Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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

MOST READ
TAGS:  college men

MOST COMMENTED

[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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent College Soccer Reporter
Michigan State's Stacy puts away a 'banger'    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Junior transfer Jason Stacy had a big week for No. 18 Michigan State ...
Pac-12 battle destined for a tie    
[STANFORD-CALIFORNIA: Men] Zach Batteer's goal in the 76th minute earned No. 5 Stanford a 1-1 tie ...
College soccer on the air    
[2014 SCHEDULE] The Patriot League is in the spotlight on Wednesday when Colgate (11-1-2) faces Boston ...
Bruins move back into first-place tie in Pac-12    
[UCLA-OREGON STATE: Men] No. 15 UCLA moved into a first-place tie with Washington in the Pac-12 ...
Terrapins are on an upward trend    
[INDIANA-MARYLAND: Men] Watch out for Maryland. The Terrapins' first season since leaving the ACC for the ...
Short-handed Bruins knock off No. 1 Huskies    
[UCLA-WASHINGTON: Men] UCLA, which began the season as the No. 1 team in the country, knocked ...
Bruins extend unbeaten streak to 35 games    
[UCLA-CALIFORNIA: Women] No. 1 UCLA blew open a close game with three-second half goals by Darian ...
Soccer alum pledges record $8 million for stadium    
[CONNECTICUT] Tony Rizza, who started 59 games as a defender for the University of Connecticut over ...
Gunn: 'We were dominant in every sense of the game'    
[STANFORD-UCLA: Men] Zach Batteer's goal in the 57th minute gave No. 9 Stanford a 1-1 draw ...
Beavers come away 'a little disappointed' with draw    
[OREGON STATE-WASHINGTON: Men] Freshman Jordan Jones scored on a header in the 73rd minute to give ...
>> College Soccer Reporter Archives