Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Zips ahead of last year
by Paul Kennedy, August 25th, 2010 4:40PM

TAGS:  college men


[AKRON MEN] Akron's opponents should watch out. Coach Caleb Porter says the Zips are probably ahead of where they were at the same time last season -- and they went on to have one of the most dominating seasons in men's college soccer history.

Akron matched an NCAA record with 23 consecutive wins last season en route to advancing to the Men's College Cup, where it did not give up a goal but didn't score either.

The Mid-American champions, who led the nation in both goals scored and goals against average, beat North Carolina in a shootout in the semifinals but fell to Virginia in the final on penalty kicks.

The Zips, No. 1 in the Soccer America Preseason Top 25, lost three players who are now starting in MLS -- Soccer America Men's Player of the Year Teal Bunbury, Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski -- but they have everyone else back and welcome a deep recruiting class.

Also back, most importantly, is Porter, who flirted with the possibility of taking an MLS coaching job with D.C. United.

Porter signed a new five-year contract that will keep him on campus through the 2014 season, and Akron announced plans to upgrade Lee Jackson Field, the Zips' home for many years.

Interest is high in Akron, where more than 700 season tickets have been sold for the 2010 season.

The Zips will be led by senior midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong, a member of the 2009 Soccer America MVPs first team, and junior forward Darlington Nagbe and junior defender Kofi Sarkodie, both second-team selections.

Sophomore defender Zarek Valentin started for the U.S. under-20 national team when it won the Milk Cup in July.

For the last four years, no one has come close to matching the recruiting job Porter has done at Akron.

This year's class includes freshmen Perry Kitchen, who captained the USA in its opening game at the 2009 Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria and also started on the U.S. U-20 Milk Cup team. Costa Rican midfielder under-17 Reinaldo Brenes and midfielder Martin Ontiveros played together at the IMG Soccer Academy.

Another former U.S. U-17 is defender Michael Balogun, who has transferred from Cal State Fullerton.

The Zips' attack was bolstered with the addition over the summer of a pair of Jamaican forwards Darren Mattocks and Jimmy Tullock.

As pre-season training began, Porter liked how the Zips looked.

"We return a lot of guys with experience from last year so it's a refresher for them – getting them dialed back in with our style and philosophy and putting the pieces back together," he said. "The new guys are learning on the fly because of the short window we have to get ready for the season. But I like the energy and I would say we're probably ahead of even where we were last season at this point in some ways and in other ways a little behind."

Tour the new Lee Jackson Field:

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent College Soccer Reporter
Iowa Central takes first NJCAA DI women's championship    
Iowa Central defeated previously beaten and untied Eastern Florida State, 1-0, in rain-drenched for the NJCAA ...
Blackmore's 34th goal gives Louisburg NJCAA men's title    
English freshman Max Blackmore scored his 34th goal of the season, redirecting a cross from classmate ...
CIS: York repeats as national champion    
York University won Canada's CIS men's national championship for the second year in a row with ...
CCAA: Nine-man Humber claims fifth championship    
Humber, which lost two players to red cards in the first 30 minutes, beat Capilano, 5-3, ...
Texas A&M sends North Carolina packing early    
Texas A&M sent 21-time NCAA champion North Carolina home before the Sweet Sixteen for the first ...
Schedule: NCAA Division I Women's Tournament    
The second round of the NCAA Tournament kicks off on Thursday at Stanford, where the No. ...
Final Soccer America Men's Top 25    
Georgetown is No. 1 in the final Soccer America Men's Top 25 rankings of the regular ...
North Florida and Utah Valley earn first NCAA men's bids    
North Florida (10-6-1) and Utah Valley (14-5-2) are making their first appearance in the NCAA Division ...
Draw: NCAA Division I Men's Tournament    
Wake Forest, the ACC regular-season champion, is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I ...
Brookdale makes history with NJCAA women's three-peat    
Brookdale won its third consecutive NJCAA Division III women's national title with a 1-0 victory over ...
>> College Soccer Reporter Archives