Servite’s Eddie Villeda is the O.C. player of the year – Orange County Register



Eddie Villeda, Servite, Sr.

Eddie Villeda captained the Servite football team that season.

Because he’s not the singing type, Villeda decided he would lead by example. And what an example he set.

Villeda led the brothers to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Championship and the CIF Southern California Regional Division I Championship. He was voted Trinity League MVP and CIF-SS Division 1 Player of the Year.

In addition, Villeda is the Orange County Registry’s Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Villeda scored 20 goals in 26 games. Six of his goals were game winners. He also had 23 assists.

Merrick Cook was Servite’s voting leader, which is a common role for a senior goalkeeper like Cook. So Villeda took the other approach.

“I just wanted to show people what I can do on the field,” said Villeda.

He’s done a lot. As a four-year-old varsity player, Villeda finished his career as the all-time league leader at Servite with 121 points. The 23 assists this season is a school record for a season.

The 2021–22 season was one of the great achievements for the brothers, who finished 24-2-2 overall and won a ninth consecutive Trinity League championship (with 9-0-1). Servite defeated JSerra on penalties in the CIF-SS Division 1 Championship game. Villeda scored Servite’s first penalty goal.

For Villeda, the regional championship in Southern California was the highlight.

The brothers defeated San Pasqual 2-1 in the Division I finals. Villeda set up Daniel Gutierrez’s winning goal. He also assisted in the Servite’s other goal.

“It was the first time Servite had won that,” Villeda said of the regional title. “That was one of our most important goals. We’ve always talked about winning CIF (Southern Section) since year one, and once we achieved that, we wanted to move on.

Another highlight for Villeda was a 2-0 win over Huntington Beach in the CIF-SS semifinals, avenging a regular-season loss to the Oilers by the same result. Villeda scored the first goal in the semi-final win.

“We always had this mentality that we were going to win,” said Villeda, who signed with UC Santa Barbara. “We just seemed more confident than any other team out there.”

Servite manager Eddie Soto said Villeda was impressively consistent.

“Not only was he a great scorer, he was also a great assistant,” Soto said. “He was a guy who could take over a game if you needed him to. But his best quality is how humble he is.”


Eddie Soto, Servite

The Servite boys’ soccer team won the Trinity League Championship, CIF Southern Section Division 1 Championship, and CIF Southern California Regional Division I Championship.

As Erik Kirsch, JSerra boys’ football coach, said, “It’s hard to win all three.”

Eddie Soto of Servite is the Orange County Boys Football Coach of the Register of the Year for leading the brothers to this trifecta.

Servite won the Trinity League title with a 9-0-1 record. The Friars defeated league rivals JSerra 2-1 on penalties in the CIF-SS Division 1 Finals. They won the Southern California regional title with a 2-1 win over San Pasqual of Escondido, giving Servite their first regional title in boys’ soccer.

The brothers finished Soto’s second season as their coach 24-2-2. His overall record at Servite is 39-5-2.

Soto is also the men’s soccer coach at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He was CIF-SS Player of the Year at Cerritos High and played at Cal State Fullerton, where he was a two-time All-American and later an assistant coach.



Eddie Villeda, Servite, F (Player of the Year)

Merrick Cook, Servite, Sr., GK: Cook was the Trinity League defensive MVP and an All-CIF Southern Section Division 1 selection. The Cal State Northridge signee has been spectacular all season, especially in the playoffs. The brothers won the CIF-SS Division 1 Championship with a 2-1 win over JSerra in the finals.

JT Danks, Servite, Sr., Defense Attorney: Danks was an All-CIF Division 1 selection. The Cal State Northridge signee was a crucial component for the brothers, who conceded just three goals in their six postseason wins.

Ramses Esquival, Godinez, Sr., Forward: The highest-scoring forward was Golden West League Player of the Year. The Grizzlies went undefeated in the league and advanced to the CIF-SS Division 1 Quarterfinals.

Servite’s Justin Faison (15) gets past JSerra’s Tyler Stewart (9) during a Trinity League Boys soccer game at Servite High School in Anaheim on Wednesday, January 12, 2022. Servite won the game 4-0. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Justin Faison, Servite, Sr., Defense Attorney: Faison was named to the All-CIF Division 1 team and the All-Trinity League team. He helped Servite concede just seven goals in 10 league games and just 20 goals in 28 games overall.

Reid Fisher, Huntington Beach, Sr., Defense Attorney: Fisher was an All-CIF Division 1 selection. The San Diego State signee helped the Oilers go undefeated in the Wave League and advance to the Division 1 semifinals.

Misael Gonzalez-Lopez, Fullerton, Sr., Forward: Gonzalez-Lopez was MVP of the Marina Winter Classic and was selected to the All-CIF Division 1 team.

Saul Maldonado of Villa Park attempts to block a kick by Sean McTague of JSerra in CIF-SS Division 1 Quarterfinals Football at JSerra High School on Friday, February 18, 2022. JSerra won 1-0. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

Sean McTague, JSerra, Sr., Forward: McTague was the Trinity League Offensive MVP and a key player for the Lions as they reached the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Finals.

Nico Rudisill, JSerra, Sr., Midfielder: Rudisill was selected to the All-CIF Southern Section Division 1 first team.

Sawyer Stuff, Aliso Niguel, Sr., Forward: Dinge was selected to the All-CIF Southern Section Division 1 team. The Wolverines advanced to the Quarterfinals of Division 1 and went undefeated in the Sea View League.

Mathias Brown, Sunny Hills, Jr., Forward: Brown, who was also a standout kicker in football, was named CIF-SS Division 3 Player of the Year after leading the Lancers to the division championship.


Alex Avila, San Juan Hills, Sr., defense attorney

Oswaldo Becerra, Santa Ana, Jr., defense attorney

Rocco Bon, JSerra, Sr., Forward

Reagan Heslin, JSerra, Jr. Midfielders

Daniel Kotkosky, Huntington Beach, Sr., GK

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