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Brentwood's Molina up for Futbol Mundial award

Brentwood's Eric Molina, right, avoids the slide tackle

Brentwood's Eric Molina, right, avoids the slide tackle of Arlington's Matthew Povall during the NYSPHSAA Class AA boys soccer championship at Middletown High School. (Nov. 18, 2012) (Credit: Adrian Kraus)

Erik Molina, a senior midfielder on the Brentwood boys soccer team, is one of six high school national finalists for Futbol Mundial’s Best of the Best contest for the 2013 season.

Futbol Mundial, a soccer-related magazine, recognizes 10 players (six in high school, four in college) of Hispanic descent who display leadership and “significant mental and physical strength and fortitude to overcome personal and team athletic challenges,” among other qualifications, according to its site.

Of the 10 players, one high school finalist and one college finalist are selected by a panel of judges and an online voting process. Winners are rewarded with a $1,000 scholarship toward books for college, a catered award recognition luncheon at the winner’s school hosted by Mundial Sports Network, a published spread in Futbol Mundial, and a Front Page Award in the magazine.

The two finalists will be announced on Dec. 9.

Molina was a three-year starter on the varsity team and was named a captain before this season. Though he was hampered by injuries, Molina helped lead Brentwood to the Suffolk County final. He scored four goals and had eight assists, while also playing consistently well on defense.

“He was a quiet yet wonderful leader and good captain for us,” Brentwood coach Ron Eden said. “He has extremely good speed and he’s a nightmare to mark. Opponents always worry about him because he can really strike a ball really well.”

To vote, visit contests.viddler.com/BestoftheBest/318.