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Soccer preview: Mustangs field deepest team in years

Morton's Jovany Garcia battles a Brother Rice player for possession of the ball in the Mustangs' 4-0 Thursday.
Morton's Jovany Garcia battles a Brother Rice player for possession of the ball in the Mustangs' 4-0 Thursday.

BERWYN – Morton’s boys soccer team has had a terrific run of success in recent years, so when coach Mike Caruso says this is his deepest team, it means something.

The Mustangs are fresh off a 23-2 season and have five players that were on the 2011 state championship team. Seniors Abdon Delgado, Edgar Garcia and Luis Alvarado have done a lot of winning as part of the varsity team. Junior goalkeeper Ian Chacon and midfielder Mario Romero are three-year varsity players.

Even without Delgado, who Caruso said is the team’s best overall player, and two returning starting central midfielders, Romero and Garcia, Morton cruised to a 4-0 win over Brother Rice on Thursday. The Mustangs dominated the possession with players like Rafael Herrera and Edgar Olaguez stepping into the lineup seamlessly.

“There’s a lot of interchangeable parts,” Caruso said.

“We’re always deep, but this is probably the deepest team I’ve had in a few years.”

Delgado and Garcia were nursing early injuries, but since have returned. Romero sprained his ankle in the 5-0 win over Hinsdale South in the opener and is expected back in a week or so.

Not only is the returning talent strong, but newcomers have flashed potential so far, especially sophomore midfielder Josiah Velos.

“He’s got great touch, skill and vision on the field,” Caruso said. “He plays well with his back to goal and he can play multiple positions.”

The only question on the team is where the goals are going to come from. Morton’s possession-oriented style should allow them to create plenty of chances, but Caruso isn’t sure who is going to be taking those chances.

“We can possess it with anyone and defend with anyone,” Caruso said. “What we have to be able to do is find somebody to step up and score the big goals for us. If we do it collectively and score those big goals, that’s great. Otherwise, somebody needs to step up and be that big goal scorer for us.”

Morton finished off pool play in the Hinsdale Invitational with a 3-0 record after beating Hersey 1-0 on Saturday. The Mustangs then fell to host Hinsdale Central 2-1 in the final later in the day.

Morton took the lead in the second half on a goal by Chabello Marquez, but the Red Devils answered twice, including the game-winner in the 76th minute.

Morton at a glance

West Suburban Gold

Home field: 2400 Home Ave., Berwyn

2012 record: 23-2 overall, 6-0 WSG

Coach: Mike Caruso

Top returners:
Luis Alvarado sr. D
Ian Chacon jr. GK
Abdon Delgado sr. D
Alonso Fregoso sr. D
Edgar Garcia sr. M
Mario Romero jr. M

Promising newcomers:
Leo Delgado so. M
Hector Luna jr. D
Josiah Velos so. M

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