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fknbuflobo last won the day on February 25

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About fknbuflobo

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  1. Niko BLASTED that PK, right in the teeth of Louisville student section! Great memory!
  2. @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!
  3. @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.
  4. @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.
  5. @zipsmsoc CM Laryea, Quinn, Cordeiro, Harter Here is where I will take issue in how players are divided into positions. I would consider Scott Caldwell a two-way CM, box-to-box, as they say. Why is he not listed here? Adam Najem also seemed like a box-to-box #8 to me. Aodhan Quinn seemed more of a CAM to me, focusing mostly on facilitating Offense. Meh. And Formation. Did we really play 4-3-3 very often during the last decade? We fooled around with it occasionally, especially in Spring. Seems to me that we most frequently played 4-2-3-1, with 4-4-2 being the second most frequently used formation. If any of you see Formation differently, please say so. Those who watch matches with me know that I call out Formation in the first 10 seconds of every half. For the sake of this poll, I think 4-4-2 should have been the formation. But I will play along with 4-3-3 best I can. Richmond Laryea arrived in the Spring of 2014, both smooth and ambitious, like Jazz. Point of fact, he happens to be more of a Hip-Hop kind of guy (Drake), but the Jazz comparison seems appropriate. The first time I witnessed him play in person was during a Spring match in (wait for it) Richmond VA vs. VCU. So, I refer to him by his birth name of Richmond, though I suspect he prefers being called Richie. Laryea receives the ball in traffic deftly and economically. Excellent first touch! He holds the ball, keeping possession, turning away from pressure, evading defenders. He is very difficult to dispossess, reminding Zips fans of another on this list. No such statistics are kept in the MAC, but I would wager that during 2014-2015 Richie Laryea was fouled twice as often as anyone else in the MAC. I too would have fouled him rather than just let him glide past me with the ball. That also explains the high number of yellow cards. Richie quickly tired of the constant kicking and tripping. Remember the 20-yard volley in Spring of 2015. Was that vs. Charleston? Remember how Laryea almost single-handedly dismantled Maryland at Ludwig Field in 2015? 2G, 1A! How sweet was that? He appeared to never be running very fast, but he would routinely pull away from good players. Richie would just sort of skate on through with possession. Who can forget Adam Najem’s 2OT match winning Free Kick goal in 2015 NCAA Quarter Finals vs. Creighton? Ask Blue-Jay fans who they remember most from that night. Here it is: Laryea brought down in box-Souto converts PK. Laryea assists Holthusen’s goal. Laryea tripped at the D-Najem converts FK. Ball Game. Richie was a key substitute for Toronto FC as they challenged for the MLS title in 2019. He frequently represents Canadian Men’s National team in international competitions. Richie Laryea’s list of accolades as a Zip do not do him justice. Third Team? Really? Third-Team NSCAA All-American (2015) First-Team NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region (2015) No. 7 Overall selection by Orlando City in 2016 MLS SuperDraft. First-Team All-MAC (2015) Second-Team All-MAC (2014) First-Team All-Ohio (2015) Aodhan Quinn is the son of long-time professional player Brian Quinn, who earned 48 caps for USMNT. Last I heard, Brian was assistant coach for University of San Diego, Men’s. I will not list all of Brian Quinn’s accomplishments here as they are too numerous. Aodhan literally grew up playing soccer. How did Aodhan Quinn ever end up at Bradley? Unknown. Zips fans are thrilled that he made his way to Akron. Quinn is a solid tackler with a bit of nastiness about him, much like his father. He is not exactly dirty but opposing midfielders should be warned not to try anything shady. And Aodhan has a long memory for any slight. Quinn has proved a free kick specialist in his professional career. Hardly a surprise to Zips fans! Quinn is among the very best Zips in program history at taking Free Kicks. I can recall only one other to rival Aodhan Quinn. He has a simply fantastic left foot. Remember his two second-half Free Kick goals against Penn State in 2013? His second was a curling Free Kick in the driving rain. How is Aodhan Quinn not in the MLS? NSCAA All-America (First Team, 2013) Soccer America Team MVPs (Second Team, 2013) MAC Player of the Year (2013) Hermann Trophy Semifinalist (2013) All-Great Lakes Region (First Team, 2013) College Soccer News All-America (First Team, 2013) Top Drawer Soccer Best XI (First Team, 2013) 2x All-MAC (First Team: 2013, 2011; Second Team: 2012) FINAL ANALYSIS: This slot is one of two no-brainers in this competition. I have always loved Aodhan Quinn’s moxie. And his skill at taking Free Kicks is stellar, even at the professional level. But Richie Laryea has rare on the ball talent, affecting opposing teams’ game plans. This is not an indictment of Aodhan Quinn as much as it is a full-hearted endorsement of Richmond Laryea.
  6. @zipsmsoc CDM Kitchen, Trapp, Tojaga, Belana Perry Kitchen confidently strode onto the Schrank Hall practice pitch at Akron like a man among boys. In the Summer of 2010, he was a freshman joining an Akron squad that was 2009 runners-up. Perry was there to fill the enormous vacuum at CDM left by the graduation of team captain Ben Zemanski. But if the Zips’ previous success impressed Kitchen, it failed to noticeably register. He deferred to no one except Zips coaching staff, and even that was sometimes strained. From the first day, he barked out defensive assignments in small sided scrimmages. Always organizing! And everyone usually obeyed, because he was willing to himself follow his own orders. And he would prove it. Every drill. Every day. To many he was a bit aloof, perhaps stand-offish. Perry Kitchen was All. Business. In his one season at Akron, Kitchen scored six goals, assisting on one. But most of these stats occurred at key moments in important matches. See goal at North Carolina at his first match as a Zip. He scored what should have been match winning goal vs. California in 2010 Quarter-Final. (After 2OT, Perry sank his PK.) How about that blast vs. Michigan at the College Cup? But Perry Kitchen’s calling card was (and still is) ball winning. He is the guy who will take the ball from the other team. He will get his head on the Goal Kick. He will make the counter-attack-ending tackle. And he has always won a high percentage of these individual battles. In 2010, Perry Kitchen physically dominated the middle of the park like few Zips had done before him, and like none have done since. Wil Trapp has always been a superb distributor of the ball, before and after his 2011-2012 seasons in Akron. 2010 National High School Player Of The Year? Trapp is where Attack begins. He is the pass before the pass before the assist to the goal. He does this with such efficiency, it sometimes looks effortless. But this is deceptive. It requires work and disciplined technique to make this look easy. And this efficiency is technical. There is textbook technique to any physical activity, whether it be playing clarinet, or changing a car tire, or typing on a keyboard. For each of these activities, there are countless individual styles and methods. But only one way is the textbook technique. Why is that? Its because the textbook technique has been proven over time to be the most efficient. That is Wil Trapp in a nutshell: Efficient. He is technically flawless. Even on the professional level, players often stray from textbook form to get the job done. It sometimes works to pass the ball 30 yards in the air to your left by using the outside of your right foot. But often times it fails. This sort of thing does not happen with Wil Trapp. Textbook technique requires said pass be struck from the inside of the left foot, big toe underneath the ball. And that is exactly the pass Trapp will make. Trapp will likewise receive the ball with impeccable and repeatable technique. EXAMPLE: While typing I frequently make a capital Z by depressing the left shift key with my left pinky and then depressing the Z with my left middle finger. It works. But is it the most efficient? Is it optimal? Not according to the typing textbook! I doubt Wil Trapp would ever make a capital Z the way I do. From 2013-2015 (partial 2016) Victor Souto prowled the middle of the pitch. Kitchen was a relentless ball-winner; Trapp was a technical distributor. Souto was a bit of both (to lesser degrees), with an element of Samba flair mixed in. He shined brilliantly. He also behaved shamefully now and then. Problem with Victor was controlling his temper. His lack of impulse control erupted into extracurricular violence on several occasions. Head-butting an NCAA official after a tournament match? Yeah, that really happened. There are many other examples of Victor acting badly. And it is truly unfortunate. Victor plays the game with an exuberance infectious to even casual bystanders. Sadly, Akron Men’s Soccer have expunged the memory of Victor Souto from program tradition. He was dismissed from the team after the second match of the 2016 season, and he was officially removed from the team months later. Whether this banishment resulted from one huge transgression in private, or this was an accumulation of egregious incidents out in the open, few can say. Those who really know this answer refuse to talk about it. But Souto was among the best CDMs in Akron MSOC history, certainly over the years 2010-2019. It is a minor tragedy that Victor’s career ended as it did. FINAL ANALYSIS: I will take Perry Kitchen’s physical dominance over Wil Trapp’s smooth distribution. Both enjoyed stellar (if short) careers at Akron. Sam Tojaga is a hard worker with good endurance. His improvement at the end of 2018 was a key element to Zips’ title challenge. And Sammy may yet improve still. But a compilation of only the highlights of Sam Tojaga’s two seasons 2018-2019 do not compare to Kitchen’s magnificent 2010 season. Not even close.
  7. NCAA currently allows 9.9 scholarships for MSOC. This is presumably so that, with Title 9 compliance, NCAA Football can grant a full ride scholarship to a third team Corner Back. There is word that the NCAA is going to grant a few more scholarships to MSOC in 2020. That 9.9 number has stood for 20 years or more. Top Drawer Soccer rated DeAndre Yedlin 4/5 Stars in 2011.
  8. Wow! A ten year old thread resurrected! Where are all you people who once posted here? Bearcats MSOC R.I.P.😢
  9. @zipsmsoc LB De Vera, Korb, Derschang, Souders The short and speedy lefty is a fan favorite of Zips fans everywhere. Unlike many players, during his four years Niko De Vera never seemed to be playing out of position. Even when he was coming off the bench as a freshman, Niko looked entirely at home at LB. It obviously helps tremendously to have a good left foot when playing LB. And Niko has a fantastic left. His crosses are most often inch perfect service, at the right height, at the right spin. Both his team defense and his 1 v 1 are very good. And De Vera wins many more headers than one might guess. Niko improved noticeably every year as a Zip. AND… Zips Nation will never forget December 1, 2017 @ Louisville, when he blasted in his PK, sending us to the College Cup. Niko De Vera currently plays for Portland Timbers II. Chris Korb played midfield in high school at University Schools. After transferring from Xavier, he took some convincing to play LB, but the 2009-2010 squads were better for it. Chris lacks a convincing left footed cross, but he is a good tackler, a hard worker, and his playmaking is more like a midfielder than a standard outside back. Chris Korb is sturdy and dependable. A very good all round player, Chris Korb enjoyed a six plus MLS career, mostly with DC United, before eventually succumbing to multiple injuries. Andrew Souders is disserviced by being forced to compete at LB. He played CB most of his Zips career. Not sure he played LB even for a full season. Souders is a victim of his own versatility and selflessness. This I know: One must go back to the 80s to find a Zips player as hard tackling as Andrew Souders. (See Grahame Evison,) FINAL ANALYSIS: I strongly prefer left-footed players at LB. Need that end line cross with the natural foot. Niko De Vera is the voters' and he is my pick as well.
  10. @zipsmsoc LCB Moutinho, Valentin, Radjen, Milanese Joao Moutinho showed up in Akron in August 2017 looking like somebody’s little brother who snuck in to watch practice. He was very slight of build, possibly even scrawny. Still is. He was fairly unimpressive in drills and small sided games. Not until the full field scrimmage was his almost preternatural understanding of the game on display. Moutinho sees soccer on a deeper level than most coaches do, never mind most players. It’s like he has played for 100 years. He is seemingly always three passes in the future. Zarek Valentin played two stellar seasons for Zips from 2009-2010, but only 2010 season is pertinent to this discussion. But what a phenomenal season 2010 was, culminating in a championship. Valentin was a huge part of that success, partnering with Barson for the consensus best CB tandem in NCAA. Whereas Barson was solid and fundamental, Valentin was cheeky and impetuous, seemingly forgetting half the time that he was playing CB. The two fed off each other very successfully. Why is Bryan Gallego not in this discussion? In 2011, he started all 22 games he appeared in and was named College Soccer News Freshman All-American, All-MAC Second Team and All-Ohio team. In 2012, he started all 22 games and finished the year with a goal and an assist on his way to being named All-MAC Second Team for the second straight year. In 2013, he appeared in 20 games and helped the Zips record nine shutouts and hold opponents to one or fewer goals in 19 of 22 games. He went on to be named NSCAA All-America Second Team, All-Great Lakes Region First Team and All-MAC First team. It certainly seems Gallego deserves to be in the running here. The effervescent Valentin is the sentimental favorite, because he is a champion, and also because he has a show business personality. Zarek might be able to earn a living in stand-up comedy. Joao Moutinho is mostly reserved, if not enigmatic. FINAL ANALYSIS: Zarek Valentin is the best athlete on this list in every measurable category. He is as fast as or faster than any CB ever to play for Akron. But Joao Moutinho plays the game at a different level than most. He’s got the magic, and he’s got my vote.
  11. @zipsmsoc RCB Barson, Strachan, Ritaccio, Ruhaak Chad Barson is currently the Ohio State Buckeyes men's soccer director of operations. His senior year in 2012 he was named NSCAA First team All-American. He was first team all MAC 2010-2012. Oh yeah, he was NCAA Champion in 2010. I think he was academic All-American all four years at Akron. Along with Caldwell and Meves, Barson marks what history will likely regard as the Golden Age of Zips MSOC. I hope that is not true, but…. And what about that goal-mouth save in the waning moments of the title match over Louisville!?!? Daniel Strachan has somehow managed to remain underrated even after three exceptional years. This may be that he has essentially played three different positions over that time. I am a card-carrying, charter member of the Daniel Strachan fan club. Ask anyone who sits near me. As RCB, Strachan can only really offer his freshman campaign in 2017. He and Moutinho forged a fantastic freshmen tandem at CB, each playing off the other’s strengths while hiding the others weaknesses. Strachan started 2018 coming off the bench, but for the stretch run of nine straight victories, Strachan started most of that time at LCB, with RItaccio as his partner. Strachan played DM most of 2019. He was named captain of the squad in 2019. The highly touted Carlo Ritaccio has logged two very solid years at RCB from 2018-2019. He was named captain of the squad in 2019 and is expected to be there once again. Carlo is truly a natural leader. Ritaccio was named 2018 Freshman of The Year by Top Drawer Soccer. Carlo needs to work on his passing out of the back. Carlo is an exceptionally hard tackler on the ball. He is also pretty good at winning headers. Both Barson and Strachan are excellent ball handlers and fine passers. Barson is probably a bit quicker, and definitely faster in a straightaway race. Strachan is bigger and more physical. Strachan is probably a bit better in the air. Both are very unselfish, team-oriented players. Nuts & Bolts. FINAL ANALYSIS: There is not very much daylight between Barson and Strachan. But my choice is the more decorated player who has a championship ring. And Daniel Strachan only played RCB one of his three years. I choose Chad Barson. Having said all that, the RCB with the highest potential among these contenders is Carlo Ritaccio.
  12. @zipsmsoc RB Sarkodie, Yedlin, Abdul-Salaam, Shultz All four contenders have enjoyed professional careers. During this last decade, RB has become a glory position on Zips. MLS scouts are keen to see who plays RB for Akron. Go figure. Kofi Sarkodie had a breakout junior year in 2010. On October 19, 2010, he recorded his first career hat trick against the University of Michigan. He finished with eight goals and six assists on the way to a College Cup championship for the Akron Zips. Sarkodie was awarded ESPN Academic All-America of the Year, NSCAA All-America First Team, Soccer America Player of the Year, Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Season First Team, College Soccer News All-America First Team, College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player, College Cup All-Tournament Team, and his third straight First Team All-MAC. Sarkodie was a 2010 finalist for Hermann Trophy. DeAndre Yedlin, an All-MAC First Team selection, finished 2011 with one goal and six assists while starting 20 of 23 matches. The speedy right back recorded his first goal as a collegiate against the Buckeyes and set up four game-winning strikes for Akron, including wins at Cal State Northridge, Tulsa, Bowling Green and Florida Atlantic. Without researching further, I believe Yedlin was also All-MAC First Team in 2012, his sophomore season. He again tallied six assists. On this Zips All Decade team, it should be about time spent playing in the Blue & Vegas shirt, during 2010–2019. Sarkodie was a better player in 2010 than Yedlin was in either 2011 or 2012. In the 2010 NCAA Semi Final vs. U of Michigan, everyone remembers Perry’s long range goal. Watch that match again. What turned the emotional tide in that match came minutes before that goal. It was Kofi Sarkodie’s bone crushing slide tackle on the offensive right sideline. Maybe should have been a card, maybe a red card. Also recall that Yedlin was (purportedly) benched on more than one occasion by Coach Caleb Porter. For reasons unknown. Now, comparing the professional careers of these two players inarguably favors Yedlin. DeAndre has been capped dozens of times (62?) for USMNT. His professional accomplishments are too numerous to list here. Yedlin’s professional career is seven years and counting, whereas Sarkodie’s professional career may be finished. These two gentlemen are among the nicest, and most interesting to ever play for Akron. Both are very entertaining conversationalist. These two were both present at the Caleb Porter celebration party in December 2012, as was I. Never passing on an awkward question, I asked them both “Who would win in a footrace between you two?” They were standing side by side at the time. They looked at each other, and both dismissed my question with a hand wave. Funny, right? No. The funny part is that each player independently sought me out later in the party, each whispering that they were confident that they would win that race. True story. FINAL ANALYSIS: Kofi Sarkodie is the reasoned choice at RB, based on achievements while at Akron. But I have no problem with DeAndre Yedlin gaining election.
  13. Revealing is today, and my rant is definitely due.
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