High school boys soccer: 2013 Deseret News MVPs made sacrifices for their teams

Published: Monday, June 10 2013 4:25 p.m. MDT

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Lopez began his freshman year at Payson High before soon realizing he wanted to be across town at American Leadership Academy.

In making the decision to change schools, Lopez was also giving up his freshman soccer season.

As soon as he got an opportunity to take the field, however, Lopez quickly made up for lost time.

“He had to sit out that year,” said ALA coach Steve Solen, “but then he started his sophomore, junior and senior years.”

Solen describes the midfielder as a “very quiet and humble kid who wants to just go out and play” and noted that “the No. 1 thing we saw his sophomore year was he had great ball control but no speed.”

Lopez made up for that with hustle and communication.

“The biggest thing is his hustle everyday. Even if we are losing 5-0, he is still giving 100 percent,” the coach said. “He is constantly talking to his teammates on the field. He does a great job of being able to find them with the ball.”

That giving spirit is illustrated by his senior season statistics. After totaling just eight goals in his first two years on the roster, Lopez was one of three ALA players, along with Cobi Warren and Brannon Tulley, to score 20 goals in 2013. Lopez also dished out 35 assists, accounting for an incredible 55 of the team's 94 total goals.

“He has never been a selfish player,” Solen said. “He always wanted the team to do well.”

Those numbers were a crucial piece in powering ALA to its first state championship. That is a piece of history — one celebrated with fire engines and a parade through town — that Lopez said will always be quite special.
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