Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto profiles Caleb Porter, the architect of Akron's rise from regional contender to national powerhouse. Porter was the recruiting coordinator for Indiana teams that won NCAA titles in 2003 and 2004 and he says he wouldn't leave for another school unless he believed it could realistically compete for a national championship.
In his fourth season with the Zips, they are 23-0-0 heading into Sunday's third-round game with Stanford. Porter's secret? "We're able to get the cream of the crop," he said. "We have great facilities. We have a school that cares about soccer. In our last game [2-0 victory over South Florida], we drew 2,700 fans - the most of any of [tournament] teams last week. We have a good area in Northeast Ohio in which to recruit, and we can recruit nationally."
Porter's recruiting philosophy? "[I] recruit a lot of guys who do the things I couldn't," he says. "A kid like Darlington Nagbe is so fluid, so smooth, so skillful. He is one of the best players in the country, and he makes it look effortless."