Zips Notes: Akron wins tournament, AK-ROWDIES salute Porter

17 September 4:31 pm

Zips Notes: Akron wins tournament, AK-ROWDIES salute Porter

By Brian Costello

Photo: GoZips.com

Caleb Porter led his Akron Zips into their first home matches this past weekend since being named head coach of the Portland Timbers. Taking on some nationally ranked programs and playing in front of a national TV audience on Friday night on FOX Soccer, the Zips wrapped up the weekend winning The University of Akron Tournament and placing six players on the all-tournament list.

On Friday, the Zips drew 0-0 with No. 10 St. John’s with senior goalkeeper David Meves picking up the shutout. Meves led the team again on Sunday with another clean sheet as Akron blew past No. 11 South Florida 5-0. Senior midfielder Scott Caldwell had two goals in the match and was named the tournament’s Offensive MVP while Meves garnered Defensive MVP honors. With the back-to-back shutouts for Meves, he now sits six shy of the all-time school record held by Evan Bush—currently a goalkeeper for the Montreal Impact. Zips Eric Stevenson, Dillon Serna, Chad Barson, and Aodhan Quinn joined Meves and Caldwell on the All-Tournament Team.

Also of note was Akron Beacon Jounal writer Marla Ridenour writing about how the AK-ROWDIES—Akron's student fan section (right)—reacted to Porter’s decision to join the Timbers. Porter has spent years helping grow the student supporters section. In his first seasons at Akron, Porter would buy students pizza at halftime out of his own pocket if there were more than 100 of them in the stands. He went to Rowdies meetings, helped with bus trips to away matches, and worked to get them to the 2009 national championship game. In short, he helped build and expand a supporters culture that is among the best in college soccer.

Some highlights from the article:

--Speaking before the game, past and present Rowdies seemed happy that Porter is following his dream to the MLS.

“He’s too great a talent to spend the rest of his time in the NCAA,’’ said Cody Perdew, a UA junior from East High School. “There’s no reason for him to spend 10 years at Akron. He belongs somewhere better.

--Perdew wasn’t the only one who thought seven seasons at UA were enough for Porter

“You can hardly criticize a man for taking the next step toward greatness,” said Ryan McClellan, a 2010 UA graduate from Akron.

--“I love Caleb Porter and I wish him the best,” said Nate Hess, a UA senior from Ashland who was wearing what looked like a Speedo and a blanket.

With blanket-and-Speedo-wearing ROWDIES, the Timbers Army should be familiar environment for Porter.

On Friday night, as FOX Soccer cameras broadcast the game, many AK-ROWDIES wore green as a show of support for Porter’s Portland choice. Next season, it should come as little surprise if there’s some extra green in the stands when the Timbers head to Ohio.

Christina Marion, a 2011 UA graduate from Warren Howland, said the announcement was “a big surprise.”

“I don’t think everyone expected it this soon,” Marion said. “But he’s with his former players, he’s in a better place. I’ll still cheer for him and try to visit the Columbus Crew when [the Timbers] are in town.”

Akron will next open up Mid-American Conference play next weekend at Bowling Green. The Zips and Falcons will kick off at 4pm PT, next Saturday.