Meet the 2017 News-Gazette Boys' Soccer All-Area first team

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Meet the 2017 News-Gazette Boys' Soccer All-Area first team

Francisco Andrade

Centennial, Sr., F

Why he made the team: The Portuguese foreign exchange student transformed the Chargers' attack this year upon his arrival, scoring 23 goals and seven assists.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Coldplay. ... I have to see "Star Wars." ... Before I compete, I eat bananas. ... In my dream career, I would be a professional soccer player. ... My favorite subject to study in school is PE. ... My favorite athlete is Lionel Messi. ... My favorite TV show is "Suits." ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Andrea Pirlo.

On my bucket list: Stay in the USA for college, study business and see Lionel Messi playing.

Drew Reifsteck

Bismarck-Henning/R-A, Soph., F

Why he made the team: In what might have been considered a rebuilding year, Reifsteck took over where his brother, Blake, left off, with 31 goals and nine assists to lead the Blue Devils to a share of the Vermilion Valley Conference title.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Lil Uzi Vert. ... I have to see "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." ... Before I compete, I eat fruit. ... In my dream career, I would be a teacher. ... My favorite subject to study in school is math. ... My first job was mowing lawns. ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick Lionel Messi, Michael Jordan and Theo Epstein.

On my bucket list: Watch the U.S. win a World Cup, scuba dive and dunk in a basketball game.

Artem Burnett

Urbana, Soph., GK

Why he made the team: Burnett was voted the top goalkeeper in the area after a season in which he helped lead the Tigers to the Class 2A sectional championship match.

A few of his favorites: Before I compete, I eat nothing. ... In my dream career, I would be a professional soccer player. ... My favorite subject to study in school is art. ... My favorite athletes are Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria. ... My favorite TV show is "Supernatural." ... My first job was at the Urbana Country Club

On my bucket list: I want to go into the Army.

Jake Sellett

St. Thomas More, Sr., GK

Why he made the team: After not playing soccer before high school, Sellett transformed himself into one of the area's top goalkeepers and became one of the state's all-time shutout leaders.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Ed Sheeran. ... I have to see "Justice League." ... Before I compete, I eat nothing usually. ... In my dream career, I would own my own non-profit business. ... My favorite subject to study in school is civics/government. ... My favorite athletes are Steph Curry and Cristiano Ronaldo. ... My favorite TV show is "Criminal Minds." ... My first job was as a food service employee at Carle. ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick Vince Guastalli, Father Hoelscher and Dr. Howell.

Magnus Parente

Urbana, Sr., M

Why he made the team: Parente finished as the leading goal scorer for the area's top team, scoring 18 goals and nine assists as the Tigers made a run to the Class 2A sectional championship match.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Travis Scott. ... Before I compete, I eat nothing. ... In my dream career, I would be a professional soccer player. ... My favorite subject to study in school is economics. ... My favorite athletes are Didier Drogba, Andrea Pirlo and Xavi. ... My favorite TV show is "The Office." ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Elie Wiesel and Malcolm X

On my bucket list: Go to the Word Cup final.

Santiago Rodriguez

Champaign Central, Soph., F

Why he made the team: The sophomore's size and skill betrayed his age and led other teams to man-mark him throughout the season. He wound up leading the Maroons with 16 goals and eight assists.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Chance the Rapper. ... I have to see "Thor: Ragnarok." ... Before I compete, I eat pasta with meatballs. ... In my dream career, I would be a pro soccer player. ... My favorite subject to study in school is history. ... My favorite athletes are Casemiro, Marcelo and Giannis Antetokounmpo. ... My favorite TV show is "Stranger Things." ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick Pele, Ronaldo (first one) and Zidane.

On my bucket list: Go to Indonesia, skydive and pay more than $300 for food.

Ethan Mansfield

Mahomet-Seymour, Jr., M

Why he made the team: After the graduation of the talented Evan Lundstrom, the skilled midfielder made a much-needed leap this year with 12 goals and 15 assists to lead the Bulldogs to a 16-4-3 record.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see The Weeknd. ... I have to see "Justice League." ... Before I compete, I eat Sour Skittles. ... In my dream career, I would be a pro soccer player. ... My favorite athletes are Gareth Bale and Lonzo Ball. ... My favorite TV show is "Stranger Things." ... My first job was moving refrigerators at Bed Loft. ... If I could have dinner with any three people, I would pick Gareth Bale, The Weeknd and Joah Moore.

On my bucket list: Go skydiving, go to Wales and go rock climbing.

Caleb Griffin

Danville, Sr., D/M

Why he made the team: Last year's Player of the Year led a small, young team this season with 11 goals and seven assists while playing centerback for most of the year.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Migas. ... I have to see "Jigsaw." ... Before I compete, I eat nothing. ... In my dream career, I would be an NFL kicker. ... My favorite subject to study in school is AP Calculus. ... My favorite athletes are Grayson Allen, LeBron James and Kendle Moore. ... My favorite TV show is "Cops." ... My first job was as a scoreboard operator. ... If I could have dinner with any three people, I would pick Coach K, Pat McAfee, Lou Groza.

On my bucket list: Kick a gamewinner, skydive and watch a World Cup game.

Joe Hoffman

St. Thomas More, Sr., F

Why he made the team: The senior scored 43 goals as the focal point of a talented St. Thomas More offense, setting a program record with 74 career goals.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Ed Sheeran. ... I have to see "Justice League." ... Before I compete, I eat a turkey sandwich on wheat. ... My favorite subject to study in school is government. ... My favorite athlete is Giannis Antetokounmpo. ... My favorite TV show is "How I Met Your Mother." ... My first job was as a lifeguard at Lincolnshire. ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick Dr. Howell, Alex Shevick and Joel Embiid.

On my bucket list: Got to a World Cup final, skydive with Brandon Taylor and backpack across Europe.

Bennett Anderson

Urbana, Sr., M/F

Why he made the team: The versatile Anderson used his speed and skill to great effect, scoring 16 goals and adding 13 assists on his way to All-Area Player of the Year honors.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Russ. ... Before I compete, I eat a cream cheese bagel and a Cliff Bar. ... My favorite subject to study in school is math. ... My favorite athletes are Pogba and Kyrie. ... My favorite TV show is "The Office." ... My first job was painting. ... If I could have dinner with any three people from any time period, I would pick Kevin Hart, Barack Obama and Ronaldinho.

On my bucket list: Go to Brazil, see Barcelona vs. Real Madrid game in Spain and go to a World Cup final.

Rahi Miraftab-Salo

Uni High, Sr., F

Why he made the team: The gifted finisher set program season and career records for goals scored, netting 37 to bring his total to 105. He also notched 18 assists for a Uni team that won a Class 1A sectional title.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see Tyler the Creator. ... Movie I have to see, "Project X." ... Before I compete, I eat a granola bar. ... In my dream career, I would be a supermodel. ... My favorite athlete is Marco Asensio. ... My favorite TV show is "Stranger Things." ... My first job was a counselor at Camp Invention. ... If I could have dinner with any three people, I would pick Justin Bieber, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin Hart.

On my bucket list: Go to college, graduate from college and find a surfer wife and start a surf store in Bali.

Omeed Miraftab-Salo

Uni High, Sr., M

Why he made the team: Served as the Illineks' fulcrum during his four years at Uni High, managing the middle of the field with skills that may be unmatched in the area.

A few of his favorites: Need concert tickets to see the 2018 World Cup final or Big Shaq perform "Man's Not Hot." ... Movie I have to see, "Incredibles 2." ... Before I compete, I eat Van's mom's tortellini. ... In my dream career, I would be a neurosurgeon. ... My favorite subject to study in school is biology. ... My favorite TV show is "Shark Tank." ... My first job was working on a lab on campus. ... If I could have dinner with any person, I would pick my aunt, Farshad.

On my bucket list: Watch a World Cup match, get Lionel Messi's autograph and learn how to do a frontflip on a snowboard.

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