College Cup Final Thoughts

College Cup Final Thoughts

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 15, 2008
  • College Cup, Graham Zusi, Marcus Tracey, Maryland, Men's College Soccer, Sam Cronin, St. John's, UNC, Wake Forest
Graham Zusi leads Maryland to another National Title. (Getty Images)

Graham Zusi leads Maryland to another National Title. (Getty Images)

So let’s be honest here, the College Cup this past weekend was just okay. Nothing special and really nothing worth taking time away from the holiday season for. I watched recaps, highlights and read some reviews of the semifinals and found a way to tune in for the final yesterday between Maryland and UNC.

First off I really wish Wake Forest had made the final. All year long I had seen clips and heard reports of just how damn good that team was. Turned out their power ran into a brick wall on Friday against UNC. No knocking UNC for what they did to slow down the Demon Decans, it was just boring stuff to watch really.

The other semifinal between Maryland and St. John’s didn’t look all that much better. Sure it ended with a sweet goal in overtime but for the most part it too was a bit unwatchable on the account of the style of play that St. John’s brings to the table.

I just don’t get why some coaches, in college and even in the pros, hold off in big games. I really felt that this weekend’s Cup was that way. Some sloppy play out of all four teams really hurt this year’s Final Four from being a great one. It wasn’t terrible but it sure could have been better with some offense.

Moving forward to Sunday’s game, it was just as slow and sloppy as the two on Friday. For once the weather was the reason. Usually these games are in North Carolina or Columbus or somewhere a bit cold (yes I know sometimes it is in LA, so hush). This one was in a fairly warm Texas town called Frisco, you know the town outside of Dallas with the soccer stadium.

Hell, even Maryland’s coach, who’s team won the whole tournament had this to say about the game:

“The game didn’t have much flow. It was a championship game, both teams were exhausted [because of UNC’s big effort Friday holding off Wake, Maryland going to overtime vs. St. John’s, the warmer weather and gusty wind]. It was never going to be a game of beauty. We initially got frustrated because we couldn’t play more and then after the first [TV] timeout, we just accepted the fact that this was not going to be a beautiful game and just did all the little things to battle and find a way to win. We showed some poise in that regard. It’s just the way it went.”

Just the way it went indeed. I know this will continue to come across as negative and I truly don’t mean it in that sense. The games this weekend were just not the accurate barometer of what college soccer is right now.

Still I was able to get plenty out of this weekend. I got to see most of the players I wanted to in preparation for next month’s SuperDraft. Guys like Marcus Tracey, Ike Opara, Omar Gonzalez, Sam Cronin and Graham Zusi are all MLS ready in my book. I’m sure there are a few others that I saw that I am drawing blanks on (like a couple kids from UNC) but those few really stood out to me (before and during the Cup).

By the way, Zusi was a bit hot and cold but the kid really knew when it make things matter for Maryland. Think his draft stock just went up with those goals? I think it is possible.