in quality crosses. Griffiths also could see the entire field and his shots were hard and accurate.
D Emelio Haughton, Martin Luther King Jr.
Haughton was MLK’s bulldog and enforcer. He got the tough assignments against the other teams’ best offensive player – like Beacon’s Baimba Freeman and Francis Lewis’s Sebastian Guenzatti – and was one of the few seniors on King’s 11th PSAL Class A title team in 13 years.
D Angelo Litorgis, St. Francis Prep
The Terriers started a very young team, but Litorgis was their rock in the back. The senior leader was excellent in the air and one of the steadiest defenders in the league.
D Alex Zorrilla, Martin Luther King Jr.
Like his team, Zorrilla got better as the year wore on. The junior’s beautiful free kick in the semifinals against Francis Lewis found Emelio Haughton’s head, then the goal to give MLK a 1-0 win. Like most of coach Martin Jacobson’s PSAL Class A title-winning team, Zorrilla will be back next year. Scary.
GK Besim Berisha, Columbus
With Faye gone, this junior may be the finest keeper in the city next fall. His acrobatic performance against Beacon in the PSAL Class A semifinals won’t soon be forgotten. Unless, of course, the Explorers go further next year and Berisha is the driving force, which isn’t so farfetched.