Here are a few teams and players to watch in the high school boys soccer season and upcoming postseason in the South Sound.
THE TOP TEAMS
Puyallup: The Vikings have gone on a tear in the 4A SPSL, posting a 9-1 overall record and a 2-0 mark in league play. Puyallup reached the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals a season ago, before being bounced by Skyline. Co-champions a season ago in the 4A SPSL, alongside Sumner.
Sumner: The Spartans advanced all the way to the Class 4A semifinals, before losing to Skyline in the quarterfinals. Spartans return TNT All-Area player of the year Alec LaBarge.
Gig Harbor: The Tides are actually behind crosstown rival Peninsula in the SSC 3A standings but Gig Harbor’s stingy defense could carry the Tides far into the postseason. Gig Harbor has a 7-0-3 record and has yet to lose a game. Tides have only conceded six goals.
Federal Way: Eagles are undefeated in the 4A NPSL Olympic Division and 11-1 overall behind a productive offense. They’ve been held under three goals in only three out of the team’s 12 games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alec LaBarge, Sumner: The 2018 News Tribune All-Area player of the year pick leads the Spartans. The senior midfielder scored 24 goals and had 13 assists, and was named the 4A SPSL MVP.
Craig Johnson, Puyallup: The junior is the leading scorer for the hottest team in the 4A SPSL, tallying eight goals and four assists for the Vikings. He’ll look to lead Puyallup back to the state tournament.
Logan Kinney, Gig Harbor: The senior center back is arguably the most important cog in Gig Harbor’s stingy back line.
Jared Butler, Sumner: The 2018 4A SPSL defensive MVP anchors a strong Spartans’ back line. Will look to lead the Spartans back to the state tournament.
Zak Gregg, Todd Beamer: Two-time 4A NPSL Olympic first-teamer scored 18 goals and 17 assists a season ago for Titans, helping Beamer reach the state tournament.