[ELITE EIGHT: #2 Akron]Akron didn't suffer the wholesale losses it did in 2011 when it had seven players from its national championship team taken in the MLS SuperDraft and five in the first eight picks. But the loss of Jamaican Darren Mattocks, who went with the No. 2 pick to Vancouver, leaves the Zips without a proven go-to goal scorer for the first time since Steve Zakuani arrived in 2008.
RETURNEES.Caleb Porter returns nine players who started 10 or more games in 2011. Goalie David Meyes, defender Chad Barson and midfielder Scott Caldwell all started on the 2010 national championship team. Sophomores Bryan Gallegoand DeAndre Yedlin will again start on the backline, while Aodhan Quinn, the son of former U.S. international Brian Quinn, and Wil Trapp are back in midfield.
NEWCOMERS.Former U.S. U-17 Alfred Koroma will be the Zips' great scoring hope. Born in Sierra Leone, he fled with his mother to Gambia and then moved to Fort Worth, Texas, in 2003 and was only 14 when he entered the U.S. U-17 residency program for the first time.He led the USA with two goals at the 2011 Under-17 World Cup. Dillon Serna, Koroma's teammate on the 2011 Under-17 World Cup team, should also contribute in midfield. He spent the 2012 MLS preseason with the Colorado Rapids.
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