Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski says the 2008 Men's College Cup has the potential to be one of the best ever. The four participants -- Maryland, St. John's, North Carolina and Wake Forest -- have all won national titles in the last 12 years. Maryland takes a 14-game winning streak into its game against St. John's (TV: ESPNU, live, 8 pm ET; ESPN2, Saturday, 11 am ET).
The Terps and the Red Storm have battled on five occasions in the NCAA Tournament play. Maryland has won the last three, including the series' last meeting two years ago in the second round.
St. John's came back from two goals to beat Indiana, 3-2, on Saturday in the quarterfinals. It was an effort that convinced Cirovski.
"They have a lot of interchangeable pieces in the attack," he says of St. John's, "and they have great mobility with those players. It's a team that's committed to defending, both individually and collectively - they're a tough team to penetrate. But fortunately, we've played a lot of very good teams this year, and we've had some success, and I feel if we play our game, we'll be able to create some chances for ourselves."
St. John's coach Dr. Dave Masur says the current Maryland teams reminds him of past Maryland teams for its attacking ability.
"Up front, they have terrific goal scorers," he says. "Their two center forwards [Casey] Townsend and [Jason] Herrick are pretty physical, pretty direct for 90 minutes so they are a handful for any back four. They have great flank play which is maybe a little bit different than the past. The wide guys [are] getting a lot of goals. [Jeremy] Hall is getting in and a getting goals. He can score from set pieces, he gets goals if they run a play. They are very dangerous because they are getting good service. They play an up-tempo game; they get after you for 90 minutes. There are a lot of similarities. They may be a touch more athletic in the wide positions than in the past. They are a very good team."
PLAYER, YEAR (G-A-P) CLUB TEAM
1 Zac MacMath, FR. (0.49 GAA) U.S. U-17 residency
6 Rich Costanzo, SR. (0-6-6) FC Delco
4 Omar Gonzalez, JR. (5-1-11) U.S. U-17 residency
20 A.J. Delagarza, SR. (0-1-1) Baltimore Casa Mia Bays
22 Rodney Wallace, SOPH. (3-3-9) Baltimore Casa Mia Bays
17 Jeremy Hall, JR. (14-6-34) U.S. U-17 residency
11 Graham Zusi, SR. (4-5-13) FC America
5 Doug Rodkey, JR. (1-9-11) Match Fit Academy
16 Michael Marchiano, SR. (0-1-1) Baltimore Casa Mia Bays
7 Casey Townsend, FR. (11-4-26) Vardar
9 Jason Herrick, SOPH. (4-4-12) Sockers FC Chicago
8 Matt Kassel, FR. (1-7-9) New York Red Bulls academy
15 Kevin Tangney, SOPH. (0-0-0) FC America
12 Drew Yates, JR. (1-4-6) Baltimore Casa Mia Bays
PLAYER, YEAR (G-A-P) CLUB TEAM
1 Neal Kitson, SR. (0.47 GAA) New York Pancyprian
3 David Reed, JR. (0-0-0) New York Red Bulls academy
6 Joel Gustafsson, JR. (3-1-7) Sweden
2 Ben Clack, JR. (1-0-2) Dallas Comets
5 Connor Lade, FR. (0-3-3) New York Red Bulls academy
7 Sverre Wegge Gundhus, SOPH. (4-5-13) Norway
17 Nelson Becerra, JR. (8-7-23) St. Benedict's Prep
19 Rory Quinn, SR. (0-1-1) PDA
10 Tadeu Terra, SOPH. (3-3-9) Brazil
15 Pablo Punyed, FR. (0-1-1) Miami FC Kendall
11 Ryan Soroka JR. (2-2-6) U.S. U-17 residency
9 Cristian Gonzalez FR. (2-0-4) Miami FC Kendall
20 Tafadzwa Chiduku SOPH. (7-1-15) Zimbabwe
22 Ale Ivo, SOPH. (2-2-6) Dallas Texans
24 Walter Hines, FR. (1-5-7) New York Red Bulls academy