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Caldwell's Damian Arguello Scores 100th Career Goal
Against Middleton in the district tournament, the Cougars' offensive star surpassed a major milestone
Published: 10/8/2020 1:07:46 PM
 


Before every game, Damian Arguello’s grandmother tells him exactly how many goals she wants to see the Caldwell senior score.

And during every game, Arguello does his best to deliver.

And on Saturday, Arguello hit the goal of a lifetime, crossing 100 on his four-year career with Caldwell in a district tournament game against Middleton. 

“He makes everything easier,” Chuy Gonzales said of his teammate. “He’s a great teammate. He’ll definitely be remembered.”

Arguello’s journey to 100 didn’t come without effort. In Caldwell's penultimate ending to the regular season, he faced stiffed defense against Columbia, scoring just once to bring his career total to 99. In Caldwell's next game, the Cougars were shut out 4-0 against Vallivue to close out the season. 

“The posts didn’t like me today,” Arguello said after his Senior Night game against Columbia. “(My teammates) tried to get me one.”

The two-time defending state champions look primed for another title run, with just one loss on the season so far. And once the Cougars finish their postseason, Caldwell will say goodbye to one of the program’s most dominant offensive weapons. 

“When he first came in, he was raw with tons of speed, but small.  You could see the potential, but I never expected a career like he has had,” said Caldwell Head Coach Rhys Yeakley. “It has been a strong testament to his work ethic and drive. He was blessed with talent, but he has worked extremely hard to become the player he is now.”

The Cougars should consider themselves lucky to have Arguello on the roster for 2020. In the summer after his sophomore year, Arguello participated in the Portland Timbers Academy with the intention of attending full-time his senior year. But COVID-19 swiftly struck, cancelling the academy. 

“I was disappointed. This is what I wanted this whole time,” Arguello said. “But the next day, I saw Rhys, and he said ‘it looks like you’re going to be a Cougar for one more year. I’m glad I came back for my senior year.”

The academy’s cancellation made way for a historic run in Idaho high school boys soccer. Through three games, all in one week, Arguello scored 10% of his career goals with back-to-back-back hat tricks against Middleton, Emmett and Ridgevue. 

 


 

Part of his recent dominance, Arguello said, can be attributed to the return of Gonzales to the roster. The last time Arguello had his trusted partner by his side during a game was 2018, when the pair were sophomores. Gonzales decided to take off part of the year to go to Mexico, making him academically ineligible to compete for the Cougars his junior year. With the pair reunited for one last ride in 2020, Caldwell possesses the third-highest scoring offense in 4A. 

“Last year, (Arguello) would get into great positions and miss a lot of shots.” Yeakley said. “This year, he is burying those.  He is a complete player, great vision and his passing is as impressive as his goal scoring.  He also has over 50 varsity assists as well.”

Yeakley is no stranger to coaching talented Arguellos. Just two years ago, brother Adrian helped lead Caldwell to its first state championship in school history. And next year, younger brother Fabian could make his Cougar debut as a freshman. 

“My family, they put a ball at our family’s feet right away,” Arguello said. “At three years old, we’re playing. But my grandmother, she laid the foundation.”

Arguello said Josephina competed professionally in Mexico for years, highlighting a lineage of successful soccer athletes. A handful of Arguello’s cousins have passed through the halls of Caldwell high, with many of them hitting the pitch as well. 

“She was a one of a kind player,” Arguello said of his grandmother. “She was a baller.”

Arguello will have limited opportunities to make Josephina and the rest of his family proud while wearing a Cougar uniform. Districts will soon come calling, as Arguello looks to increase his goal total far past 100. With the possibility of another state championship, Yeakley said he hopes his senior superstar can recreate the magic of 2018’s title.

Down two goals in the opening five minutes against Hillcrest, it looked as if the Cougars were doomed to come up short once again. That’s when Arguello took the reigns. 

“We were good before he got here, but he really helped us near the end of his sophomore year.  We had a stacked team and honestly he was not looked at as a major offensive threat for most of the year, but he really turned it on at the end of the season and at the state tournament,” Yeakley said.  

“When we got down 2-0 in the first five minutes to Hillcrest, the seniors I think realized it was a steep hill to climb, but he was so young and full of energy, he willed us back into that game scoring two quick goals to tie the score before we took the lead and won.”

Arguello nailed his first goal with a nifty header. The second, he said, came just moments before the end of the first half. Heading into the locker room with a tied game shifted the momentum of the entire match, leading to a historic win for Caldwell. 

Caldwell enters the District Three tournament with big dreams of a third-straight state title. For Yeakley and Arguello, once the job is done, the pair will have plenty of time to reminisce on what’s been one of the most remarkable careers in Idaho high school boys soccer. 

“The memories of the specific goals will fade, but I will always remember the overall feeling of ease it was as a coach to have him as part of the team,” Yeakley said. “He will be missed more than he knows, and not just because he is a good soccer player, he is an exceptional young man.”

 
 


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