The UA Men's Soccer Insider

Akron Men's Soccer Adds Six More Players For 2012 Season

AKRON, OH - May 9, 2012 - University of Akron head men's soccer coach Caleb Porter announced the addition of six more players for the 2012 season Wednesday, including SMU midfield transfer Robbie Dershang.

Dershang, a 2010 Top Drawer Soccer (TDS) Freshman All-American and two-year starter, was a key contributor on a Mustangs' team that posted an overall record of 29-9-3 over two seasons while advancing to the NCAA Tournament each year, including a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2010.

Prior to his time at SMU, Dershang was an NSCAA High School All-American at Cherry Creek HS and the 35th-ranked recruit in the nation, according to TDS. He was also the 5A Colorado Player of the Year as a senior after scoring 21 goals and adding eight assists and earned all-statehonors twice.

With a host of international experience, Dershang was named to the U.S. National team Pool at the Under-14, Under-15 and Under-17 levels and participated in the U.S. Under-17 residency program in 2008. Dershang will have two years of eligibility remaining at UA.

Joining Dershang at UA next fall will be incoming freshmen midfielder Osas Malkin (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS), defender Phil Fives (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny HS), midfielder Chase Jabbori (Novi, Mich./Novi HS), midfielder Alex Ranalli (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty HS), and defender Brad Ruhaak (Akron, Ohio/Copley HS).

These six new Zips will join UA's initial six-player signing class announced last February that was ranked No. 1 in the country.

Despite losing seven starters from its 2010 NCAA National Championship squad to the Major LeagueSoccer SuperDraft, Akron made another deep run in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Round of 16 for the fourth consecutive year before falling to eventual NCAA runner-up Charlotte. UA will return eight of 11 starters next fall.

2012 Akron Men's Soccer Signees
Robbie Dershang, Englewood, Colo., Cherry Creek, Real Colorado
Phil Fives, Pittsburgh, Pa., North Allegheny HS, Cleveland Internationals
Matt Foldesy, North Olmstead, Ohio, St. Ignatius HS, Cleveland Internationals
Chase Jabbori, Novi, Mich., Novi HS, Vardar Soccer Club
Alfred Koroma, Southlake, Texas, Southlake Carroll, Solar Chelsea
Osas Malkin, Pittsburgh, Pa., Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS, Cleveland Internationals
Omari Morris, Toronto, Ontario, Pickering HS, Toronto FC Academy
Fernando Pina, Houston, Texas, Challenge Early College HS, USSDA Houston Dynamo
Alex Ranalli, Powell, Ohio,Olentangy Liberty HS, Columbus Crew
Brad Ruhaak, Akron, Ohio, Copley HS, Penine Soccer Club
Dillon Serna, Brighton, Colo., Horizon HS, USSDA Colorado Rapids
Andrew Souders, Amherst, Ohio, Amherst Steele, USSDA Crew Academy

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Schmitt Fuels 6-2 Rout of Wright State in Akron Men's Soccer Spring Finale

AKRON, OH - April 28, 2011 - Fueled by a five-goal outburst by forward Thomas Schmitt, The University of Akron men's soccer team cruised to a 6-2 victory over Wright State Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

It was the final spring exhibition match for the Zips, who finished unbeaten with a 4-0-1 record. In all, Schmitt scored three goals in the first half, then found the net twice more after the break to pace the UA attack.

Ironically, the game got off to an inauspicious start for Akron when the Raiders took advantage of a lucky bounce in front of the net to score the game's first goal in just the second minute of play. A WSU free kick from the right flank led to a scramble in the box where Joakim Carlsson collected the ball and quickly fired a shot across the goal, off the left post and into the net.

The lead didn't hold long, however, as Schmitt pulled UA even just four minutes later when he redirected a blocked shot by Aodhan Quinn into the net from seven yards out and then finished off a long pass from Scott Caldwell in the 17th minute. Schmitt completed the hat trick just before the half with another opportunistic strike. With three seconds left before the break, the Wright State keeper punched out a close-range shot by Caldwell and Schmitt buried the rebound to give UA a 3-1 lead.

The Raiders showed some fight in the 56th minute on a beautifully-executed set piece goal. Following an Akron foul on the left flank, Derek Zuniga's cross found the diving head of Findlay Milne to cut the Zips' lead to 3-2. Akron got the goal back in the 67th minute on a penalty kick by Caldwell and Schmitt finished off his huge night with two more goals in a span of two minutes to close out the Raiders.

The Zips, who will return eight of 11 starters next fall, recently announced their 2012 schedule. Season tickets, which include the new reserved bleacher section of FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field, are on sale now! To become an Akron Soccer season ticket holder, visit GoZips.com/tickets of call 1-888-99-AKRON (25766).

Akron Men's Soccer Draws Xavier, 1-1, In Spring Exhibition

CINCINNATI, OH - April 21, 2012 - The University of Akron men's soccer team stayed unbeaten during the spring exhibition season following a 1-1 draw at Xavier Saturday night as part of the inaugural Down Syndrome Awareness Spring Classic.

Both goals came in the early in the match. UA took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute when Aodhan Quinn sent a low, hard cross into the box where Reinaldo Brenes slammed it home on a hard slide. It was the second goal of the spring for Brenes, who will be a junior in the fall.

The Musketeers (3-0-2), who have won the Atlantic 10 Championship in each of the last two seasons, found the equalizer in the 28th minute following a volley in front of the net. XU's Gino Depaoli took a quick pass from Matt Walker and found the back post.

UA (3-0-1) finished the game with nine corner kicks – to Xavier's one – but couldn't capitalize further.

The game served as a fundraiser with all proceeds benefitting "Devin's Team" in conjunction with the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati Annual Buddy Walk. The team is named after XU's head coach Andy Fleming's daughter, who was diagnosed with the condition last May.

The Zips will wrap up their spring exhibition schedule next Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field when Wright State comes to campus for a 7 o'clock kickoff.

Akron Men’s Soccer Releases 2012 Schedule

AKRON, OH - April 18, 2012 - Ten home games, featuring visits from NCAA Tournament qualifiers South Florida and St. John's, a grudge match against Michigan and the first Mid-American Conference contest against West Virginia, highlight the 2012 University of Akron men's soccer fall schedule, head coach Caleb Porter announced Wednesday.

"This is perhaps the most difficult schedule we have ever put together and it's exactly what we need to continue competing for national championships," said Porter, entering his seventh season as the Zips head coach. "Last year, our strength of schedule and RPI hurt us when it came to seeding in the NCAA Tournament, so we felt it was important to step things up, especially with a mature team returning."

In all, the Zips, who will return eight of 11 starters this fall, will face seven opponents who qualified for the NCAA Tournament a year ago, including an early-season road match atCollege Cup participant Creighton. Of those seven, four will make the trip to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field where the Zips have lost just once since 2007 and posted the NCAA's record for longest home unbeaten streak (48 matches).

"The top programs typically view the regular season as preparation for the postseason, not as an opportunity to rack up easy wins," Porter said. "Certainly, this schedule will be extremely challenging in terms of getting results. But we will be battle tested and ready to win games in the NCAA Tournament, which is our No. 1 priority."

Following a pair of preseason games against Saint Louis (Aug. 15) and Wright State (Aug. 17) at home, the 2012 season officially gets underway on Aug. 24 when Atlantic Sun champion Florida Gulf Coast comes to town for the first meeting between the two schools. It will be the second consecutive season the Zips have opened the year at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field after spending the previous three openers on the road.

UA will then take to the road for its next four matches, starting first at the Creighton Tournament in Nebraska. There, UA will face the host Bluejays, who came up short in a penalty kick shootout against eventual NCAA runner-up Charlotte in the 2011 College Cup semifinals, on Aug. 31 in one of several marquee matchups on the Zips' fall slate before taking on SIUE two days later.

The stakes remain high when Akron travels to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Tournament where it will face a pair of elite teams in Indiana (Sept. 7) and the host Fighting Irish (Sept. 9). The Hoosiers are one of three 2012 opponents that advanced to the Round of 16 or beyond last year and one of four that were ranked in the top 20 of the final coaches' poll.

With key early-season RPI implications, The University of Akron Tournament follows the next weekend featuring two opponents – St. John's (Sept. 14) and South Florida (Sept. 16) – that were seeded in last year's championship bracket. The Red Storm was awarded a No. 9 seed after winning the BIG EAST championship year ago while the Bulls, as a No. 7 seed, advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals where they were defeated by Creighton in a 1-0, overtime thriller.

The month of October features a number of interesting match-ups including a pair of home games against budding rival Michigan on Oct. 16 and the first ever MAC contest against the Mountaineers on Oct. 20. The Zips will then kick off a three-game road swing to close out the month with an intrastate showdown at Ohio State on Oct. 23.

Other matches of note in the month include a trip to defending MAC Tournament champion Northern Illinois (Oct. 13) and visits to Penn State (Oct. 10) and Michigan State (Oct. 31).

Akron will put its run of seven-straight MAC regular-season titles – including every season of Caleb Porter's career – on the line when it opens league play at Bowling Green on Sept. 22. The rest of the MAC schedule sees UA face Buffalo (Sept. 30), Florida Atlantic (Oct. 5) and Western Michigan (Nov. 3) at home and Hartwick (Oct. 27) on the road.

In all, the Zips, who will compete in 18 regular-season matches, will play seven games against the MAC – its highest total since 1999 following the addition of new affiliate member WVU – and five versus schools from the Big Ten.

The 2012 MAC Tournament will be hosted by the league's regular-season champion from Nov. 9-11 while the NCAA College Cup, which will take place from Dec. 7-9, will be hosted at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., for the second consecutive year.

Despite losing seven starters from its 2010 NCAA National Championship squad to the Major LeagueSoccer SuperDraft, the Zips made another deep run in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Round of 16 for the fourth consecutive year before falling to eventual NCAA runner-up Charlotte.

Following the season, sophomore striker Darren Mattocks, who finished second in the country with 21 goals as a first-team All-American, was selected with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. Akron will return eight of 11 starters this fall and recently announced the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation last February.

2012 Men's Soccer Fall Schedule
Aug. 15 – Saint Louis (exh.), 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 17 – Wright State (exh.), 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 24 – Florida Gulf Coast, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 31 – at Creighton, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 – vs. SIUE, 1 p.m.
Sept. 7 – vs. Indiana, 5 p.m.
Sept. 9 – at Notre Dame, 2 p.m.
Sept. 14 – St. John's, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 – South Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 – at Bowling Green*, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 – Buffalo*, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 – Florida Atlantic*, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 – at Penn State, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 – at Northern Illinois*, 2 p.m.
Oct. 16 – Michigan, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 – West Virginia*, TBA
Oct. 23 – at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 – at Hartwick*, 3 p.m.
Oct. 31 – at Michigan State, 3 p.m.
Nov. 3 – Western Michigan*, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 9-11 – Mid-American Conference Tournament
Dec. 7-9 – NCAA College Cup

*- Mid-American Conference game
Home contests in bold. All dates and times are subject to change.

Akron Men's Soccer Earns 2-0 Victory Against Cleveland State

AKRON, OH - April 14, 2012 - The University of Akron men's soccer team improved to 3-0 this spring following a 2-0 victory over visiting Cleveland State on a rainy Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

The Zips received first-half goals from DeAndre Yedlin and Thomas Schmitt while limiting the Vikings to just one shot on goal. UA was forced to play the match without starters Bryan Gallego and Wil Trapp, who are currently training with the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team in Oregon.

Akron had a number of chances to score early against Cleveland State but a point-blank shot from Akeil Barrett sailed wide and Eric Stevenson's blast from the top of the box drew a save from CSU goalkeeper Brad Stuver. The Zips' persistance paid off in the 16th minute however when Aodhan Quinn played a ball to Yedlin, who made a run down the right side of the field before firing a shot off the keeper's gloves and into the back post. Akron wasted little time finding the net again – this time in the game's 21st minute – by capitalizing on a Vikings' turnover. Schmitt was there to intercept an errant pass just past midfield and broke away from the pack before firing a low liner across the goal and into the net.

For the match, UA outshot CSU, 6-1, on-goal and owned a 5-1 edge on corner kicks. The Zips' spring season continues next weekend when UA heads to Xavier for a seven o'clock kick off on Apr. 21.

Akron Men's Soccer Defeats Colgate, 2-1, In Exhibition

AKRON, OH - April 7, 2012 - For the second straight night, The University of Akron men's soccer team scored early and held on late in a 2-1 exhibition victory over Colgate Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

Much like Friday night's 2-1 win against Pittsburgh, the Zips dominated possession and wasted little time taking control of the match. UA scored the game's first goal in the 26th minute when Scott Caldwell, who finished with two asists on the night, played a through ball to Reinaldo Brenes in the middle of the box. Brenes, who had slipped behind the Raiders' back four, found the back post from 12 yards out.

The Zips went up 2-0 in the 40th minute when Eric Stevenson stayed hot with his third goal in two nights. Stevenson, who fell just short of recording a hat trick against the Panthers, received a pass from Caldwell on the left flank and chipped the ball past the keeper.

Colgate, which won the Patriot League a year ago before falling to Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, made it 2-1 in the 64th minute on a quick strike from Mike Reidy. But that's as close as the Raiders would get as the Zips grinded out the win.

Akron's best chance to add a third goal came early in the second half when DeAndre Yedlin beat his man down the right side of the field and fired a rocket from the top of the box that glanced off and over the cross bar.

The Zips will continue their spring exhibition season next weekend when Cleveland State comes to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cud Cadet Field for a 7:30 p.m. kick off. The game, as are all of UA's spring exhibition contests, is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Akron Men's Soccer Defeats Pitt 2-1 In Spring Exhibition Opener

AKRON, OH - April 6, 2012 - Fueled by a pair of first-half goals from Eric Stevenson, The University of Akron men's soccer team opened its spring exhibition season with a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh Friday night at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

The Zips dominated possession throughout the contest and put together some beautiful sequences on the attack. In all, UA posted a 9-1 advantage for shots on goal and a 7-0 edge for corner kicks.

UA jumped on top early in the 12th minute. Scott Caldwell initiated the action with a through ball to Reinaldo Brenes, who sent a liner into the box that was punched out by Panthers' goalkeeper Lee Johnson. But Stevenson was there to collect the rebound and slotted the ball into the net.

Pittsburgh pulled even in the 23rd minute following a turnover in the Zips' backfield that left Akron keeper David Meves with little chance to make a stop. But, on the strength of another fine strike by Stevenson, Akron regained the lead in the 32nd minute and never looked back.

This time, Stevenson, who was the recipient of a long pass from midfield, made a brief run down the left side of the field and fired a laser past Johnson from eight yards out. Stevenson, who will be a fourth-year junior next fall, had an opportunity to record a hat trick just before the break after being tackled in the box as time expired, but Johnson snuffed out his subsequent penalty kick.

Akron nearly scored a third goal on a couple of occasions in the second half but were turned away.

The first came in the 62nd mintue when DeAndre Yedlin made a run down the right flank before serving the ball into the box where Caldwell flicked it towards the far post. Once again, Johnson was there to make the stop however with a well-timed dive to his right.

Then, just two minutes later, Caldwell then rang the left post with a blast from the top of the box.

The Zips' spring schedule continues Saturday night when Patriot League champion Colgate comes to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field at 7:30 p.m. The match is free and open to the public.

The Case for Caleb Porter

I had a lot of thoughts come to mind when writing this article to support Caleb Porter. First and foremost, I wanted to tap into the positives of his career and all he has done for the University of Akron and the American game as a whole.

My initial thought was to attack the critical comments made by our colleagues in the soccer media. There were two problems with this. It would bring back a lot of the negativity that surrounded the days following the failure to qualify for the Olympics. And it would also be hard to keep my emotions in check as I try to remain an unbiased source for the story. So I decided to share a few thoughts about Caleb and then hand it over to some people that know him very well: local coaches, former players, student supporters, and even Jurgen Klinsmann. I think this is what Caleb would have wanted.

There are some hard facts that some in the media have chose to forget. First, Caleb Porter is our country's best homegrown coaching prospect. That is why Akron signed him to an unheard of 10 year contract extension to keep him in town. That is also why his name pops up when it comes to MLS coaching vacancies. He is the best and all of us here in NE Ohio know it.

Second, Porter has put the University of Akron on the map. He made UA a soccer school, building a dynasty with one of the country's largest student supporter groups. That's right, Porter has made soccer cool in an area of the country where American football is king.

He has accumulated hardware and awards at a superhuman rate and mentored and groomed his players into future pros. The numbers speak for themselves: a #1 recruiting class for 2012, a national title in 2010, the highest winning percentage among active D-I coaches, a record 7 MLS SuperDraft picks in 2011, 7 regular season MAC championships, 4 MAC tournament titles, 4 consecutive trips to the NCAA's Round of 16, and the list goes on and on. This doesn't even include his time as an assistant at Indiana.

Third, Porter spent three years as an assistant with the U.S. U-18 national team. He gained the necessary experience and earned the right to get his own team. That is the way things go, you spend time as an assistant, you learn and grow, and then you get the promotion. It only makes sense.

So you can see why the criticism against Porter is completely unwarranted and unfair. Pundits chose to make comments without thinking them through and make it seem as if the world was coming to end because we were out of the Olympics. In other words, there was a real rush to judgement.

A handful of analysts, including Soccer America's Paul Gardner, chose to look at the facts and not make any rash decisions. The unfortunate part is that so many more decide to criticize and attack rather than evaluate and investigate. We as members of the media need to realize that we are not on the sidelines or on the pitch and there really is only so much we can say based on what we actually know.

We hope that Klinsmann and Sunil Gulati will give Porter more time and another shot at developing America's next generation of national team stars. It is the right decision at the right time.

Jurgen Klinsmann, Head Coach of the U.S. Men's National Team

Overall, the way Caleb developed the program in these just couple of months was outstanding. He’s done an outstanding job. How he put his thoughts and ideas into these guys. There’s a bright future ahead of him in his coaching career. You saw that tonight [3-3 vs. El Salvador], you saw it against Cuba [6-0 win], you saw it against Mexico [2-0 friendly win], and it’s important for us to see that we’re on the right path in terms of style of play.

Dan Zemanski, Boys Director at Everest Soccer Club (Ravenna, OH)

Knowing Caleb, there was no team better prepared to play than the U.S. He, like the great ones, lives, breathes and dies for this game. He is a perfectionist and is very meticulous in his preparation. He both studies and teaches with passion and great attention to detail. I've seen firsthand his vision of "the beautiful game" and his effective training methods in bringing this game out on the playing field.

I also know this about Caleb. No one is taking this loss harder and no one is more determined to learn from the experience and grow from it. I remember talking with him after his first year at Akron. Akron did not make the NCAA tournament that year, the first time in a long time a team Caleb was associated was not participating in postseason play. He didn't know what to do with himself. He was lost without the game. I'm sure he dedicated himself to learning from the experience and the results speak for themselves.

Anyone who follows this game knows how cruel it can be. In a tournament setting, even more so, when one or two bounces here and there can make all the difference in a team's fate. The U.S. showed in the Mexico game what they are capable of under Caleb Porter. Spain has played great soccer for many years, but it is only until recent times in which they've been getting the results that validates their strong play. Now, to be clear. I am not comparing our play to Spain, but what I am suggesting is that often times it takes many years of unwavering commitment before results can be had. There aren't many coaches out there with the passion, commitment, and hunger to improve the game like Caleb Porter.

Brandon Ferguson, President of the AK-ROWDIES

I thought Coach Porter did a great job getting the team together in a short period of time. Sure there were hangups but you have to believe he did everything he could have done to get the team ready. He can't play for them. They have to do the job on the field. If Johnson had saved the shot at the end everyone would have been praising Porter for getting his troops back into the game.

Andy Hoggrath, Head Men's and Women's Soccer Coach at Thiel College (Greenville, PA)

I was fortunate enough to get to know Caleb this past summer while working the soccer camp at the University of Akron and then taking the opportunity to watch Porter and his staff deliver sessions to the Akron team. I think the negative press Caleb is receiving is out of order and people need to understand that he is one of the upcoming coaches in this country, someone who is trying to play the game the right way.

I think we have seen that the fast, counter-attacking and aggressive style of play has taken the U.S. to a good point in the world game, but now we need coaches who can nurture and develop players into playing the game technically and fluently the way it is meant to be.

In every moment of time I have been fortunate to spend with Coach Porter his thoughts, opinions and ideas about the game and the way it should be coached have been first-class and have helped me immensely even in this short time. Ones of the beauties of soccer is that it is a game where the underdog can win, players make mistakes, and heroes become villains. What we need to remember is at points during this tournament some of the soccer played by the U.S. was first class and that without individual mistakes we were 20 seconds away from seeing Coach Porter being praised for bringing the team back from 2-1 down to winning the game 3-2.

The way in which Coach Porter has successfully gone against the grain in the college soccer game and developed an attractive style of soccer is first class and with the support of those around him can continue to grow into one of our nation's finest coaches.

Matt Dagilis, former defender for the University of Akron

This was a lucrative job in a cuthroat industry. Caleb did as much as a coach can do. He can't go out and play for them.

I think Caleb did a great job. Guys were starting to grasp his philosophies and take a liking to them. He is on to something, how the game of soccer should be played. His system is not something that happens overnight. If it wasn't hard, other teams would be doing it. Caleb can do tremendous things for U.S. soccer.

Spring Games Announced for UA Men's Soccer

AKRON, OH - February 17, 2011 - Four home matches and two contests against NCAA Tournament qualifiers highlight the 2012 University of Akron men’s soccer spring schedule, as announced by head coach Caleb Porter Wednesday.

The Zips will host Patriot League champion Colgate at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field on Apr. 7 and travel to two-time defending Atlantic-10 champion Xavier, which is coming off its best season in school history, in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Apr. 21. UA will also welcome a pair of in-state foes, Cleveland State (Apr. 14) and Wright State (Apr. 28), after opening its spring schedule at home against Pittsburgh (Apr. 6) from the Big East Conference. All spring exhibition contests at UA are open and free to the public.

Akron will host Pitt and Colgate on back-to-back nights with each match starting at 7:30 p.m. during the first weekend of April. With a record of 11-5-6, the Raiders made their sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2011 after winning the Patriot League championship.

Familiar foe Cleveland State comes to town the following weekend for a rematch of last year’s regular-season opener, starting at 7:30 p.m. The Zips set an NCAA record for the longest home unbeaten streak against the Vikings in a convincing 5-0 victory before better than 5,000 fans last fall.

UA’s lone road match follows next as Akron faces off at Xavier in a contest that will serve as a fundraiser for the Greater Cincinnati Down Syndrome Association. The Musketeers made their second trip to the NCAA Tournament last fall with a record of 12-5-4.

The Zips will then close out the spring slate against Wright State, which advanced to the Horizon League Tournament final for the first time in 13 years in 2011.

Despite losing seven starters from its 2010 NCAA National Championship squad to the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, the 2011 University of Akron men’s soccer team defied the odds by capturing their seventh consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season championship and advancing all the way to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

Following the season, sophomore striker Darren Mattocks, who finished second in the country with 21 goals as a first team All-American, was selected with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

The Zips will return eight of 11 starters this season and recently announced the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.

2012 UA Spring Schedule
Fri., Apr. 6 vs. Pittsburgh, FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 7 vs. Colgate, FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 14 vs. Cleveland State, FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 21 at Xavier, Xavier University Soccer Complex, 7 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 28 vs. Wright State, FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field, 7 p.m.

UA Men's Soccer Lands Nation's No. 1-Ranked Recruiting Class

AKRON, OH - February 8, 2011 - University of Akron head men's soccer coach Caleb Porter officially announced the six members of the Zips' 2012 signing class Wednesday.

Included in the group are four of the top 11 recruits in the country, according to Top Drawer Soccer, which ranked the six-member class No. 1 in the nation. The group, which features a wealth of youth national team experience, includes two midfielders, two forwards, one defender and a goalkeeper. Of the six recruits, five are members of their respective youth national teams, including four former members of the U.S. Under-17 team, and one that won a national championship in 2010 as an NSCAA Youth All-American.

Joining the Zips, who lost just two starters from last season's NCAA Round of 16 appearance, will be striker Alfred Koroma (Southlake, Texas/Southlake Carroll), defender Andrew Souders (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele), goalkeeper Fernando Pina (Houston, Texas), midfielder Dillon Serna (Brighton, Colo./Horizon), winger Omari Morris (Toronto, Ontario/Pickering) and midfielder Matt Foldesy (North Olmsted, Ohio/St. Ignatius).

"My staff and I are extremely excited to welcome six very talented young men into the Akron program," Porter said. "Each of them bring a wealth of playing experience domestically and internationally and are also first-class individuals off the field. "Over the past five years, we have been fortunate that many of the top players in the country have chosen Akron and without question, this is one of the finest recruiting classes we have ever assembled. I know their impact will be felt immediately and, with a very strong core group of returning players, we expect to continue competing for national championships in the years to come."

Despite losing seven starters from their 2010 NCAA National Championship squad to the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, the 2011 University of Akron men's soccer team defied the odds by capturing their seventh consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season championship and advancing all the way to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.

Along the way, the Zips, who will return eight of 11 starters in 2012, rewrote the NCAA's all-time record for longest home unbeaten streak, finished among the top 15 teams in the country for both scoring offense and goals against average, and posted the second-highest team grade-point-average in Division I with an exceptional mark of 3.44.

UA Men's Soccer Wins Yet Another Award

Photo Credit: Rudy Roediger/ISNSoccer.comCLEVELAND, OH - February 2, 2012 - The University of Akron was abuzz this week with news of the hiring of former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel. But it was the men's soccer team that claimed yet another award after yet another successful season under the expert tutelage of Caleb Porter.

The team claimed the Collegiate Athlete of the Year award, beating out Cleveland State's Norris Cole and Kent State's Dustin Kilgore at the 2011 Greater Cleveland Sports Awards.

While the program did not win another national title, it did send Darren Mattocks to MLS as the #2 overall pick and several others (Luke Holmes, Matt Dagilis, Michael Balogun) to likely careers in the NASL, USL, and NPSL.

Other winners at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards included Mitch Trubisky (High School Athlete of the Year), Jessica Beard (Amateur Athlete of the Year), Asdrubal Cabrera (Athlete of the Year), Austin Carr (Lifetime Achievement Award), and Brandee Kelly (Courage Award).  

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