Here is the Team of the Month for the Heartland Region (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Dakotas).
Remember, this feature is to honor top performers in their region across the span of age groups. There will be a boys’ list and a girls’ list, and a new region will be covered every weekday, Tuesday through Friday of each month. You can submit nominations at firstname.lastname@example.org
Following is the Boys list (in no particular order). Scroll down for the Girls honorees.
Tyler Swanner, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro U16 Academy, Midfielder: Scored the winning goal in the team’s 1-0 win over Real Colorado May 22.
Mike Rilett, Omaha FC U16, Goalkeeper: Mike was a standout goalkeeper all spring in helping his Lincoln East High School team to a Nebraska state championship.
Colton Sila, Omaha FC U13: Named player of the year for his club team, which won the Nebraska State Cup.
Nick Jones, St. Louis Scott Gallagher U16 Academy, Forward: Finished a 12-goal regular season in the USSF DA with an flourish as his team qualified for the playoffs.
Nate Opperman, Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy, Midfielder: The talented attacking player scored 4 goals on the month in USSF DA matches.
Justin Bilyeu, St. Louis Scott Gallagher U16 Academy, Midfielder: Scored twice in Gallagher’s 3-1 win over Real Colorado.
Jake Zenk, West Des Moines SC U18, Forward: Jake scored twice as his Dowling Catholic High School won the Iowa High School Class 3-A championship.
Nick Rizzo, St. Louis Scott Gallagher U16 Academy, Midfielder: Played an integral role in his team’s stretch drive to clinch a USSF DA playoff berth.
Mike Reckmeyer, Omaha FC, U18, Forward: Mike was frequently the source of offense as his Lincoln East High School team won the state championship.
David Irakoze, Dakota Alliance FC U14, Forward: Very skilled player, originally from Congo, great athleticism and a powerful shot who helped his team to a State Cup title recently.
Lee Wynja, Dakota Alliance FC U14, Midfielder: Poised, smart player who shows great leadership along with skill and field vision as his team won the South Dakota State Cup.
Following is the Girls list (in no particular order).
Dorian Bailey, KCFC Fury U14, Striker: Dorian is a 2015 grad who has been invited to the Puma Women’s Elite Showcase and is known in the Kansas City area for her hellbent for leather style.
Kaitlyn Clark, KC Select Viati U16, Missouri, Striker/Midfielder: Kaitlyn is a hard-driving attacker who played a big part in helping her Liberty High School to a repeat championship in the Missouri Class 3 High School Tournament.
Tristin Stuteville, KCFC Futura Academy U15, Goalkeeper: Had a .05 goals against average in the past high school season and also helped her club team to an MRL title and a 3rd consecutive Missouri State Cup championship. Selected for the Puma Women’s Elite Showcase.
Michelle Auer, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Navy U18, Forward: Had a prolific run of goals scored as her Notre Dame High School team reached the semifinals of the Missouri High School Class 2 Tournament, then helped her club team to a strong run in the Missouri State Cup.
Savannah Trujillo, KCFC Futura Academy U15, Striker: A top creator of opportunities in the forward third, led the team in scoring as it claimed a 3rd consecutive Missouri State Cup. Savannah also had a memorable trip to Holland with the U.S. Youth Soccer Region II ODP squad.
PLAYERS TO WATCH RANKINGS: