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No doubt: Decatur's O'Brien is the best in Federal Way soccer
By CASEY OLSON
Theres no doubting that Ciaran OBrien is one of the best high school soccer players in the nation.
The Decatur senior midfielder is the reigning Gatorade state player of the year, has played on several Olympic Development Program teams and trained last summer in Europe. He also works out on a weekly basis with the Seattle Sounders, which includes his older brother, Leighton.
OBrien can now add another honor to his already-impressive soccer resume Â the 2006 Mirrors All-City Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Its the second time OBrien has received the distinction. He also won the Mirrors 2004 Player of Year as a sophomore.
OBrien has already signed a national letter of intent to play in the fall at the University of San Diego. The same school where his brother starred.
It was definitely a tough decision, OBrien said of signing with San Diego. The location and my brother had a lot to do with it. They have amazing facilities and their stadium is one of the best in the country.
OBriens senior season was a productive one for the Decatur soccer team. The Gators reached the Class 4A state quarterfinals for the first time since winning their second straight state championship in 2002. And OBrien was a huge part of Decaturs success. The midfielder led the Gators in goals with 13 and assists with seven, despite being double- and triple-teamed at all times.
During his four-year Decatur career, OBrien amassed 47 goals and 37 assists.
The frontline of the Mirrors All-City Team includes the Beamer pair of Sean Davis and Peyton Lane, along with Decaturs Kevin Day. Lane led the district in goals during the 2006 season with 14 for the Titans. The senior also led Beamer with nine assists. Davis tallied 13 goals and seven assists and helped the Titans make their first-ever appearance in the state playoffs. Beamer finished the season 11-5-2 and lost to Auburn, 2-0, at the Class 4A state tournament.
Day finished second to OBrien in scoring for the Gators this year. The sophomore had nine goals and three assists, including a hat trick during a 3-1 win over Puyallup on April 3.
Joining OBrien in the midfield on the Mirrors All-City Team are Decatur teammate Josh Norwood, Federal Ways Murphy Campbell, Jeffersons Scott Williams and Beamers Tyler Brigham and Ricco Sanchez.
Norwood, who has already signed a national letter of intent to play in the fall at the University of Connecticut, sat out several games during the regular season before returning late in the season for the Gators run into the state quarterfinals. Norwood scored three goals and had two assists. Campbell finished the year with one goal and three assists for the 4-7-4 Eagles.
The Beamer midfield duo of Brigham and Sanchez controlled the tempo of the Titan offense and were instrumental in a lot of the goals scored by Lane and Davis. Brigham tallied four goals and three assists and Sanchez had two goals and five assists.
The All-City defense is anchored by Beamer junior goalkeeper T.J. Young. The first-team, All-SPSL South selection finished the season with eight shutouts in net and even scored a goal during a 9-0 win over Spanaway Lake on March 24.
Joining Young on the defense are Beamers Brennen Hall and Taylor Lane, Federal Ways Omar Cruz, TJs Josh Hauck and Decaturs Reymund Mills.
Hall, a junior, was the Titans top defender and was also lethal as an attacker on corner kicks. Hall finished third to Lane and Davis in points with four goals and four assists. Cruz actually led the Eagles in scoring from the back line with four goals. Hauck, also a member of the Mirrors All-City Football Team as a wide receiver, was solid all season long for the Raiders. Mills tallied one goal and will enroll at the Air Force Academy Prep School in the fall.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com