By Bob Narang

Prep Sports Report –

A day before one of the biggest regular season games of his career, Bloom senior forward Christian Munoz wanted some extra practice on his penalty kicks.

He found the ideal partner — his father, Hector.

“I started playing (soccer) in my grandmother’s backyard when I was young,” Munoz said. “I fell in love with the game.

“My dad has always been there with me and my mom. They come to all my games and push me when I don’t play well.

“They tell me what I did wrong and I improve on it. I play with my dad a lot. He’s a goalie, so he tells me the psychology of goalies, which has helped me a lot.”

For most of his career, Munoz has been an unstoppable force on the pitch. He showed just that by scoring two goals during Bloom’s 3-0 win over Joliet West on Championship Sunday at the 19th Annual Showdown Series presented by PepsiCo last month.

Three days later, Munoz added another chapter to his historic career by scoring three goals against Lincoln-Way East to raise his career total to 100 goals.

On Tuesday, the senior tied the program’s all-time record – set by Alonso Flores in 2008 – with his 122nd-career goal against Crete-Monee. And how fitting that Munoz will most likely set a new mark on Senior Night Wednesday evening at home against Kankakee.

“I always wanted to break the record,” said Munoz, who entered Senior Night with 47 goals in 20 games for Bloom (16-3-1) and now ranks in the Top 20 for all-time scorers in IHSA history. “I worked hard before I came to Bloom, starting with my conditioning in seventh grade. When I came to Bloom, I was ready.”

Bloom coach Zack Radtke, who played high school soccer for Andrew, said Munoz is a rare program-changing player with his scoring and leadership skills.

“Christian is an absolute force up top,” Radtke said. “He’s a player who could potentially play anywhere on the field if we needed him to. He has an incredible knack for the goal and meant so much to our program.”

Munoz said he remains uncommitted on his college choice, but he’s excited for the final weeks of his illustrious high school career and future in the sport.

“The sky is the limit with him,” Radtke said. “Christian is extremely coachable, tough and has the ability to hold the ball on his feet with control and with the vision to distribute. He can do anything a coach wants him to do.”

Bio on reporter: Bob Narang has been covering prep recruiting and sports for the past 26 years. His work also appears in the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and the DeKalb Daily Chronicle.