Story courtesy of Akron Media Relations
AKRON, Ohio - Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Darlington Nagbe and Kofi Sarkodie were named to the College Soccer News Preseason All-America Team Thursday.
UA's three representatives were the most by any school in the nation. Furthermore, just four other schools - Maryland, North Carolina, Tulsa and Virginia - had more than one player honored. Of those four schools, UA will face two during the regular season. Akron will travel to Chapel Hill on Sept. 3 to face the Tar Heels in the first game of the regular season before hosting Tulsa on Sept. 24 at Lee Jackson Field in a rematch of last year's NCAA quarterfinal game.
Ampaipitakwong, Nagbe and Sarkodie each achieved All-American status a year ago and may all be in the running for the Missouri Athletic Conference Hermann Trophy - considered the highest individual honor in collegiate soccer - this fall. Ampaipitakwong (first team) and Nagbe (second team) were named to the NSCAA All-America Team in 2009 while Sarkodie was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team after posting a 4.0 cumulative GPA as a microbiology major.
Ampaipitakwong was the catalyst of the nation's top-ranked attack a year ago. The native of Carollton, Texas, became just the 10th player in the history of the men's soccer program to earn NSCAA All-America honors in multiple years as a first-team selection in 2009 and a third-team honoree in 2008. The senior midfielder was also a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy a year ago after recording eight goals, including four game-winners, and five assists for the Zips.
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 rout 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.
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. They were ranked No. 1 in the nation according to a preseason poll conducted by College Soccer News Wednesday.
2010 College Soccer News Preseason All-America Teams
Darlington Nagbe, Jr., F, Akron
Colin Rolfe, Jr., F, Louisville
Ryan Kinne, Sr., F, Monmouth
Ashley McInnes, Sr., MF, Tulsa
Michael Farfan, Sr., MF, North Carolina
Daniel Keat, Sr., MF, Dartmouth
Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Sr., MF, Akron
Andrew Wenger, So., MF, Duke
Bobby Warshaw, Sr., D, Stanford
Indy Smith, Sr., D, UNC-Wilmington
Diego Restrepo, Sr., GK, Virginia
Andrew Bulls, Sr., F, UMBC
Matt Eliason, Sr., F, Northwestern
Jason Herrick, Sr., F, Maryland
Billy Schuler, Jr., F, North Carolina
Danny Barrera, Jr., MF, UCSB
Ben Arikian, Sr., MF, Massachusetts
J.C. Banks, Sr., MF, Green Bay
Kofi Sarkodie, Jr., D, Akron
Karl Reddick, Sr., D, Boston College
A.J. Soares, Sr., D, California
Jeff Attinella, Sr., GK, South Florida
Austin Neil, Jr., F, Tulsa
Samson Nalijani, Sr., F, Fairleigh Dickinson
Mike Roach, Jr., F, Saint Louis
Will Bruin, Jr., F, Indiana
Ernesto Carranza, Sr., MF, Sacramento State
Rafael Baca, Sr., MF, Loyola Marymount
Nathaniel Baako, Sr., MF, William and Mary
Greg Monaco, Jr., D, Virginia
Matt Hedges, Jr., D, Butler
Josh Walburn, Sr., D, Princeton
Zac MacMath, Jr., GK, Maryland