Gatorade National Boys Soccer
New Jersey standout named nation's top high school performer

WEST ORANGE, New Jersey (May 30, 2007) – In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes , Gatorade ® Thirst Quencher, in partnership with RISE Magazine , today announced senior midfielder Brayan Martinez of West Orange High School (West Orange, New Jersey) as its 2006-07 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.


Martinez is the fourth New Jersey player to win Gatorade National Soccer Player of the Year honors, joining former U.S. Men's National Team captain Claudio Renya (1990-91, St. Benedict's Prep HS/Newark, NJ), former MLS All-Star Alecko Eskandarian (1999-2000, Bergen Catholic HS/Oradell, NJ) and Olympic gold medalist and two-time collegiate national champion Heather O'Reilly (2002-03, East Brunswick HS/East Brunswick, NJ).

The award, which recognizes not only athletic performance, but also meeting high standards of academic achievement while demonstrating exemplary personal character on and off the field, distinguishes Martinez as the nation's best high school boys soccer player. A national advisory board comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country selected Martinez from more than 358,000 high school boys soccer players nationwide. Martinez is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year Award, to be presented at a special ceremony the afternoon prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-foot-9, 150-pound, Martinez scored 21 goals and 21 assists this season in leading West Orange to a 24-1 record, their first-ever Group 4 state championship and first-ever national ranking (No. 17 in National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas Top 25). Despite missing eight games this season with a knee injury, Martinez returned and recorded eight goals and five assists in the Mountaineers' postseason run to the state title, including two goals in the 3-0 victory over Manalapan in the title game. He scored 26 goals and passed for 30 assists as a junior and was named a NSCAA/adidas All-American and Newark Star Ledger Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

Martinez finished his three-year career at West Orange with 85 goals and 90 assists and led the team to a 65-6 record in his tenure – winning three conference titles, one county title and two state sectional titles as well the last season's state championship. He also competes for the prestigious Under-18 PDA Vieira club soccer team.

Born in Uruguay , Martinez has maintained a B average in the classroom despite learning the English language his freshman year of high school. He serves as a volunteer at soccer camps and soccer tournaments, and also squeezes two part-time jobs into his busy schedule.

“I told him, ‘If you want to go down in New Jersey history as the best there ever was, you have to win Group IV,'” said West Orange head coach Doug Nevins. “The truly great players make the guys around them so much better that they make their whole team better. For him to take us and lead us to a Group IV title this year—that just caps off his career.”

Martinez will attend Seton Hall University on a soccer scholarship this fall.

“Without question, Brayan is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school boys soccer player based on his statistics on the field and the impact his play had on West Orange's success,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jeff Urban. “But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes one winner in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in football, girls volleyball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field. The selection process is administered by RISE Magazine, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement dates, visit .





High School/Location



Brayan Martinez

West Orange HS/West Orange , NJ

High School Senior


Eric Alexander

Portage Central/Portage, MI

Indiana Univ.


Lee Nguyen

Plano East Senior/Plano, TX

PSV Eindhoven


Patrick Phelan

Wilbraham & Monson Acad./ Wilbraham , MA

Wake Forest U.


Greg Dalby

Poway/Poway, CA

Colorado Rapids


Jordan Harvey

Capistrano Valley/Mission Viejo, CA

Colorado Rapids


Ned Grabavoy

Lincoln Way/New Lenox , IL

Columbus Crew


Alecko Eskandarian

Bergen Catholic/Oradell, NJ

Real Salt Lake


Kyle Martino

Staples, Westport/CT

Los Angeles Galaxy


Nick Downing

Eastlake/Redmond, WA

U. of Maryland Grad


Nick Garcia

Bishop Lynch/Dallas, TX

Kansas City Wizards


Andy Kirk

Marquette University/Milwaukee, WI

U. of Maryland Grad


Pierre Venditti

Jonathon Law/Milford, CT

U. of Maryland Grad


Andriy Shapowal

Kenston High/Chagrin Falls, OH

U. of Virginia Grad


Mike Fisher

Batavia/Batavia, IL

U . of Virginia Grad


Matt McKeon

De Smet Jesuit/ St. Louis , MO

Saint Louis U. Grad


Claudio Reyna

St. Benedict's Prep/Newark, NJ

Manchester City FC


Todd Haskins

Howard/Ellicott City, MD

U. of N. Carolina Grad


Chris Henderson

Cascade/Everett, WA



Lyle Yorks

E.O. Smith/Storrs, CT

U. of Virginia Grad


John Gwin

Boise/Boise, ID

Duke U. Grad


Kevin Hundelt

Aquinas-Mercy/Hazelwood, MO

So. Illinois U. Grad

Paul Jackiewicz (312-301-2715)