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Viper strikers!

I know that you need solid defense and good goalkeeping to win in soccer.

But from my experience covering boys' soccer for the past five years, it seems that most of the time the teams that emerge from Dade and win the championships typically have serious scoring punch and I'm talking 2 or 3 stars up front.

A few years ago it was Sunset's Luis Perea, then came the tandem of Nicolas Mosquera and Martin Nunez.

Last year, American had Andres Amortegui and Christian Caporaletti.

Well Thursday and Friday night, I was very impressed with the forward tandem of Shawn Chin and Luis Yamashita. Both players know how to get the ball to each other in open space and create chances even when they seem impossible.

Chin stole the ball twice in front of Sunset's goal in the final and it took tremendous effort by goalie Chayanne Gaitan - and the goal post - to keep him off the board.

The night before he made an acrobatic leaping side kick (Trust me it was sick) to score one of the rallying goals against Gables. A lot of the tallies were created by Yamashita's speed and creativity with the ball. They've got 43 goals combined this year.

They should win their district. The test will come at regionals to see if they can finally get over the hump and make it to state. But I haven't seen as potent a striker duo like the one they have this year. And their coach Matias Asorey told me they are missing Christian Ospina, another top scorer.

Every coach I talk to keeps telling me Coral Park on paper is the best team. Hard to argue with the depth they have with Jair Cabas, Daniel Alcocer, Pablo Punyed and the Castanedas.

And they did deal Varela its only loss. If the Rams can survive the District 15-6A playoffs, I'm beginning to lose any doubt it will come down to them and the Vipers for the right to go to Fort Lauderdale.

But that district is murder and Coral Park would have to beat a young, but skilled Ferguson team and oh yeah, the best district elimination matchup in recent memory that it would create if they beat the Falcons.

Sunset-Coral Park! Yes, one of these teams, not to mention Columbus and Coral Gables, whom are all among the top six teams in Dade. And only two will go to regionals. What a shame, but that's the way the brackets work.