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By ESPN Staff

2005 Top Prospect Watch provides a yearly position-by-position player ranking for high school prospects. Below is the current rankings for the Class of 2005 boys with their college choices in parentheses.

2005 Top 10 Overall Boys Prospects
1. F Mike Grella, Albertson Red Storm, NY, (Duke) - One of the most experienced players on the national scene, having appeared for the men's U-18 and U-20 teams. A solid finisher with a great shot. He led his club team to the Super Y national championships in 2004.
2. F/M Anthony Beltran, Arsenal, CA, (St. John's) - Likely a midfielder on the next level, Beltran has been a fixture in the U-18 national pool. Recently competed for the U.S. at the Copa Chivas Youth Tournament in Guadalajara.
3. F Stephen Bickford, CASL Elite, NC, (North Carolina) - Won the Golden Boot at the ESP camp a year ago. Bickford was the state's high school player of the year.
4. F Jason Leopoldo, So Cal United, CA, (UCLA) - Might be the second-best finisher among the forwards in the nation.
5. M Brad Ring, Chicago Magic, IL, (Indiana) - Will be called upon to replace Hermann Trophy winner Danny O'Rourke in midfield. Ring wins balls, but more importantly, he can finish plays, as well.
6. M Eric Avila, Nomads, CA, (UC Santa Barbara) - A late birthday leaves Avila still training with the U-17 national team in Bradenton, Fla. He played in 15 of 17 U-17 national team matches last year, scoring three goals and assisting on two.
7. D Chris Shuler, Chicago Magic, IL, (Indiana) - Draws comparisons to Eddie Pope. A 6-4 defender who is dominant in the air but also comfortable with the ball at his feet.
8. M Lee Nguyen, Dallas Texans, TX, (Indiana) - Likely will play forward at Indiana. He was recently called into U-20 national training. Nguyen is small in stature but exceptionally quick and pressures well.
9. M Michael Konicoff, PDA, NJ, (Boston College) - Exceptional speed led one coach to proclaim he's never seen anyone in New York, (Konicoff's home state), who can change the game as quickly as this rising star.
10. D Bakary Soumare, Albertson Red Storm, NY, (Virginia) - Could be a superstar on the collegiate level. A 6-4 center back with excellent skills.
2005 Top 5 Goalkeepers
1. Chay Cain, Chicago Magic, IL - (Indiana)
2. Michael Giallombardo, PDA, NJ - (Virginia)
3. Chris Seitz, So Cal United, CA - (Maryland)
4. Alex Horwath, Pikesville Shakedowns, MD - (Connecticut)
5. Luke Siebolt, Sereno Golden Eagles, AZ - (Notre Dame)
2005 Top 5 Defenders
1. Chris Shuler, Chicago Magic, IL - (Indiana)
2. Bakary Soumare, Albertson Red Storm, NY - (Virginia)
3. Darrius Barnes, Triangle FC, NC - (Duke)
4. Zachary Bauer, Scott Gallagher, MO - (Boston University)
5. Pavel Castenada, Albertson Red Storm, NY - (Duke)
2005 Top 5 Midfielders
1. Brad Ring, Chicago Magic, IL - (Indiana)
2. Eric Avila, Nomads, CA - (UC Santa Barbara)
3. Lee Nguyen, Dallas Texans, TX - (Indiana)
4. Michael Konicoff, PDA, NJ - (Boston College)
5. Scott Campbell, Weston Fury, FL- (North Carolina)
2005 Top 5 Forwards
1. Mike Grella, Albertson Red Storm, NY - (Duke)
2. Anthony Beltran, Arsenal, CA- (St. John's)
3. Stephen Bickford, CASL Elite, NC - (North Carolina)
4. Jason Leopoldo, So Cal United, CA - (UCLA)
5. Salvatore Zizzo, Hotspurs, CA - (UCLA)
For more information on youth soccer prospects and a complete list of the top players, you can visit:

  • Student Sports Soccer