- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 3, 2010
- 0 Comments
- 2010 College Preview, Akron, College Cup, North Carolina, UCLA, Virginia, Wake Forest
I had hoped to get to this earlier in the week but time just did not allow it. The NCAA men’s soccer season has already begun and some upsets even took place earlier this week. Still there’s no better time to take a look at who will be worth watching in the coming season and who we’ll need to keep an eye out for later this year for the College Cup.
Just like in the last couple years the college season will live and die in Akron, Ohio, as Caleb Porter has the Zips fully charged yet again for another run at a College Cup. His Zips may have lost a few key guys to MLS like Teal Bunbury or Blair Gavin but they’re just as loaded this season as they’ve ever been. Chasing them will once again be North Carolina, last year’s College Cup winners Virginia and a few other Pac-10 and ACC teams.
Let’s take a look at a few of the top teams going into this season:
Teal Bunbury, Ben Zemanski and Blair Gavin may be all gone to MLS but believe me this Akron side is packed with talent. Darlington Nagbe will likely be the main offensive threat for the Zips this season and there’s little doubt in my mind he’ll be a name that will be called in January at the MLS SuperDraft. Another name to keep watch on is All-American midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong. His name may be long and hard to pronounce but his talent on the field speaks for itself.
The Zips aren’t all offense either folks, their defense will likely carry them a lot this season as U.S. U-20 youth players Zarek Valtentin and Kofi Sarkodie will anchor the backline.
Akron does have a loaded schedule to test their talent this season with games against ACC powers North Carolina and Wake Forest.
The Tar Heels are looking to get back to the College Cup final four once again this season and the talent on this roster certainly can do so. Two of my favorites Billy Schuler and Michael Farfan return for another season to help the Tar Heels. Don’t sleep on sophomore Enzo Martinez either, he’ll add a nice third punch to the Schuler-Farfan combo.
Honestly I believe this UNC squad is more talented than the last two editions that reached the College Cup final four. The big test against Akron today will be a good chance to see exactly where this UNC team is headed this season.
It won’t be easy for the defending champions this season. Losing a guy like Toni Tchani in the midfield didn’t do them any favors but thankfully for them they still have guys like Will Bates, who will likely carry the load for them this season. Brian Ownby will also be looked to carry some of the weight offensively. They do have a standout keeper in goal too in Diego Restrepo, a guy that can be a real game changer for the Cavaliers this season.
Its been two years since Maryland last won the College Cup but this year looks like a good year as ever to get back to that level. Keeper Zac MacMath gives them the best shot at that too. Having eight starters return from last year’s bunch is a good thing too. Casey Townsend will likely lead the offensive push this season but don’t sleep on Jason Herrick who will step in for the injury-prone Townsend at times.
I also love the Maryland defense. Having MacMath is a part of that but someone who could be real good on the next level is Ethan White. Don’t be shocked if White is the biggest reason why Maryland has a good year in 2010.
Yes you’re reading that right Tulsa is going to be a really fun team to watch this season. They return eight starters from a team that lost two games in 2009 and went to the Elite Eight. Senior midfielder Ashley McInnes and junior forward Austin Neil will carry the offense for the Golden Hurricanes. Neil is a fun kid to watch folks, he scores plenty of goals too.
The Golden Hurricane defense is also not to shabby as well. They have two juniors Justin Chaves and Chris Taylor leading the way in the back for them.
It could be a rebuilding year for the Bruins who lost five key guys to MLS last year. Still you can’t count this team out, even with a surging Standford team knocking at their heels in the Pac-10. The hype around UCLA this season is their freshman class who is said to be the best one they’ve had in years. They’ve added US U-20 keeper Earl Edwards as well as a few defenders that will make this a very hard team to score on.
USCB remains a top-class team and one that returns nine starters from a season ago. They have a big keeper in Sam Hayden who’ll likely have to carry some of the load for them this season. But having such a deep midfield with Danny Barrera and Luis Silva it shouldn’t be a stretch to see them make a deep run this season. Keep an eye out for transfer Sam Garza too, he’s expected to carry of some of the offensive load this season.
The Demon Deacons are always fun to watch. They’re full of talent once again this season, even if it is a lot of younger talent. They’ve lost a bunch over the last two years to the MLS SuperDraft and to overseas but somehow they continue to restock talent so they can’t be counted out for a second this year.
One guy I’m watching from Wake is Andy Lubahn. If he has a stellar season he’ll easily make folks in Winston-Salem forget about the Corbon Bones and Ike Oparas of yesterday.
No joke, another small school in this list. Monmouth knocked off UConn last year in the tournament’s first round so they aren’t an easy out. They return plenty of starters from a team that only lost twice a season ago and one that can load up on the goals. Ryan Kinne, Chase Barbieri and Ryan Clark combined for 22 goals a season ago. Kinne is the prime scorer with Clark setting up the chances. This could be a very dangerous team once again come tournament time.