INTERVIEW: Harvard's Andre Akpan

SOCCER AMERICA talks with Harvard's Andre Akpan, one of the most exciting players in college soccer. The lone sophomore on last year's Soccer America MVP first team, Akpan is considered one of the top pro prospects in the college game, but the former U.S. U-20 has resisted the temptation to leave Harvard early and turn pro.

ANDRE AKPAN:
College:
Harvard
Class: Junior
Position: Forward
Hometown: Grand Prairie, Texas
High School: The Oakridge School
Youth Club: Dallas Texans
Major: Economics

Why your team will win the College Cup?
If we get there it will be because we have a diverse attack. We have great options going forward. We also have a good defense and good camaraderie.

Biggest area of improvement needed to win College Cup?
We need to work on getting better on set pieces.

Greatest asset as a player?
I consider myself a playmaker. I'm a goal scorer. I'm a player that the attack runs through.

Biggest weakness as a player?
Consistency. This is something you can always do better.

Best advice you received when you entered college?
Enjoy it!

Advice you gave your freshmen about Coach Clark?
Relish the chance you have. It goes by quickly. Don't think that you always have a few more years. Go after it when the chance is there.

Pregame ritual?
Personally, not really. As a team, we get together in a huddle and get pumped up. We go over what we're going to do in the game.

Postgame ritual?
I like to cool down. I take off the boots and relax. If we lose, I pout for a bit and am angry about it.

Favorite hangout when you're back home?
The mall and the movies.

Favorite hangout on campus or in town?
I hang out with my final club, the Phoenix. It's kind of like a fraternity, but a little different.

Fondest memories-playing high school or youth soccer?
Winning the Dallas Cup Super Group my senior year with the Texans.

How do you like your soccer-watching on TV or playing video games?
I like watching on TV, definitely.

MLS or abroad-where do you want to play?
Both! I want to do both.

18 or 21-what should the drinking age be?
18. If you can go to war at 18, you can do just about anything else.

Obama or McCain-whom do you support?
Obama.


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