Why he was selected:
Omar Carreno, a junior forward,
has 25 goals and 13 assists this
season for the Southwest Prairie Conference champion Panthers.
He recently recorded a hat trick against Oswego East.
Carreno and the Panthers most recently beat Plainfield Central 2-1, running their record to 14-5 and 9-0 in conference. It is Oswego’s first conference title in soccer since 2008. Carreno talked to Ledger sports editor Joshua Welge about the season, and how he came to Oswego’s program. Here is an edited version of the transcript.
Welge: What does winning a conference championship mean to you?
Carreno: It means a lot for us. We have been trying to work really hard to get this, and we did. I guess everybody had the hunger to get this far and to win conference. Everybody was trying their hardest.
Welge: The team seems to have got stronger as the season’s progressed. What’s been the difference?
Carreno: We started to play more as a team. You can’t be successful if you are playing for yourself; you need to play for the team.
Welge: Do you feel you have surprised some teams with your success?
Carreno: Yes, I don’t think anybody expected Oswego to come this hard. I guess that helped us a lot.
Welge: If I told you before the season you’d have 25 goals and 13 assists right now, what would you think?
Carreno: That’s amazing. I always try to get better. I’ve really improved a lot more.
Welge: Coach mentioned that you have really become a great teammate. How did that come about?
Carreno: I’m not just trying to get the ball. I’m looking for other people to score so we have better chances.
Welge: Your family moved to the U.S. from Colombia. Why?
Carreno: We moved like four, five years ago. My mom got married, and we came here. It was a better opportunity for us. We wanted to improve our life. It was like the American Dream.”
Welge: You didn’t play with Oswego’s high school team as a freshman, but you came back out last year. What happened?
Carreno: I was playing with the Chicago Fire Academy team, so I couldn’t play with the high school team. I had to practice four days a week. It was really far from my house and it was hard to make practices. I came to the decision that I can be successful with the high school team and help the high school program. I thought why not? I’ll get more chances to be successful. I think it’s worked out really well.