Welcome to the Wilo show.
A senior striker for the George Washington High School soccer team, Wilo Mimbar has become a star on the pitch this season. He has netted 22 goals and counting — becoming the highest scorer on his squad for the second consecutive year.
But if you ask the Eagles’ leading man himself, he’ll be the first to admit he couldn’t do it alone.
“I’m very confident. I believe in my teammates,” said Mimbar, who also has recorded 10 assists this season. “We all play together and understand each other. We want that championship. That’s the team’s goal.”
An All-Public athlete, Mimbar has guided the Eagles to an undefeated regular season and first place in the Public League A Division. George Washington, with a current record of 10-0-1, has outscored opponents by 33 goals. The Eagles’ performance earned them a bye in the first week of playoffs, which began this week. (The final postseason schedule was still being determined as the Times went to press this week.)
“I think at times we looked really good and at times we were a little shaky,” Washington head coach Chris Reid said of this year’s regular season. “We’re young. We have a lot of young guys that are playing different roles. I think our season went well. I mean, we’re undefeated. I’m not going to complain.”
In their most recent game, on Oct. 12, the Eagles downed Masterman, 5-2. Mimbar and freshman standout Mohamed Cunde shared the spotlight. Mimbar recorded two goals and two assists in the victory. Cunde netted a hat trick.
“It was a great game,” Mimbar said after last week’s triumph. “I think we played strong in the first half and kept it up to win this one.”
Mimbar’s two goals increased his season total to 22. He has four hat tricks this season; he also scored a personal-best four goals during Washington’s 5-0 triumph over Franklin Towne Charter on Sept. 26.
He says he’s not done yet.
“I love being a striker. I get to score a lot of goals,” he said, smiling ear to ear. “It feels great, especially because last year I was the top scorer. I want to improve even more. One of my goals this season was to beat my old record (of 16) and be MVP. I want to finish with thirty (goals).”
Mimbar has developed quite a reputation during his brief time with the Eagles. He attended Bensalem High School but transferred to Washington when his family moved to Northeast Philadelphia two years ago.
“I like Washington. It’s a good school,” he said. “It’s a lot bigger than Bensalem, but I like my classes. I have good grades.”
Mimbar, 18, has lived in America for five years. He grew up in Liberia, West Africa, but his family — including three brothers and three sisters — moved to Philadelphia to escape Liberia’s ongoing civil war.
“I love it here. It’s a good city,” Mimbar said. “People are nice. I like my coach and my teammates here.”
He dabbled in football and track at Bensalem High School, but soccer has always been Mimbar’s game of choice. He plans to play in college next year and has been receiving some attention from recruiters.
“Wilo is the best. He does everything I ask. He never complains,” said Reid. “You never see him get mad on the field. You never see him be negative to his teammates. He is the best kid. He’s not only a good soccer player, but he’s a really good kid.
“He has had a tremendous season. He has ten assists too. He’s distributing (the ball),” the coach continued. “He’s the ultimate team player — every coach’s dream. He’s strong. He’s fast. He has the skill. Hopefully, he’ll lead us to the championship.” ••
Editor Melissa Yerkov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org