[MEN'S PREVIEW: Akron-Indiana] What kind of effect has MLS defections had on college soccer? Akron has had eight players turn pro early in the last three years, including Perry Kitchen, Darren Mattocks, DeAndre Yedlin and Wil Trapp, who would have all been on this year's Zips team if they had remained in college. But the Zips still have plenty of talent as they take on defending national champion Indiana in the marquee match of the first round of the NCAA Men's Tournament.
Akron (16-3-1) vs. Indiana (8-11-2)
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium-Cub Cadet Field
Kickoff: 7 pm ET
Radio: Akron-FOX Sports 1350 AM (WARF); IUHoosiers.com
-- Jared Embick is in his first season at the helm at Akron after taking over for Caleb Porter, who
was named the Portland Timbers head coach. He has not been afraid to juggle the lineup -- replacing highly rated Fernando Pina with unused sophomore Jake Fenlason in goal for the Mid-American Tournament -- or try out players at new positions. The Zips have recently gotten hot, going 9-0-1 in their last 10 games.
They've scored 15 goals in their last six games after scoring just 15 in their first 14 games.
-- The Hoosiers have won eight NCAA titles, the most of any team in this year's tournament,
and return for the 27th consecutive year. But they needed to win the Big Ten earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Their losing record would have otherwise made them ineligible for postseason
NUMBER GAME: 10
Ten players who played for Akron in the previous three years
played in MLS in 2013. Eight players were on Akron's 2010 championship team: Chad Barson, Scott Caldwell, Chris Korb, Darlington Nagbe, Michael Nanchoff, Kofi Sarkodie, Kitchen and Mattocks. Yedlin and Trapp arrived at
Akron in 2011.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH:
A.J. Corrado (Indiana). Projected to go as high as fifth in the
2014 MLS SuperDraft. The The senior midfielder transferred from SMU after his freshman year. His team-high seven assists give him 23 in three seasons.
Brian Gallego (Akron). One of eight Zips named to the Mid-American first-team all-conference team. The junior defender holds the distinction of being the first player whose MLS homegrown rights
were traded (from New York to Porter's Timbers). He a shot to the throat early in the Mid-American semifinal and didn't play the rest of the tournament.
Dylan Mares (Indiana). Started for Louisville when it lost to Akron, 1-0, in the 2010 College Cup final. Transferred to IU after two seasons with
the Cardinals. Scored the golden goal against Michigan in the 2-1 win in the Big Ten quarterfinals.
Aodhan Quinn (Akron). Ninth consecutive Akron
player to be named Mid-American Player of the Year. Son of former U.S. international Brian Quinn is tied for the team lead with six goals. Transferred from
Bradley in 2011.
Colin Webb (Indiana). Lone freshman starter for IU. Named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Tournament and hasn't given up a
goal since the 11th minute of the Big Ten quarterfinals against Michigan.
24 Jake Fenlason SO San Diego, Calif.
15 Louis Cross FR
23 Robbie Derschang SR Englewood, Colo.
4 Bryan Gallego JR Kinnelon, N.J.
3 Saad Abdul-Salaam JR Gahanna, Ohio
6 Adam Najem FR Clifton,
8 Victor Souto FR Brazil
13 Zac Portillos SR Aurora, Colo.
Aodhan Quinn SR San Diego, Calif.
7 Reinaldo Brenes SR Costa Rica
14 Eric Stevenson SR Columbus, Ohio
25 Clint Caso SO Kinnelon, N.J.
16 Phil Fives SO Pittsburgh, Pa.
17 Riley Grant FR Copley, Ohio
Brett Gravatt FR Dunn Loring, Va.
18 Osas Malkin FR Pittsburgh, Pa.
20 Brad Ruhaak FR Akron, Ohio
2 Andrew Souders SO Amherst, Ohio
32 Colin Webb FR San
23 Kerel Bradford JR Chandler, Ariz.
17 Jacob Bushue SR Champaign, Ill.
19 Patrick Doody JR Naperville, Ill.
5 Matt McKain SR Columbus, Ind.
10 A.J. Corrado SR Zionsville, Ind.
8 Nikita Kotlov SR Indianapolis, Ind.
16 Dylan Lax JR Columbus, Ind.
7 Harrison Petts SR Zionsville, Ind.
4 Femi Hollinger-Janzen SO Goshen, Ind.
9 Andrew Oliver SO Indianapolis, Ind.
Dylan Mares JR Zionsville, Ind.
21 Kyle Sparks SO Avon, Ind./Avon
11 Tanner Thompson FR Loomis,
14 Tommy Thompson FR Loomis, Calif.
15 Jamie Vollmer JR Westfield, Ind.