Story courtesy of Akron Media Relations
AKRON, Ohio - Three members of The University of Akron men's soccer team, Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Darlington Nagbe and Kofi Sarkodie were named to the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List Wednesday as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).
The NSCAA also announced Wednesday that Akron's match against Tulsa at newly renovated Lee Jackson Field on Sept. 24 will be broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel as the NSCAA College Game of the Week. In that contest, fans will be able to see six members of the 2010 Hermann Trophy Watch List as the Golden Hurricane were the only other institution in the nation to match UA's three representatives.
In all, Akron was one of just seven schools with multiple nominees on the 39-man watch list. Dartmouth, Maryland, Monmouth, North Carolina and Virginia each had two members. The MAC Hermann Trophy is considered the highest individual award in intercollegiate soccer. The recipients are selected by NCAA Division I coaches who are members of the NSCAA.
Ampaipitakwong, who was named to the Hermann Trophy preseason watch list in 2009, was a semifinalist for the prestigious award a year ago. Former Zips striker Teal Bunbury became the first Akron player to win Hermann Trophy last season and was the second consecutive UA player to be named a finalist, following Steve Zakuani in 2008.
Ampaipitakwong - the catalyst for the nation's No. 1-ranked attacking unit last fall - has earned NSCAA All-American status twice in three years at Akron, including a First Team designation in 2009. The senior midfielder from Carollton, Texas, recorded a career-high eight goals - including four game-winners - to go with five assists last season.
Nagbe, a junior forward from Lakewood, Ohio, was also dangerous in the final third in 2009 with 10 goals, including five game-winners, and three assists. Additionally, he recorded the first hat trick of his career in one of Akron's most impressive wins of the regular season, a 5-1 route of Michigan in Ann Arbor last October, earning him a spot on national teams of the week from Soccer America, College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer.
Sarkodie was a key component on one of the most dominating defensive units in NCAA history in 2009. The junior defender from Huber Heights, Ohio, helped guide the Zips to 19 shutouts, which was the second-highest, single-season total in NCAA history. Furthermore, UA's goals-against-average of 0.27 and shutout percentage of .760 were the third-best, single-season marks in NCAA history.
Sarkodie was also a force on the attack with a pair of goals, including the game-winner at UIC in October, and seven assists.
Ampaipitakwong, Nagbe and Sarkodie were each named to the Preseason All-America Team by College Soccer News last Thursday.
A total of 30 different schools and six countries are represented on the Hermann Trophy Watch List, including players from the United States, Ghana, France, New Zealand, Scotland and Zimbabwe.
Voting for the MAC Hermann Trophy is conducted in late November, when a field of 15 semifinalists is reduced to three finalists. Those three will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, where a news conference will be held to announce the winner, followed by a banquet to honor the three finalists.
For the complete 2010 Hermann Trophy Watch List, visit NSCAA.com.