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Breaking Down Akron Soccer

While Ohio State Basketball might be getting all the press as the #1-ranked team in the country, there is another local university that celebrated a National Championship this past season - University of Akron Soccer won the NCAA Division I National Championship.

Today, over at SBNation.com, Jeremiah Oshan posted the first of a 3-part series looking in-depth at Akron soccer.  Today's edition looks at the almost unbelievable rate at which the Zips are producing professional players in MLS while maintaining academic integrity.  

A snippet from the piece shows just how prolific Akron soccer has been in producing MLS talent - 

In the last three years alone, Akron has supplied 11 players to MLS, more than any other school. Eight of those players were picked within the first 10 picks of the draft and five of them were picked among the first four.

Oshan goes on to talk about academics at Akron, something that makes the university much more than a 'soccer factory":

His teams are regularly among the  nation's academic leaders. In 2009-10 they posted a team GPA of 3.33, eighth best in the country, and the semester the Zips won the 2010 College Cup they posted a 3.51 team GPA. In Porter's five years at Akron, seven Zips have been named Academic All-America and 16 have been named Academic All-Conference.

Thing are tough for Cleveland sports fans right now - at least at the professional level.  With the success of Ohio State football and basketball, the rise of Cleveland State, and the National Championship won by Akron this fall, there is plenty to be excited about and proud of.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.