Former MP United midfielder Rintaro Miyawaki has been named to the 2021 Lohud Elite 11 while suiting up for the Westchester Flames.
Miyawaki and his Westchester Flames teammates play in USL League Two, the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid.
The 17-year-old senior at Eastchester High School made it to the 2021 Lohud Elite 11 because of his offensive game. He finished with nine goals and four assists for the Westchester Flames last fall.
“Not many defenders are equipped to match up with the Eagles’ go-to scorer…Miyawaki is fast enough to win a footrace to the ball and strong enough to lean on defenders and finish in a crowd,” a quote from his selection to the 2021 Lohud Elite on social media read.
Miyawaki is elated that he was selected in the 2021 Lohud Elite 11 for the varsity high school season that started only last week.
“My reaction was happy but honestly not surprised. For my club my team just joined as one of the USL Academy teams and have a record of 2-0 right now. Playing soccer on Saipan made me love the sport so I am glad I still play all the way here in New York. Shout out to all my old Saipan teammates,” he told Saipan Tribune.
His former coach at MPU, Randy Steele, said he’s not surprised that his ward’s talent in the pitch is translating well in the high school competition in the U.S. mainland.
“I coached him for a number of seasons between ages 6-12. In that time he went from fairly good to a near unstoppable scorer in his age group. He’s very fast and has a strong leg. Looking back, this MPU age group was outstanding. Besides Rintaro doing very good in New York, three others are playing on the 18-and-under national teams. But Rintaro was the dominant force who could carry the team to victories. We’re all very happy that he is thriving stateside,” he said.
MPU vice president and technical director Norman Del Rosario also had high praise for the former MP United stalwart.
“I remember Rintaro in one of MP United FC’s off-island tournaments in the Philippines (Pinas Cup) and he was one of the youngest in that U14 team that we field in. In that tournament he may be the youngest but he was persistent in trying to get some goals against bigger opponents, he is a pesky striker to the defenders. As he grew older his hard work is starting to pay off. Don’t be fooled by his shy-type looks because he will punish you with his dribbling skills. I’m so proud of his accomplishments. All the best in the future and hope to see him in college soccer next year,” he said.