Gatorade® National Boys Soccer Player Of The Year: Cristian Roldan
Former U.S. National Team Star and 1988 Gatorade Michigan Boys Soccer Player of the Year Alexi Lalas Surprises Standout with Elite Honor
PICO RIVERA, Calif., May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — In its 28(th) year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Cristian Roldan of El Rancho High School (Pico Rivera, Calif.) as its 2012-13 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Roldan was surprised with the news in class by former U.S. National Team and MLS standout Alexi Lalas.
“When I received the state award for Michigan in 1988, it was such a special moment for me as an athlete. I’m grateful to be a part of this moment for Cristian, who is truly a phenomenal student-athlete on and off the pitch,” said Lalas. “Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids.”
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Roldan as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Roldan from nearly 400,000 boys soccer players nationwide. Roldan is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The 5-foot-7, 165-pound senior midfielder and forward led the Dons to a 29-2-1 record and the CIF-Southern Section Division III crown this past season. Roldan scored 54 goals and passed for 31 assists as El Rancho also captured the Division I title at the CIF Southern California Regional Soccer Championships. He was named the Southern Section Division III Most Valuable Player. Roldan concluded his prep career with 94 goals and 71 assists despite missing all but two games of his freshman year with an arm injury. He also earned Southern Section Division IV MVP honors as a sophomore in 2011 when he led El Rancho to the first of two sectional titles in a three-year span. The Dons are 78-6-3 since 2010.
Also three-year varsity volleyball starter, Roldan has maintained a 3.74 weighted GPA as a senior. He has volunteered locally as an American Youth Soccer Organization coach and as part of El Rancho’s Blue Pride service project for which students coordinate and execute annual refurbishment and beautification initiatives on campus. A member of the California Scholarship Federation for maintaining a B+ average and serving as a peer mentor, Roldan is a four-year participant in the Dons College Bound Athletes committee, which serves as a guidance and support group for aspiring college athletes in addition to assisting with school athletic department activities.
“Cristian has a midfielder’s mentality, but a finisher’s foot,” said Sheldon Shealer, Editor of EliteSoccerReport.com. “Despite his small stature, he can be a physical player. He’s best suited as a midfielder, distributing and making runs off the ball. But his 54 high school goals against some of the best competition in the state this past season show he’s an effective goal-scorer. Cristian had opportunities to play for higher-profile clubs and even transfer to prominent private schools, but declined in order to stay with his El Rancho teammates, leading them to a sectional and regional title in 2013.”
Roldan has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Washington this fall.
“Without question, Cristian is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player based on his statistics on the pitch and the impact his accomplishments have had on El Rancho High School’s success,” said Gatorade Vice President, Global & Sports Marketing Andrea Fairchild. “But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:
- Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
- WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
- NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
- Two-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
- Three-time 200-meter World Champion Allyson Felix
For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at http://www.gatorade.com/poy, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.
ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
YEAR NAME HIGH SCHOOL STATUS 2012-13 Cristian Roldan El Rancho/Pico Rivera, CA High School Senior 2011-12 Ema Boateng Cate School/Carpinteria, CA UC Santa Barbara 2010-11 Luis Rendon Cosby High School/Midlothian, VA Duke 2009-10 Soony Saad Dearborn High School/Dearborn, MI Sporting Kansas City 2008-09 Dillon Powers Plano Senior/Plano, TX Colorado Rapids 2007-08 Chris Agorsor McDonough School/Owings Mills, MD Richmond Kickers 2006-07 Brayan Martinez West Orange HS/West Orange, NJ Puebla FC 2005-06 Eric Alexander Portage Central/Portage, MI New York Red Bulls 2004-05 Lee Nguyen Plano East Senior/Plano, TX New England Revolution 2003-04 Patrick Phelan Wilbraham & Monson Acad./Wilbraham, MA San Antonio Scorpions 2002-03 Greg Dalby Poway/Poway, CA Univ. of Notre Dame (Coach) 2001-02 Jordan Harvey Capistrano Valley/Mission Viejo, CA Vancouver Whitecaps 2000-01 Ned Grabavoy Lincoln Way/New Lenox, IL Real Salt Lake 1999-00 Alecko Eskandarian Bergen Catholic/Oradell, NJ Retired from MLS 1998-99 Kyle Martino Staples, Westport/CT Retired from MLS 1997-98 Nick Downing Eastlake/Redmond, WA Retired from MLS 1996-97 Nick Garcia Bishop Lynch/Dallas, TX Semi-Retired from MLS 1995-96 Andy Kirk Marquette University/Milwaukee, WI Retired from MLS 1994-95 Pierre Venditti Jonathon Law/Milford, CT U. of Maryland Grad 1993-94 Andriy Shapowal Kenston High/Chagrin Falls, OH U. of Virginia Grad 1992-93 Mike Fisher Batavia/Batavia, IL U. of Virginia Grad 1991-92 Matt McKeon De Smet Jesuit/St. Louis, MO Saint Louis U. Grad 1990-91 Claudio Reyna St. Benedict's Prep/Newark, NJ Retired from MLS 1989-90 Todd Haskins Howard/Ellicott City, MD U. of N. Carolina Grad 1988-89 Chris Henderson Cascade/Everett, WA Retired from MLS 1987-88 Lyle Yorks E.O. Smith/Storrs, CT U. of Virginia Grad 1986-87 John Gwin Boise/Boise, ID Duke U. Grad 1985-86 Kevin Hundelt Aquinas-Mercy/Hazelwood, MO So. Illinois U. Grad