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fknbuflobo last won the day on February 25

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About fknbuflobo

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    Zips Junkie

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    Wales OH (reared in East Akron)
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  1. No surprise here. Sam Harter has wanted to play for Zips for probably ever. He has attended Zips matches since he was very young. Welcome, Sam.
  2. https://www.cleveland.com/sports/2020/08/money-games-going-away-time-for-the-mid-american-conference-to-face-reality-about-football-budgets-terry-pluto.html
  3. Joao Moutinho will undoubtedly be on MLS Team Of Week! He then blasted his PK in as well!
  4. @zipsmsoc CF Nagbe, Mattocks, Holthusen, Egbo Consider it a miscarriage of justice that Darlington Nagbe and Darren Mattocks cannot both be on this Team Of The Decade. Darlington Nagbe is on the short list for the best Akron Zips MSOC player ever. I state that without hesitation; I doubt any of you would disagree. He is up there with Pete Milich, George and Louie, Simon Spelling, etc. DNag is among the very best. The only player in the last twenty years comparable to Darlington Nabge is perhaps Steve Zakuani. It was apparent even as early as 2008, his freshman year, that Darlington was best suited to play in Midfield, what we here are calling the CAM role. To a certain extent, my initial assessment has proven out in the MLS. Nagbe is not a natural scorer; it is not his first instinct, though he has scored his share. His natural instincts are to possess the ball, to dictate tempo, and to distribute. DNag is one of the best ever at these three aspects, as exhibited routinely in the MLS. A fading Zips memory worth reliving is the 2008 NCAA Tournament match hosting Ohio State. The match had been scheduled for Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. But the match was postponed due to a heavy, wet snow storm. The match was played the afternoon of the next day, and venue was changed to St. V/St. M field because Lee Jackson was considered unplayable. Most reading this remember that match vividly. One of the understated happenings on a legendary day was the play of Darlington Nagbe. He controlled the match. He dropped back from the front line and controlled the ball, dictated tempo, and steadied the Zips to victory. It was that day that I was certain that Nagbe would play at the next level. No bout adout it! It is in the very best interest of USMNT that Darlington Nagbe and Coach Gregg Berhalter find a way to include DNag on the squad. This bears mentioning: Most of the players in this competition seem to be decent folk. Akron MSOC tends to recruit according to citizenship in addition to athletics. We can all be proud that our program sets standards way above the minimum requirements. Having said all that… Darlington Nagbe is a truly exemplary human. This is by all accounts of everyone everywhere. He has won the MLS sportsmanship award multiple times. I have never seen him argue with an official on any level (including high school), even when it has seemed he should. I recently heard on an MLS broadcast that DNag has been shown yellow card nine times in ten seasons. Darren Mattocks is the most instinctive goal scorer I have ever witnessed at the collegiate level. Mattocks would rather score goals than eat. When asked about the late recruit from Jamaica in August 2010, Coach Caleb Porter grinned and quipped “He is simply electric. You’re going to love him.” Porter’s summation rang true, and Darren Mattocks quickly became the sharpened spearhead of the Zips’ already potent attack. Replacing 2009 Hermann Trophy Winner Teal Bunbury was no mean feat, but Mattocks did that and more. Mattocks greedily and desperately pursued scoring, as if his very life depending upon putting that ball in that net. And the variety of scoring methods ran the entire gamut. There were left-footed chip shots, right-footed instep drives, diving headers, full-volleys, half-volleys, attempted bicycles and even an unusual chesting the ball over the line. There is no such thing as a “Darren Mattocks type” score; ALL scores are Darren Mattocks type scores. It was not just his agility and blazing speed that overwhelmed defenses, it was also Mattocks’ ruthlessness that made him so dangerous. Darren Mattocks logged 87 points in 2010-2011! He scored 21 goals in 22 games in 2011! Directly competing with Nagbe is the ONLY way Mattocks is shamefully left off this Team Of The Decade. Stuart Holthusen is likely pound for pound the toughest player in Akron Zips MSOC program history. He is listed on 2017 roster as 6’1” and 150#. I dispute that weight. I say he has never been 150# standing in the pouring rain. Many opponents have underestimated Stu based on physical appearance. They would try to rough him up a bit, tackle him hard. What these opponents did not understand is that Stuart is a fighter, even a bit nasty. He would get his licks in. Have you ever heard the description of wiry? Holthusen is a Forward through and through, always looking for an opportunity. Perhaps Stuart’s slight build did not match his courage, and that is why he was occasionally hampered by injury. Even so, he recorded a stellar 76 points 2014-2017. Some of these goals and assists were truly memorable. The dramatic, match-winning OT goal in the 2017 NCAA Tournament versus Wisconsin is the one that sticks with me most. FINAL ANALYSIS: Darlington Nagbe is the consensus pick here. But Darren Mattocks also belongs on this Team Of The Decade.
  5. @zipsmsoc RW Lewis, Serna, Biros, Portillos To reiterate, I object to fielding a 4-3-3, as this formation has not often been employed during the previous decade. Also, this grouping is notably the weakest in this competition. It was obvious to anyone watching Zips practice in August 2016 that Jonathan Lewis was a player, the real deal. He was not widely announced as a recruit, so only the inner circle of Embick’s coaching staff even knew JLew was coming. Immediately evident was his athletic first step. Such a burst! And JLew was tough. Ben Lundt was sporting a black eye that day. I inquired as to how he got it. Ben pointed at JLew. Nicholas Hinds, JLew’s fellow Plantation native, interjected that both Ben and Jonathan were going for a 50/50 ball in a short-sided drill. Take note that Ben Lundt is a entire foot taller than Jonathan Lewis. I asked Ben if it was a righteous play. Ben nodded yes, saying “I got the ball, but he got me.” Lewis only scored twice in 2016 but he had 12 assists, all from the right flank. He regularly gave wing defenders the Linda Ronstadt treatment: Blue Bayou. He flashed raw athleticism and brilliance every time he entered a match. He probably should have scored 10 additional goals, but his actual shooting was awful. Atrocious is more like it; even laughable at times. As a professional, JLew’s shooting has markedly improved, especially recently. See MLS website. Jonathan Lewis has been called up to USMNT for several caps. That trend should continue in the near term. How is Reinaldo Brenes not even mentioned in this entire competition?! At least Brenes actually played Forward most of the time, unlike Colin Biros. Reinaldo Brenes registered 49 points from 2010-3013. Not too shabby! Brenes understands the game very well and has the requisite skills to execute. Last I heard he was still in the talent pool for Costa Rica Mens’ National Team. Lest we all forget Reinaldo Brenes, here are some his accolades: Hermann Trophy Watch List (2013) Senior CLASS Award Watch List (2013) NSCAA All-America (Third Team, 2013) 2x CoSIDA Academic All-America (Third Team, 2013; First Team,2012) NSCAA Academic All-America (First Team, 2013) All-Great Lakes Region (First Team, 2013) 2x All-MAC (First Team: 2012, 2013) Dillon Serna showed tremendous potential during his only year playing for Zips in 2012. As he does now in the MLS, Serna exhibited a penchant for combination playmaking in the offensive third. But he was frequently beset with nagging injuries, limiting his effectiveness and participation. Even so, Serna contributed 2 goals and 8 assists during his checkered freshman year. Dillon was conspicuously diminished in the 2012 NCAA Tournament Quarterfinal vs. Creighton. Many suspect this was due to recurring injury. The offensive flair of a match-fit Serna may have helped the Zips prevail over visiting Creighton in that bitterly memorable contest. FINAL ANALYSIS: Reinaldo Brenes undoubtedly contributed more to the program over four years, but Jonathan Lewis was absolutely stunning in 2016. My pick here is JLew, just as the voters have chosen. I would much rather have Darren Mattocks 2010-2011 in my lineup than any of the four candidates listed above, irrespective of formation or system or years played. No disrespect intended to anyone.
  6. @zipsmsoc LW Zajac, Gainford, Nanchoff, Stevenson Here again, I object to fielding a 4-3-3, as this formation has not often been employed during the previous decade. Marcel Zajac is another product of Sigma FC in Toronto. What an excellent youth program they have up there! Upon first watching Zajac practice in 2016, it was readily apparent that he was all about scoring goals. His overall focus is on finishing, which is a difficult instinct for a player to acquire from a coach. Some have it; some do not. It is very tough to instill this into a youngster, and it is nearly impossible to introduce this at the collegiate level. Marcel is a willing passer, but he will first look to score. He uses either foot well enough, but his calling card has always been his thunderous left-footed shot. This guy can really put the laces through the ball! In the 2018 postseason, Zajac enjoyed perhaps the most statistically prolific NCAA tournament in Akron Zips’ history. In eight postseason matches, Marcel Zajac scored 8 goals and provided 2 assists for 18 points. Every one of these points occurred at critical junctures in the respective matches. It was magical! Marcel garnered multiple awards and accolades along the way; these are listed on the official website. I believe Marcel Zajac deserved to be All American in 2018, and that he was hampered in that regard by early season injury. Few Akron Zips past or present are as beloved as Sam Gainford. From 2014-2017 Sam routinely made opposing players, many with more athletic ability than him, look rather silly. It mattered not if the opposition was bigger, or stronger, or faster. Sam found a way to best them. Savvy! He is fluent and versatile with either foot. He would overpower faster players that were smaller than he. He would frustrate players stronger than he by patiently retaining the ball and inviting the foul. And the opposition was in for a very long night should Sam Gainford ever find out he was faster than the guy defending him. Good Lord! Gainford’s trademark is his exquisite ball skills, no doubt acquired in the Liverpool FC youth academy. Sam would analyze the opposition accurately and quickly. While his counterpart would be thinking that maybe he should guard #7 tighter, Sam would have already figured out how to skin the poor guy. Every year Sam would employ the same move. Probably still does it now. He slowly drags the ball to his left with his right foot, and then quickly cuts back with the outside of his right foot. Inexplicably, MAC defenders just could not catch on to what he was doing. I guess Sam sold it so well. Sam Gainford showed up in 2013 but redshirted his freshman year. And he has never really left Akron, as he is currently a member of the coaching staff. Sammy, You’ll Never Walk Alone! ZipsNation is with you! Did Michael Nanchoff ever really play Left Wing during 2010, his only year in the previous decade? The name Nanchoff is tantamount to Akron Zips MSOC royalty. So, if this is all about fitting Mikey on this Team Of The Decade, well, I get it. I am very familiar with this player (if not the person). I have watched him since he was a freshman in high school. I even coached against him a time or two, much to my chagrin. But I doubt Michael would consider himself a Left Wing; not before, during, or after his time at Akron. I suppose we can ask him, as he is currently the Assistant Coach on Jared Embick’s staff. I would describe Mikey as an offensive minded Midfielder. Michael can offer only 2010 as justification for election. But what a brilliant year 2010 was, of course, culminating in a national championship. I am not going to list all the numerous accolades earned by Nanchoff in 2010. The most telling one was election to College Cup All-Tournament Team. It is the proverbial sour grapes in noting that had Michael Nanchoff not been injured in the 2009 post season leading up to the 2009 College Cup, Zips very well may have prevailed over Virginia. Also, I would be remiss in failing to mention that Michael Nanchoff is arguably the best taker of free kicks in Akron Zips MSOC history. FINAL ANALYSIS: I am not going to complain much about the election of Michael Nanchoff to this squad. All hail the champions! But Sam Gainford contributed more to the program over his 4 (5) years than Nanchoff did in one year. Moreover, Zajac in 2018 logged an absolutely legendary post season, even though it ultimately resulted in second best. My pick is Marcel Zajac. In all candor, I would rather have Darren Mattocks 2010-2011 in my lineup than any of the four candidates listed above, irrespective of formation or system or years played. No disrespect intended to anyone.
  7. ... And Georgetown, Creighton, St. Joseph, Cleveland State etc. The list of schools fielding sports programs excepting Football is not a small one. It is not a novel idea. These are indeed desperate times.
  8. ACC is perhaps the best NCAA D1 MSOC league, year in and year out. But Big10 is right in our backyard. And the Big10 is probably the second best NCAA D1 MSOC league, year in and year out.
  9. Niko BLASTED that PK, right in the teeth of Louisville student section! Great memory!
  10. @zipsmsoc Now the Forwards. The most significant travesty in this polling competition is that the formation and structure has prevented Darlington Nagbe and Darren Mattocks from coexisting on this team. In 2010, these two comprised what is possibly the most feared Forward tandem in NCAA history, arguably in Akron Zips history. (Did Matt English and J.B. Amangoua play together in 1982? Hmm. Maybe George and Louie in 1976? I digress.) Nagbe and Mattocks, two very different players who complemented each other extremely well. Nagbe looked to possess and to develop. Mattocks looked to score and to score. By the way, these players retain these characteristics today in MLS. Take all twelve of the Forwards listed here as contenders, all LW, RW and CF, and throw them all in a pile. Never mind that neither Nanchoff nor Biros play(ed) Wing. Throw in Reinaldo Brenes, All-American Forward in 2013, who is inexplicably left out of this contention. Lump all these “Forwards” together. Nagbe is the first pick, and Mattocks is the second, regardless of formation. This competition should have been a 4-4-2. I have added a statistical table for all our "Forwards". Darren Mattocks registered 87 points in two seasons!
  11. @zipsmsoc GK Lundt, Fenlason, Meves Akron Zips historically have been blessed with exceptional goalkeeping. Until someone unseats him, the standard remains Evan Bush, the best Zips GK I have witnessed. Some have been better than others, but very few Zips GKs have been poor. (The sub-standard GKs shall remain nameless.) This past decade followed the excellent trend set the previous five decades. Each player listed above can play on my team any day. Each went to at least one College Cup. Goalkeeper is an often overlooked, and always underappreciated, position. GKs get little of the credit and much of the blame. Though possibly more relatable to older, American centric, sports fans, given the use of hands, GKs are inscrutable to most soccer players. Why would anyone ever want to play GK? Get shot at all day, and the best thing you can do is take the hit! No, thanks. God knows I don’t understand it. But remember this: There is no such thing as a good soccer team with a bad Goalkeeper. It just does not occur. Ben Lundt looks like an NFL Tight End. He is not one of these guys with abnormally long legs, arms and neck. He is proportioned like the average human. He just happens to be six and a half feet tall. Ben is a really big guy. As such, he makes a significant obstacle to would be scorers. Lundt’s size is immediately obvious when seeing him for the first time. Only after watching Ben for a while does one start to appreciate just how agile he is for one so large. He routinely goes full extension to block incoming balls. He snags opposing Corner Kicks out of the sky, way above the height of a basketball rim. And he controls the ball well with his feet. As an aside, one of the most apparent evolutions in soccer over this last decade has been the increasing participation of goalkeepers as passing options in the normal flow of matches. Compare how often passes went back to David Meves with how many passes went back to Ben Lundt. Ben is good with the ball at his feet, certainly for a big guy. Lundt’s primary weakness is his lapsing concentration. Ben struggles to remain engaged in some matches, saving his best moments for the biggest games and the highest profile opponents. In the 2018 College Cup, Ben Lundt made 11 combined saves vs. Michigan State and Maryland, for which he was named Defensive Most Valuable Player. As the 2017 Louisville Cardinals can attest, Ben Lundt is uncanny when it comes to blocking Penalty Kicks. Unlike these other two contenders Ben has a very strong Goal Kick. Jake Fenlason redshirted his freshman year of 2011, did not log a single minute in 2012, and he did not start his first game for Zips until the 2013 MAC Tourrnament vs. West Virginia. A few weeks later, in NCAA Tournament match vs. Indiana, Jake recorded 7 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Hoosiers. The next week he recorded a whopping 9 saves in an NCAA Tournament 0-1 loss at Marquette. After that, Zips coaches knew they had their GK for the next few years. Fenlason started every Zips match 2014-2015. Fenlason registered 105 saves in 2015. Wow! Ten of those came in the 2OT NCAA Tournament victory over Creighton, sending Zips to the College Cup. Jake Fenlason will always be remembered for his excellent reaction saves and his general toughness. A real fighter. First-Team All-MAC (2014) Second-Team All-MAC (2015) Academic All-MAC (2014, 2015) MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete (2014, 2015) David Meves held down the fort for some of the most dominant teams ever to play NCAA MSOC. Some matches he did not do too much. Because he didn’t have to. But Meves could come up with a big play now and then when called upon. David Meves finished his career as the NCAA's all-time leader for shutouts (54) and minutes played (8,608). He lost six matches his entire Akron career. Six matches. NSCAA All-America Second Team (2012) CoSIDA Academic All-American team (2010-2012) FINAL ANALYSIS: Ben Lundt is the pick of the polling voters for the All Decade Team, and I must agree. All three of these Goalkeepers are worthy.
  12. @zipsmsoc CAM Najem, Caldwell, Ampaipitakwong, Hackworth This is the most stacked foursome in this entire competition. I reiterate that Caldwell really should be in CM and Quinn should probably be CAM. Positional definitions would have been a good idea. Swap Caldwell and Quinn, …and this would still be the most impressive grouping from top to bottom. It makes little difference because (I can’t believe I’m saying this) neither Caldwell nor Quinn would have won their respective position slots anyway, regardless of how this gets reorganized. That is also why this poll should have been 4-4-2 formation, so that more Midfielders could get in. And this brings me to a broader, topical assertion once made by a recognizable writer employed by a well-known online soccer publication. (I will not attribute the quote without permission.) He muttered under his breath, “At Akron, EVERYBODY plays Midfield.” Think about it. What does that mean? I am grateful to @zipsmsoc for motivating me to review the statistical record of these contenders. That goes for all these groupings, but it especially applies to this one. Even though he won the poll, the consistency and excellence of Adam Najem remains underappreciated in the annuals of Zips’ Men’s Soccer. During 2013-2016, Najem averaged 24.75 points per season, and 2.75 game-winning goals per season. (11 game-winners total.) That is very good production for your Centre Forward, never mind your playmaking Midfielder. Soccer is not the most statistical sport, but these numbers show remarkably steady output. Moreover, watching Adam practice and play would render the same conclusions as do the stats. If only we had those fancy EPL stats like Passing Accuracy, and Percentage Balls Received, and 50/50 Balls Won. Adam Najem would score high in all these newfangled statistical categories. I vividly remember the perfectly weighted 40 yard through ball, on the floor, to streaking Reinaldo Brenes for the score. See 0:38 in this clip. This was vs. Indiana in the 2013 NCAA Tournament; Adam was a freshman. I am not going to mention the NCAA Tournament FK game-winner vs. Creighton in 2015, because I am fairly confident someone will add that. Hint. Second-Team NSCAA All-American (2015) Third-Team NSCAA All-American (2016) First-Team NSCAA Academic All-American (2015, 2016) CoSIDA Third-Team Academic All-American (2016) College Soccer News All-Freshman (First Team, 2013) Top Drawer Soccer All-Freshman (Second Team, 2013) College Soccer News Preseason All-American (2015) First-Team All-MAC (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) MAC Player of the Year (2016) MAC All-Tournament Team (2014, 2016) NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Great Lakes Regional First Team (2014, 2015, 2016) First-Team All-Ohio (2014, 2015, 2016) Academic All-MAC (2014, 2015, 2016) MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete (2014, 2015, 2016) Scott Caldwell has always been a running and passing machine. He still is that for The New England Revolution. Now most, if not all, soccer players are fit. They can all run. I used to tell my players that conditioning must taken for granted to really enjoy playing the sport. It should be an afterthought. But Scott Caldwell takes running to another level. I am not talking about training methods, though I imagine Scott logs significant training mileage. Scott runs like a Cross Country runner - during the match. He even has that Runner’s Gait. I have read that the average soccer player runs about 7.5 miles in the course of the average soccer match. Supposing that to be true, Caldwell is averaging 10 plus miles per match. I wish we could see a heat map of the ground he covers in a typical game. I recently saw an MLS table of players with most pressures on the ball. Predictably, most on this list are young Midfielders. Yeah, along with 8 year veteran Scott Caldwell. And he does not usually look especially tired. He just keeps plugging along. Caldwell is by no means slow, but MLS has plenty of players speedier than Scott. But he seemingly has the attitude of “see me in an hour, pal. I’ll still be at this speed, but you’ll be exhausted.” None reading this will ever forget Scott Caldwell scoring the lone goal in the 2010 title match vs. Louisville, making Zips National Champions. For that, Scotty should never be permitted to buy his own beer in Summit County. Scott’s father, Larry (great guy), played professional soccer in the NASL with the Hartford Bicentennials. Scott Caldwell’s accolades are way too many to list en total, but here are a few. NSCAA All-America First Team (2012) NSCAA All-American Scholar Player of the Year (2012) Hermann Trophy semifinalist (2012) Mid-American Conference Player of the Year (2012) Soccer America MVP First Team honoree (2012) Top Drawer Soccer's (TDS) Team of the Season First Team named team captain for the second consecutive season ... finalists for the Senior CLASS Award CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team (2011-2012) All-MAC First Team Academic All-MAC NSCAA All-America Third Team honoree (2011) Academic All-America First Team (2011) I would be remiss in failing to mention that Anthony Ampaipitakwong is the coolest person ever associated with Zips Men’s Soccer. (Apologies to DeAndre Yedlin.) If you aren’t already, follow AA on social media. Dude is living a life. Maybe he did not quite make the Akron Zips All Decade Team, but if we are going to a dinner party, I want seated at Ampai's table. Oh, yeah. FINAL ANALYSIS: Scott Caldwell is the sentimental favorite here, and he certainly has enjoyed a fruitful professional career. Zips MSOC are forever indebted to Scotty, in so many ways. But voters in this poll actually got it right. Adam Najem’s production wins out in the end. Hopefully, Adam’s professional career will take off soon. USL is fine, but ZipsNation think Adam can eventually give MLS a go.
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