The Roseville boys’ soccer team is something of a World Cup all its own.
Seven of the 23 rostered players were born outside the United States and 19 have at least one parent from the countries of Antigua, Brazil, Burma, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt (leading scorer Youssef Abdallah), Eritrea, Japan, Laos, Mexico (starting goalkeeper Luis Ramos-Angell), Thailand, and Vietnam.
Head coach Agapitos Papagapitos hails from Greece. Assistant coach Jean-Luc Kamin comes from the Ivory Coast.
A team of blended backgrounds has enjoyed success in the shared language of soccer. Roseville (7-5-3) begins postseason play in Class 2A, Section 5 on Thursday at home against Spring Lake Park. The Raiders handed two top-10 teams, Woodbury and Eastview, their only shutout losses of the season.
“Because of our diverse team, many team members’ families face other challenges,'' Sarah Lucken, mother of senior center back Aran Koob, wrote in an e-mail. "So, the boys’ soccer booster club is small with a very limited budget compared to the girls and also to other schools. The captains' parents end up coordinating fundraising activities, running concessions and running the clock and announcing.”
Lucken’s husband, Mike Koob, videotapes games to aid coaches as well as to create a highlight video for the year-end team party.
Aran Koob, a two-year soccer captain, provided one of those highlights. He sprinted the length of the field to thwart a Mounds View scoring chance in a 1-1 draw on Sept. 28.