Over the next week, we’ll be taking a position-by-position look at some of the top players across the Minnesota high school soccer scene this season. This list will cover the state’s premiere midfielders.
There are hundreds of standout soccer players in Minnesota and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive.
Luke Kamm, senior, Southwest Christian
Kamm had seven goals and 10 assists from the midfielder position as a senior this year and earned first team all-state honors. After playing up, Kamm had to move back to defensive midfield this season, but still found a way to be effective.
“He was an excellent leader that controlled our back line, but also contributed to the distribution of balls out of the back and to our forwards,” coach Darin Keizer said. “He held our offense and defense together.”
Baraka Tarleton, senior, Andover
Tarleton excelled from the center midfielder position in 2022. He finished the year, his career’s final season, with 15 goals and 11 assists — impressive production from a midfielder.
“He was a huge part of our team's success this year,” coach Andy Lynch said. “He was great in the midfield offensively and defensively.”
Tarleton was named first team all-state and was a captain for Lynch’s Andover squad.
Joe Torborg, senior, St. Cloud Cathedral
Torborg, a four year letter winner, broke out in his final season. Of his 17 career goals and 18 career assists, he tallied 12 and 15 of those this season, respectively and got an all-state second team nod.
“He was a fantastic leader and used his 6-foot-3 frame to score goals on set pieces using his head,” coach Alex Hess said. “Has great vision and leads the team by example on the field.” Torborg is also a Division I lacrosse recruit.
William Smith, freshman, Duluth East
Smith burst onto the scene as a freshman for Duluth East and coach Corey Bachand this summer. He’s a strong center midfielder with plenty of room to grow.
“His soccer IQ is unmatched and his drive and competitive spirit makes him a very solid player,” Bachand said.
Liam Hafenbrack, junior, Cretin-Derham Hall
As an attacking midfielder, Hafenbrack racked up 14 assists to go with three goals of his own.
“Liam is a top class playmaker with excellent vision for a final ball,” coach Carter Albrecht said. “Technically and physically strong, Liam also has an impeccable work-rate, often winning the ball high up the pitch (tackles very well too).”
Hafenbrack served as a captain this season, embracing a leadership role with “great maturity.”
Luke Madden, junior, Cretin-Derham Hall
Madden was the defensive equivalent of Hafenbrack for Albrecht’s squad this season. Also a junior, he assembled an impressive line of eight goals and two assists while playing defensive midfielder along the front of the back line.
“Luke served as both an excellent ball-winner and a dangerous deep-lying playmaker,” coach Albrecht said. “Exceptionally good at winning the ball in the air, including on attacking set pieces, Luke often ended any opposition counter early, easing the burden on the backline in unfavorable numerical situations. Luke is also technically much more capable than most defensive midfielders: in retaining possession, range of passing/vision, and carrying the ball forward.”
Tayden Metzger, senior, Rocori
Metzger was the team leader in both goals (17) and assists (10) from the midfielder position at Rocori. He’s a senior captain which coach Chris Stavros said led the team on and off the field this season.
“[He has] excellent ball skills and vision on the field,” Stavros said. “A mentor to the younger players on the team.”
Colin McGill, senior, St. Croix Lutheran Academy
McGill led his team in goals and led it to its first ever undefeated conference championship as a senior. He was, coach Chris Maki considers, the “primary factor” when considering the team’s success. McGill was unanimously voted Skyline Conference Player of the Year and ended as a Mr Soccer Finalist for Class A. After suffering a season-ended ACL tear during his junior season, playing this year looked questionable at times.
“He faced that adversity head on and through a great deal of work and physical therapy, achieved amazing things for himself and his team this season,” Maki said.
Matt Peterson, senior, Minneapolis Southwest
Peterson was the No. 1 player in the Minneapolis City Conference and a first-team all-state member in 2022. The defensive midfielder was the team’s defensive MVP according to coach James Plaisance. He led a ruthless defense which finished the year with nine shutouts in their final 10 games and allowed just 11 goals all season.
Heanos Hanns, junior, Tartan
Hanns, a defensive midfielder, was another key cog in the Titan’s run to their section championship.
“He is the glue in the middle who helps to play from the back to build play,” coach Marco Patacios said. “Heanos stands at 5-foot-1, but don't let his height fool you, he plays like a giant in the field and always fights for those balls in the middle.”
Patacios said he is one of the main reasons Tartan was able to turnaround their season after a 0-6 start.
Nathan Hunt, senior, Robbinsdale Armstrong
Hunt started 16 of his team’s 17 games and finished the year with three goals and six assists. He was an all-state nomination and was top 10 in his section’s Mr. Soccer Ballot.
“Nathan was an outstanding and crucial player in our run at winning the conference title,” coach Marcus Anthony said. “Nathan took a role that many players would struggle with. … He was a jack of all trades and he was exceptionally gifted in the role he took.”
Micah Miller, senior, Robbinsdale Armstrong
Miller is another talented midfielder coach Anthony had at his disposal in 2022. Miller set up his teammates effectively all season, finishing with 11 assists (top 25 state-wide) and eight goals of his own. He was top 15 in the section’s Mr. Soccer ballot and himself an all-state nomination, too.
“Micah was very valuable to us this season as he competed with his all and he went above and beyond to always be ready to play for his team,” Anthony said. “A player who was on the field after every practice for hours improving his game and ensuring that he had the tools his teammates needed.”
Miller was a leader for Robbinsdale Amstrong, often hosting team bonding events at this home throughout the year.
Jake Hennen, junior, Minnetonka
Hennen’s play, which resulted in 13 assists and eight goals this year, earned quite the praise from coach Mike Rogers.
“He is one of the most dangerous, attack-minded midfielders in our school's history,” Rogers said. “Jake's first-step, speed and skill-level set him apart. He is a Division I-caliber player who stands out immediately as one who must be man-marked or double-teamed.
Asher Johnson, senior, Waconia
Johnson accounted for 13 of his team’s 23 goals this season, adding four assists. He’s a team MVP, and two-time all-conference mention who earned an all-state honorable mention this season. Coach TJ Seim considers Johnson Waconia’s top player, saying without him, the offense would have been far harder to come by playing a tough schedule that including top 10 1A/2A schools.
Parker Chastey, senior, Denfeld
Despite playing as a defensive/holding midfielder, Chastey still managed to put up elite offensive numbers with 15 goals and 11 assists this year. He’s been on Denfeld’s varsity team since he was in eighth grade and was a Class 2A Mr. Soccer Finalist.
“[He’s] a true student of the game who used his knowledge, vision, and leadership to get his team to the section finals,” coach Scott Anderson said.
Brayden Dolney, senior, St. Francis
Dolney is a four year letter winner, two year captain, all-conference player and team MVP and earned an all-state nod this season. Coach Glenn Beggin highlighted his excellen play-making ability as a product of his ball-handling. Dolney accumulated 10 goals and 14 assists from the midfield spot this season.
Brandt Konik, senior, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa
Coach Rafal Konik highlighted his midfielder’s high soccer IQ as the reason for his four-consecutive all-conference-caliber season. Konik, who is “very good technically and tactically,” was all-state in 2021 and earned it again this season on the back of eight goals and 11 assists.
Carter Eklund, junior, Andover
Eklund is a defensive specialist in the middle of the field for the 16-3-2 Huskies, who won the Class 3A third place match. He had a pair of goals and six assists while spearheading the defense.
“Carter was great at winning the ball back to help our team stay on the attack,” coach Andy Lynch said. “He helped protect our back line and was always an outlet to help us get out of pressure.”
Mu Soe, junior, Hmong College Prep Academy
Soe was a relentless force at midfield, leading the EMAX with 17 goals despite missing four games. He exploded out of the gates with three hat tricks through his team’s first four games.
“[He] was a great leader by example for our incoming students, and helped bridge the gap between those players and our Hmong students,” athletic director Sam Malone said.
Patrick Yang, junior, Hmong College Prep Academy
Yang played alongside Soe in the midfield for Hmong. He scored five times, four of which came off penalty kicks.
“Patrick’s skill and talents were not measured by stats, but by his amazing leadership,” Malone said. “After a couple of tumultuous years on the team, he exemplified all that a captain should be and worked hard to shape a team with only two seniors into a unit. He was essentially a coach on the field and a leader both in soccer and in the classroom.”
Samuel Anderson, senior, Minnehaha
A co-captain, Anderson scored three goals and tallied five assists this season, but based on team needs, stepped into the role of defensive midfielder this year — a role in which he shined. He led the Redhawks with 771 completed passes (160 more than anyone else) and 316 recoveries (100 more than anyone else) and earned an all-conference nod.
“Samuel is an exemplary student-athlete,” head coach Sean Jensen said. Anderson was awarded the inaugural Guido Kauls Award, in honor of the legendary coach who started boys high school soccer at Minnehaha Academy.
Elijah Jensen, freshman, Minnehaha
Jensen, despite his youth, led Minnehaha with 11 assists while, “utilizing his technical skills to help create scoring opportunities for his teammates,” Jensen said.
A central attacking midfielder, who was an all-conference player this season, Jensen also plays for the top U16 Minneapolis United team that competes in the Elite Academy.
Christopher Sanchez, junior Minnehaha
A third all-conference midfielder for the Redhawks, Sanchez tallied four goals and nine assists and was third on the team with 204 recoveries.
“[He] is a highly skilled player who makes his presence felt all over the field, both offensively and defensively,” Jensen said. “[He is] also one of the most consistent corner kick takers and free kick specialists.”