MLS's Armchair Analyst, Matthew Doyle, knows this 2013 MLS SuperDraft backwards and forwards. A veritable genius on tactical analysis, Doyle spent the whole of the past week at the MLS Combine looking and thinking about who should go where and why.
He did a recent winners and losers take on the recent draft and had this to say on the Timbers second round pick-up of defender Dylan Tucker-Gangnes:
"First of all, I . . . could argue that he’s the most MLS-ready of the center backs on offer, so just on a nuts-and-bolts level, it was the right pick. As important, though, is that Portland took a kid who is Seattle born-and-bred, and University of Washington star, one pick before the Sounders were up. Seattle fans flipped their collective bean in the live chat, on Twitter and elsewhere."
“Well, there’s a lot of pain in that locker room over there, a lot of emotion. I feel the same. I don’t think this is anything we saw coming.”
Those were the words of an emotional University of Akron head coach Caleb Porter following his Zips' suprise 5-4 loss on penalties to Creighton in the 2012 NCAA College Cup third round match at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
Tied 1-1 after 90 minutes via an Akron 12th minute goal from 2012 Zips breakout star Reinaldo Brenes and a Creighton 83rd minute equalizer from Timo Pitter, neither team was able to find another goal after the two overtime periods. Despite outshooting the Bluejays 31-11 for the match and 11-2 in the extra periods, the Zips could not pull out the win. Their best chance came in the first overtime period when Akron was given a penalty after a Creighton handball in the box. Zips captain Scott Caldwell struck the ball well only to be foiled by a strong save from Creighton's keeper.
It was a surprising and abrupt end not only to the Zips’ incredible season but also to Porter’s seven years in Akron.
Though the match meant the end of this phase of Porter’s career and he will be met by an eager Timbers fan base excited for his time to begin in Portland, it was a loss that was definitely felt hard.
To put Porter’s accomplishments at UA in perspective, here’s some numbers to consider:
-He finished his Akron career with a seven-year record of 123-18-17
-During his watch, Akron posted the highest winning percentage among all Division I schools
-Porter led the Zips to the school's first team national championship in any sport in 2010 and became one of the fastest coaches in NCAA history to reach 100 career wins in 2011
-The Zips' 18 wins in 2012 included 16 shutouts
-Akron allowed just eight goals in 22 matches this year
Needless to say, Porter leaves behind a formidable legacy. The Akron Beacon Journal has a nice recap of the match as well as a photo gallery of the difficult night in Akron.
But Porter wasn’t the only Timbers connection in the match. The 12th seeded Creighton side that beat the Zips featured two Timbers U-23s players in senior co-captain Andrew Ribeiro—who assisted on the game-tying goal and converted his penalty kick in the shootout—as well US U-20s defender Eric Miller. The Bluejays now move on to face 4th seeded UConn.
That duo, along with Louisville’s Brock Granger, are the only remaining Timbers U-23s left in the tournament. The Cardinals eliminated Northwestern 2-1 on Sunday and next take on 2nd seeded Maryland in the Elite Eight.
For a full bracket of the tournament, visit NCAA.com.
Caleb Porter and his University of Akron Zips wrapped up their regular season last week with back-to-back shutout wins. On Wednesday, they beat Michigan State 1-0 and then followed that up with a 2-0 win over Western Michigan back at home on Senior Night.
The earlier win over the Spartans was also historic as it gave senior goalkeeper David Meves his 51st career shutout thus breaking the NCAA all-time shutouts mark previously held by Josh Ford.
Meves, who has already set school records for wins (73) and minutes played (8,138), has started 89 games – posting a career mark 73-7-9 – during his historic career and has allowed just 45 goals in more than 8,138 minutes of play for a goals-against-average of 0.50. Not surprisingly, Meves was named National Player of the Week by College Soccer News Monday.
Porter’s team has out-scored their last 11 opponents by a count of 30-1 and UA has yet to trail in a game at home this season. Perhaps most excitingly for the Zips is they now are the No. 1 ranked NCAA Division 1 team in the country by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
The Zips next host Bowling Green on Friday at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field in the MAC Conference Championships semifinal. The game also marked the final home regular season match for Caleb Porter as head coach at UA before taking over the helm in Portland this winter. The AK ROWDIES supporters group made this special banner, signed by numerous fans, to hold aloft at the match:
Thank You Coach Porter twitter.com/AK_BigChief/st…
— Ian Tayek (@AK_BigChief) November 4, 2012
Elsewhere in college soccer, Timbers U-23s forward Mark Sherrod scored three goals last week, leading to a pair of Memphis victories, and today was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Week. He has 12 goals and 28 points on the season, both tied for second in the conference. MLSsoccer.com also spoke of Sherrod's exploits in their lates MLS on Campus feature.
The University of Portland Pilots men’s and women’s team had a busy weekend celebrating. The women rolled to a 5-0 win over University of San Francisco (Watch Match Highlights) and then gathered together Monday to find their NCAA tournament fate.
With an 11-4-4 overall record, the Pilots received an at large bid to play Washington State this Friday at Merlo Field at 7pm. It is UP’s 13th straight appearance in the NCAA Postseason and their 20th appearance overall during the last 21 years.
The men’s side celebrated Senior Day with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over first-place San Diego Toros. Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans had the game-tying assist and game winning goal in the win. It was Evans’ 14th goal of 2012 putting him atop the WCC league lead with fellow Timbers U-23s player and Santa Clara forward Erik Hurtado.
Portland State women’s soccer wrapped up their season Saturday with a 3-2 loss to Montana in the Big Sky tournament semifinals. Despite an end to the season, the campaign was one of the most successful seasons in program history. The Vikings won their second straight Big Sky regular season championship (shared with Idaho State & Montana) while finishing with the third-best record in school history at 9-8-2 overall and 6-2-1 in conference. Nine players made the Big Sky All-Conference team—a program high.
Caleb Porter's University of Akron Zips continued their stellar 2012 run with two big wins last week, both of which marked special milestones.
Last Tuesday night, goalkeeper David Meves became the school's all-time shutouts leader in a 1-0 decision at Ohio State. Junior Reinaldo Brenes scored his ninth goal in seventh matches and Meves made a season high six saves in the match. Meves' 49th career clean sheet surpassed current Montreal Impact 'keeper Evan Bush who set the record during the 2005-08 seasons.
"I thought it was very fitting for [Meves] to do it today because he bailed us out on several occasions,” said Coach Porter after the game. “We probably don’t win that game, if it’s not for him.”
On Saturday, the Zips wrapped up their eighth-straight MAC regular season title with a 4-0 win over Hartwick. Defender Chad Barson—who could sign a Homegrown contract with Columbus in the offseason—scored for UA and helped lead the team to their second shutout in a row.
As a result, the Zips (13-1-2, 6-0-0 MAC) earned the right to host the MAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed from Nov. 9-11 at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field. Coach Porter has won the conference title in each of his seven seasons at Akron. The team is now ranked No. 2 in the country behind unbeaten Maryland and over the last 10 games, the Zips have scored 28 goals and conceded only one.
Closer to home, in a battle of Timbers U-23s teammates, Steven Evans and Ricardo Carrillo’s University of Portland prevailed over Erik Hurtado’s Santa Clara University 2-1 on a nationally televised game on FOX Soccer. Evans put the Pilots up in the 37th minute with his WCC-leading 12th goal but it was Carrillo who sealed the win with a spectacular 110th minute goal in overtime.
Evans added to his goal scoring exploits with his 13th goal on Sunday though the Pilots lost to St. Mary’s 3-2. They next play at Merlo Field on Friday at 7pm against Loyola Marymount and then on Sunday versus San Diego at 1pm.
Their female Pilots counterparts had a productive weekend. On Friday night, down 1-0 at the half to No. 18 Pepperdine, UP roared back with three goals in twelve minutes to win 3-1 behind two goals from Michelle Cruz and a a gamewinner from Amanda Frisbie. Watch Frisbie’s nutmeg game winner here. Then on Sunday, with former Pilots and current USWNT star Megan Rapinoe in attendance, UP downed LMU 2-0. Watch highlights here.
Incidentally, Rapinoe has been making the rounds in Portland, here she is enjoying Bright Dike's game-tying goal against San Jose in the Timbers 2012 season finale Saturday night. (Photo via beIN Sport's Temryss Lane):
— Temryss Lane (@TemryssLane) October 28, 2012
Down I-5, Oregon State University’s and Timbers U-23s forward Emery Welshman became the first Beavers player to hit double digits in goals since current Timbers forward Danny Mwanga did it in 2009. Welshman scored in a 2-1 loss to PAC-12 rival UCLA.
In other Timbers U-23s news, midfielder Eric Miller of Creighton played with the US U-20’s recently in Spain at the Marabella Cup. Read this TopDrawerSoccer.com story about how Miller and the other collegiate players on the team are balancing the international dates with their university commitments.
With the San Jose Earthquakes coming north to Portland on Saturday afternoon to take on the Timbers, their home field of Buck Shaw Stadium will hardly be quiet.
Timbers U-23s teammates Steven Evans and Erik Hurtado will find themselves on the opposite ends of that pitch as Evans' University of Portland Pilots travel south to battle the Santa Clara Broncos on the NSCAA Game of the Week on Fox Soccer at 7pm PT Friday night.
Evans has been having an excellent season in his junior campaign with two WCC Player of the Week Awards, 11 goals (a real stunner here) and two assists. The senior Hurtado has also been on fire with 11 goals and four assists for the Broncos as they look to win the WCC title and vie for an NCAA Conference berth.
One streak ended, another streak continued and a passing of the torch.
It was a busy week for Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips. After a successful #FillTheHill movement to pack the house last week in their match against Michigan, UA went out and beat the Wolverines 1-0 behind an Aodhan Quinn goal and shutout from goalkeeper David Meves in front of a crowd of 3,289. It was the team’s eighth consecutive shutout and the 48th shutout of senior Meves' career, which ties him with current Montreal Impact 'keeper Evan Bush (2005-08) for first place on the school's career list.
On Friday night, the Zips won their eighth consecutive game though their streak of holding their opponents scoreless ended at 713 minutes in a 2-1 victory over West Virginia. Reinaldo Brenes, who earlier in the week was named MAC Player of the Week, scored early in the 5th minute while senior Scott Caldwell provided another in the 50th minute. For Brenes, it was his eighth goal of the season—all scored over the past five matches.
With Porter’s pending arrival in Portland later this winter, Akron was faced at finding a successor at head coach. On Wednesday, the Zips found their man, elevating current associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Jared Embick into the new head coach position following this season. Embick has been with the team since 2007 has been a key figure in the Zips securing some of the best prospects in the country – and around the world – with top-five recruiting classes in each of the past five seasons, highlighted by the No. 1 class in 2009 and No. 2 classes in 2010 and 2011.
In total, Embick recruited or helped develop 14 players who have gone on to play professionally either in MLS or overseas since 2007 and at least one Timbers player was happy with the development.
Congrats Jared Embick, the new Head Coach at the University of Akron!!!
— Darlington Nagbe (@darlingtonnagbe) October 17, 2012
Elsewhere in Portland area soccer action, the UP Pilots women got back on track Sunday night with a 3-0 win over St. Mary’s on the road. Powered by Amanda Frisbie’s brace, the Pilots picked up its second straight road win—they won in overtime Friday 2-1 against San Diego State—to improve to 8-4-3 on the year and to 2-1-1 in the WCC.
Led by Megan Miller and Jenna Richardson’s pair of goals, the Oregon State Beavers women’s team cruised to a 5-1 romp over Arizona Sunday night. For the Beavers, it was the most points they scored in a single match this season and gave them an 11-4-1 overall record on the year and a 3-3-2 mark in conference play.
Timbers U-23’s forward Emery Welshman continues to lead the OSU mens' side in scoring after picking up his ninth goal in a 2-2 with Stanford on Thursday night. The Beavers fell to Cal 1-0 on Sunday evening in Berkeley.
The No. 7 Akron Zips continued their quest of the Mid-America Conference with a 4-0 thrashing of the Univ. of Buffalo on Friday night. Junior Reinaldo Brenes (right), who previously had only one goal in 32 career Akron matches, exploded for a first half hat trick scoring in the 12th, 24th, and 38th minutes.
It was Akron's first hat trick since current Vancouver Whitecaps rookie Darren Mattocks achieved the feat against the same Bulls in the Zips' last meeting at Buffalo in 2011.
Senior Scott Caldwell, who assisted Brenes' second score, added his team-leading sixth goal of the season in the 88th minute on a penalty kick. Akron has now gone 391 minutes without conceding a goal as senior David Meves picked up his 44th career Akron shutout—just four off the all-time record.
The Zips, who have won the last seven MAC regular-season titles, are also 42-2-3 against MAC schools under seventh-year head coach Caleb Porter. Moreover, UA has lost just once in its last 57 home matches (49-1-7), dating back to the start of the 2008 season. The win has them move up one spot in MLSsoccer.com's rankings to No. 3.
At least one Timbers fan attended the match at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field and made his way to greet Coach Porter.
— RCTID in OHIO (@RCTIDinOHIO) September 30, 2012
Here too is Porter talking postgame along with Brenes about the match against Buffalo as well as some highlights. It's a fascinating analysis of how Porter sees the game. Most dominating stat perhaps? Akron did not allow a Buffalo shot on goal for the entire match:
Speaking of Brenes, the midfielder/defender made TopDrawerSoccer.com's Team of the Week along with Timbers U-23s' goalkeeper Spencer Richey who picked up a shutout for the Washington Huskies in their 1-0 win over Oregon State. Fellow Timbers U-23s' goalkeeper Justin Baarts also had a shutout for the University of Portland on Friday when the Pilots blanked the San Francisco Dons.
Timbers U-23s Ricardo Carrillo and Steven Evans were busy last night in the University of Portland's 4-1 thrashing of Gonzaga. Carrillo tallied twice on the evening while Evans backheeled a goal past the Bulldog 'keeper via an excellent ball from Carrillo. It's a thing of beauty, look for it around the :47 mark:
Needing a Portland soccer fix ahead of the Timbers-D.C. United clash on Saturday (7:30pm PT, ROOT Sports, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940)? Check out the No. 22 ranked Pilots women's team TONIGHT at 7pm PT as they take on Cal State Northridge at Merlo Field. Led by US U-20 Women's National Team forward Micaela Capelle, UP is currently 6-2-1 as they near the end of their non-conference season.
Also, Carrillo, Evans, and the rest of the Pilots men's team gets back in action on Friday night against the University of San Fancisco Dons at Merlo Field at 7pm PT.
When things are clicking, things are clicking.
Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips began the defense of their Mid-America Conference title on Friday night with a 2-0 win over Bowling Green--their third shutout in a row. Senior David Maves, the reigning MAC Player of the Week, continued in his quest to unseat Evan Bush as the all-time Akron leader in shutouts making six saves. Freshman Alfred Koroma (right) and senior Scott Caldwell both tallied goals for Akron while the team peppered Bowling Green with 30 shots--a 14-3 advantage in the first half alone. Caldwell leads the Zips with five goals in eight games in 2012.
It was Porter’s 39th straight league match without a loss going back to 2007—good for third on the NCAA's list for the longest conference unbeaten streak. UA improved to 82-1-3 when scoring two or more goals and 100-3-4 when scoring first under Coach Porter.
After their two wins, MLS on Campus rankings has the Zips holding steady at No. 4 with shoutouts for Colorado Rapids Academy freshman attacking midfielder Dillon Serna and predict the New England Revolution will move to sign Caldwell as a Homegrown player at season's end.
The Zips will continue MAC play next weekend when they host Buffalo Saturday night at 4:30pm PT, at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
Elsewhere in the college ranks, former Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans dropped a first-half hat trick for the University of Portland on Seattle University in the Husky Fever Classic in Washington only to fall 4-3 in the match. The Pilots lost to No. 21 Brown on Sunday 2-0 and are currently 2-4-1 on the year. Also at the same tournament in Seattle, Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Spencer Richey picked up a shutout in University of Washington's 2-0 win over Seattle University on Sunday.
Heading south to Oregon State University and things are definitely clicking for Timbers U-23s forward Emery Welshman (right). The senior was named TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Player of the Week and was included in the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for his offensive explosion last week. The striker had a hat trick in a 6-1 win over Univ. of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Friday and then a double overtime golden goal against UC-Irvine in Sunday’s 1-0 thriller both as part of the Oregon State Hensor/Zaher Nike Classic tournament.
Fellow Timbers U-23s Roberto Farfan and Chris Harms joined Welshman on the all-tournament team. Apparently, teammate Farfan helped teach Welshman how to cook (watch video below).
You can watch this Beavers trio on the Pac-12 Networks next Sunday at 4pm PT as they take on Spencer Richey and the Univ. of Washington Huskies.
Former Timbers U-23s midfielder Steven Evans continues to impress at the University of Portland. He scored an incredible golazo already featured on The Backcut and is one of the Pilots featured in their new athletic department ad campaign.
Most recently, however, the Oregonian did a feature on Evans saying he "is close to becoming one of the program's all-time greats." Given UP's track record at producing some excellent players over the years--Heath Pearce, Steve Cherundolo, Kasey Keller to name but a few--that is high praise.
A veteran of a national championship with Portland youth club Eastside United--now adidas Timbers Alliance club Eastside Timbers--as well as the 2012 Timbers U-23s PDL championship, Evans isn't letting all his recent Pilot success go to his head.
"It's nice to see your hard work is paying off, but I'd rather the team have a good season," Evans said.
Also of note is MLSsoccer.com's latest MLS on Campus power rankings which has Caleb Porter and his University of Akron team moving up a spot to #4 overall.