Heartland Invitational All Tournament Team Presented By TrueRelief
TAMPA, Fla. --- The Wichita Wings have placed four players on the “Heartland Invitational” All Tournament team, after the hosts posted a hard-fought 3-0 record on their home turf at Hartman Arena last weekend.
Honorees include Benji and Taylor Henry at midfield, Kevin Ten Eyck on defense and Aaron Parrott in goal. Omaha Kings forward Ali Sodal, who exploded for five goals in a 10-7 win over the Amarillo Bombers and Colorado Inferno forward Felix Elias were the All Tournament team forwards. Following is a closer look at each of the First Line All Tournament selections:
Ali Sodal, forward (Omaha Kings FC) – Finished the tournament with a league-high eight points and six goals, and unloaded a total of 22 shots on goal in the three games for the Omaha Kings FC, who were scheduled to play at the Major Arena Soccer Leage 3 level this year but have been granted provisional status in M2 for the 2021 campaign. Sodal, an Omaha native who set season and career (49 goals, 115 points) scoring records for Midland University, accounting for no less than five goals all in the final 10 minutes of the game of a thrilling 11-9 win over Amarillo. He also had single goals in losses to Colorado and Wichita.
Felix Elias, forward (Colorado Inferno) – Elias is now in his third season of M2 play, and finished the tournament with four goals and two assists. Last season for the Inferno, the Vista Park Prep graduate had 16 points in 11 games (8 goals, 8 assists) and two seasons ago, he had 11 goals to go along with five assists for the Colorado Rumble. Elias opened the scoring, and added two additional goals including an insurance marker later in the fourth quarter to quell an Amarillo comeback, as part of the team’s 10-7 win over Amarillo.
Benji, midfield (Wichita Wings) – Eduardo “Benji” Monreal scored twice in two games over the weekend, including in a 6-5 win over Omaha and a 6-3 win over Amarillo, when he also picked up two assists for a four-point night. He played last year for the undefeated Chihuahua Savage in M2, with nine points in seven games. Benji had a hat trick back in December as part of the Central Cup Tournament when the Wings beat the St. Louis Ambush, 8-3. His biggest goal this past weekend came in the third quarter to start the Wings final comeback in a 6-5 win over the upstart Kings.
Taylor Henry, Midfield (Wichita Wings) – Henry served as the Wings primary playmaker, picking up a tournament-best five assists. He also had two goals in a 9-2 win over Colorado, earning first-star-of-the-game recognition as well. It is his second season with the Wings. A Wichita native and graduate of South High School, he played collegiately at Newman University where he earned All Heartland Conference honors. Henry had a hat trick in a Wings win over the MASL St. Louis Ambush in December as part of the Central Cup tournament.
Kevin Ten Eyck, Defender (Wichita Wings) – Ten Eyck is in his second season with the M2 Wings, after a sensational 14 goal, 14 assist performance in 2019-20. Over the weekend, he pitched in with two goals and two assists to go along with 10 blocks in three games, second best in the event behind teammate Nathan Clark who had 11 blocks. He serves as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Friends University, where he earned NAIA All American honors. He first debuted with the MISL Wings in 2011 and has also dressed for the Wichita B52’s and Wichita FC. Where he was a first team NPSL All Star.
Aaron Parrott, Goalkeeper (Wichita Wings) – Parrott played every minute of every game this past weekend, posting three wins and an impressive saves percentage of .813 in the tournament, to go along with an equally impressive 3.33 goals-against-average. He appeared in six games for the Wings in M2 last year, posting a 3.74 GAA and .783 saves percentage. A Wichita native and graduate of Rose Hill High School, Parrott played collegiatley at McPherson College, and was signed to the team after a Wings open tryout. He was named the game’s third star last spring in a Wings’ friendly against the MASL Kansas City Comets.
Second line honors went to forward Francisco Rivas, Colorado Inferno; forward Bobby Jaffrey, Omaha Kings, midfielder David Lucio, Wichita Wings; midfielder Victor Patriani, Amarillo Bombers; defender Kieran Laking, Wichita Wings; and goalkeeper
Named to the All Tournament “third line” were forward Cade Martin, Wichita Wings; forward Conrod Goulbourne, Amarillo Bombers; midfielder Miguel Reyes, Amarillo Bombers; defender Josue Jimenez, Colorado Inferno; defender Nathan Clark, Wichita Wings; and goaltender Justin Dzuba, Colorado Inferno.
“All these players deserve our sincerest congratulations and thanks for putting on a great show this year, and giving indoor soccer fans a full weekend of fun, exciting, competitive games,” Commissioner Chris Economides said. “Every one is exactly the kind of player that M2 is proud to put on the field, and build a foundation with to consistently raise the talent level throughout the league.”
Details about new franchises, scheduled games for February and more will be forthcoming in the very near from the M2 front office. Watch for announcements at m2soccer.com and on all the league’s social media platforms.