SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Announced this week by The Gatorade Company, incoming UC Santa Barbara forward Rodney Michael was named the 2016-17 Gatorade California Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Michael, a star at both the high school and club levels since arriving in the United States from Sierra Leone in 2014, led Dunn School to a 13-1-1 record this season while winning the CIF Southern Section Championship. He tallied 22 goals and 14 assists on his way to being named CIF Division 6 Player of the Year, and concludes his prep career with 74 goals and 43 assists. On the club circuit, Michael guided Santa Barbara Soccer Club to the 2016 U-18 National Championship and earned Best-XI honors.
"Rodney is one of the more dynamic attacking players to enter the college game this fall," UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg told UCSBGauchos.com in February. "He is difficult to stop in a 1 v 1 situation and has the ability to attack from different places on the field but really excels when playing in the wide areas."
Michael becomes the second player from Dunn School to earn Gatorade California Player of the Year honors, after Abu Danladi, the No. 1 selection in the 2017 MLS Draft, was awarded in 2014. Former Gaucho and current Los Angeles Galaxy player, Ema Boateng, won the award in 2012.
Gatorade's official press release noted the award "recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Michael as California's best high school boys soccer player."
Michael is now a finalist for Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award which will be announced later this month.