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November 21, 2012
PSAL champion MLK ranks high in several polls -- state, regional and national

On the heels of it winning its 14th Public School Athletic League championship, Martin Luther King High School finished quite high in three soccer polls.

The Knights (20-1-0) took first place in the New York state poll of the Elite Soccer Report and was ranked ninth nationally as well. They also were second in the Region II poll, condcuted by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and finished 12th nationally in the NSCAA rankings.

MLK earned its 14th title in 18 seasons on Sunday by owning Aviation, 2-0, despite playing without both its strikers.

Amara Sesay, who scored 22 goals, was at a tournament with his club team. Kerfala Sylla, who had 21 goals, was sidelined due to an ankle injury suffered in the semifinal victory over Clinton.

So, MLK coach Martin Jacobson decided to move sophomore right back Ibrahim Lakanobo into the attack and the strategy worked out. Lakanobo tallied in the 38th minute before senior Michael Henry added an insurance goal in the 78th minute.

“I knew I had to do something to bring a true striker up there,” Jacobson told MSG Varsity.

“I had to take a chance. We weren’t scoring. I just made a coaching change.”

Needless to say, Jacobson was quite happy with the result and another city title.

“There’s no such thing as a bad championship team,” he told MSG Varsity. “One is not better than the other. A championship team is a championship team and they’re true champions.”

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