Story courtesy of Akron Media Relations
AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron men's soccer team is ranked No. 1 in the nation according to a preseason top-30 poll conducted by College Soccer News.
In all, UA will face six opponents in the CSN top-20 this fall with four cracking the top-10. To make things even more challenging, Akron will face all but one of those opponents (No. 5 Tulsa on Sept. 24) on the road.
According to College Soccer News, "The Zips impressed everyone last year. Expect more of the same in 2010. Don't fret about personnel losses. The backline of Kofi Sarkodie, Chris Korb, Zarek Valentin and Chad Barson is the best in the country. David Meves is stellar in goal. Forward Darlington Nagbe and midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong can run and gun with anyone."
Adding hype to its regular-season opening weekend in North Carolina, Akron will face No. 2 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Sept. 3 before heading to Winston-Salem to face No. 7 Wake Forest. Akron, North Carolina and Wake Forest represent three-fourths of last year's College Cup participants. UA defeated UNC, 5-4, on penalty kicks to advance to the national championship game last December.
Zips fans will potentially have the opportunity to see two top-5 programs battle it out when Tulsa comes to Lee Jackson Field on Sept. 24. UA defeated Tulsa, 1-0, in Oklahoma during the first weekend of the regular season last September before edging the Golden Hurricane again by the same score in the NCAA quarterfinals at Lee Jackson Field in the postseason.
Akron will then head to No. 10 Ohio State just five days later for a rematch with the Buckeyes on Sept. 29. Road games at No. 16 Penn State (Oct. 13) and No. 18 Michigan State (Nov. 3) round out the Zips' formidable fall schedule.
The Zips, who will officially kick off their fall training schedule on Monday, Aug. 16, return eight of 11 starters from a team that matched an NCAA single-season record with 23 consecutive victories a year ago and advanced to the national championship game for the second time in school history.
College Soccer News Preseason Top 30
2. North Carolina*
6. UC Santa Barbara
7. Wake Forest*
10. Ohio State*
11. Boston College
12. St. John's
13. South Florida
16. Penn State*
17. UNC Wilmington
19. Michigan State*
20. UC Irvine
28. Sacramento State
29. Green Bay
* - 2010 UA regular-season opponent