CHS Matuck Machado

Celebration center midfielder Matuck Machado (10) backed up a Player of the Year-type season with another one as a senior, scoring 20 goals despite constant tough defense. His distributing abilities led to 15 assists.

All-County Boys Soccer

Player of the Year: Matheus Machado (CHS, Sr)

All-county team: Celebration: Sam Carcioli Bonin, Luis Mora, Fernando Abreu, Horacio Parisi, Oscar Newman; Gateway: Jerson Maldonado, Jean Batista; Harmony: Bennett Forsberg, Cody Huff; Liberty: Abe Zanet; Osceola: Joseth Andino; Poinciana: O’Brian Scarlett, Samar Jawhari, Ahmed Fahim; St. Cloud: Noah Craig; Tohopekaliga: Carlos Jimenez, Will Johnson.

Celebration central midfielder Matheus Machado was last season’s Osceola News-Gazette Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

So is it any more impressive that, with extra attention on him for that, he has earned the title again this year?

Machado, nicknamed “Matuck”, bumped up his offensive output from last season (18 goals, 15 assists) to this season (20 and 15), all while getting all the extra attention from defenses.

“This year a lot of people knew me, and I’d get man-marked from the start of the game, usually until the finish almost every game,” he said. “So it opened space for others to create. I had to adjust a little bit.”

After moving from more of a defense position in the midfield to the center mid position from sophomore to junior year, Machado added to his versatility and played quite a bit up in the Storm attack this year.

“We lost a lot of offensive players from last year, so at some point I’d move up to the wing and help the attack. Our defense was better this year so we had the ball more and we had more chances,” the Brazilian native said.

“I think my speed and dribbling got better. I practice all the time and I’m playing with multiple clubs, playing with older people as well.

Machado, along with teammates Luis Mora and Fernando Abreu along with a former teammate who played at Montverde Academy the last two seasons all just signed as a packaged deal to attend Keiser University, an NAIA school near West Palm Beach.

“We tried out and trained with the Kaiser team when I visited, so I feel like I’ll be ready if I keep working,” he said.

Celebration Coach Chad Boudreaux said Machado’s adjustment to being a “marked man” on the field went a long way in the Storm … well, going a long way, reaching the Class 5A state semifinals for the second year in a row.

“After getting all the accolades he got last year as a junior, and becoming an All-Region selection by United Soccer Coaches, everyone was looking at him and he stepped up in a big role in a big way,” Boudreaux said. “What can you say about putting up a 20-goal season with all that happening?”

The Storm lost to Miami Varela, 2-1, in this year’s semifinal, a result that hurt, Machado said, because the only thing the team didn’t experience in his four-year CHS career is a state title — the Storm won four OBC, two district and two regional titles in four years, a very tidy resume for Machado and the Class of 2019.

“It’s a good feeling I did my job here during my career. There’s a feeling of unfinished business because we didn’t win state,” he said. “This one hurt a little more because we knew how to win it and we had a great team. But the guys on the team got really close and became a family this year.”