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Posted at 11:27 AM ET, 12/13/2010

Monday kickaround: Arsenal-Manchester United, Akron NCAA champions, Virginia goalkeeper

By Steve Goff

*A Premier League showdown will unfold on ESPN2 (and ESPN3.com) today: Arsenal at Manchester United, 3 p.m. ET. The Gunners have 32 points from 16 matches, followed by Manchester City with 32 from 17, Manchester United 31 from 15 and Chelsea 31 from 17.

*Akron won its first NCAA championship with a 1-0 victory over Louisville in Santa Barbara, Calif., capping an extraordinary three years for the Zips: 62-3-8, 169 goals for, 34 goals against. Coach Caleb Porter, targeted by D.C. United the past two years, continues to rise on the national scene and might attract interest from the ACC's North Carolina State, where George Tarantini has retired after 25 seasons. For ESPN's Akron-Louisville recap, click here. For scenes from the celebration and postgame comments, click here.

*University of Virginia goalkeeper Diego Restrepo has accepted an invitation to trial with America de Cali next month in Colombia, family members told the Insider. First, he will attend the Seattle Sounders' scouting combine in Las Vegas. Curiously, Restrepo, who anchored the Cavaliers' 2009 NCAA championship run, was not invited to the MLS combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

By Steve Goff  | December 13, 2010; 11:27 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer, England  | Tags:  Akron Zips, Arsenal, Manchester United, Virginia Cavaliers  
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Next: USA-Egypt friendly in Cairo, Jordan Graye on move again, wedding plans for Kyle Martino

Comments

I think that should read Man City on 32 points.

Posted by: michanikos1 | December 13, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I think you have your City and United mixed up! United have only played 15 due to the Blackpool frozen pitch match

Posted by: Tweaked | December 13, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Coach Caleb Porter, targeted by D.C. United the past two years..."


Porter was pursued by DC United again this off season? I don't recall seeing that within The Insider here...

Posted by: mbyrd28 | December 13, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, i'll be stuck at work with no access to the big game.

I guess today may be the day we find out if Arsenal are serious this time.

Posted by: michanikos1 | December 13, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Isn't America de Cali on the US government's terrorism watchlist? Wouldn't that conceivably be a BAD career move for Restrepo?

Posted by: DWE4 | December 13, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

If Porter moves to NC then I guess we'll know it was not just an issue of being settled and content in NE Ohio that kept him from signing on with DCU.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 13, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

My wife is Colombia, from Cali, so i'm faimiliar with America.

America de Cali was on the Clinton list, not terrorism list, which meant they couldn't sign any sponsorships. The club was restructed last year, and while still in an economic crisis, is in much better shape.

It's one of the most succesful clubs historically in Colombia, and has a HUGE fanbase.

Good for Restrepo, hopefully he sticks, it'll be fun to have a Yank playing in South America.

Posted by: RJM23 | December 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

quite right fallschurch, it could mean he wanted to keep coaching in the college ranks, which is not an unusual posture for many top college coaches.

Posted by: Ron16 | December 13, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know where we can find some good video of Akron online? I still haven't seen the Zips play, but from what Insiders are saying, they can play. Any leads are appreciated.

Also... 2 days until I release the 2010 Insider Christmas gift list (although recipients are encouraged to receive their "gifts" in the spiritual holiday of their choice).

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 13, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@Rand,

If you can access espn3, you can watch Akron's semi-final and the final. Maybe more is archived—not sure. I'm with grubbs from a previous thread in that I didn't see anyone who looks like a #3 draft pick MLS prospect, but their team execution of ball movement and movement off the ball strikes me as at a level I haven't seen in the NCAA, at least in a long time.

Posted by: benonthehill | December 13, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Graye to Houston.. for a 2014 4th round pick. There has to be more to this or it looks like Portland is the new DC in terms of leverage in trades.

Posted by: TenoriosLaptop | December 13, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@Rand

As much as it pains me to say (as a Wahoo), if you can find archived footage of last year's final you can definitely see how, skillwise, they were and are the best college team in the land. VA managed to beat them with grit last year, and now it was Akron's turn to rough out a win against an unbeaten side

Posted by: carmines757 | December 13, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@RJM23

Not doubting the America's history or credentials. But I looked it up today, and America de Cali are on still on the US government's Specially Designated Nationals List.

Good for Restrepo if he gets signed there. But I'd hope he can sign somewhere else with less baggage.

Posted by: DWE4 | December 13, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Caleb Porter isn't leaving Akron any time soon unless it is for a position of significance within the National Team Program(s). NC State & the ACC in general are not what they were 5 - 10 years ago; the other conferences have caught up and programs outside of the ACC are investing significant money / salary/ resources in their respective programs.
On top of that Porter has another wave of Blue Chip talent committed and on its way Akron so even with the 5-6 student athletes he will lose to graduation / Pro game he will re-load not re-build. NC State needs a lot of work on all levels.
The Akron Zips were the best team this year & it is good to see them rewarded.
Go Zips and look for them to be in Birmingham, AL (Why NCAA Why??) next year
for The College Cup. 2010 Herman Trophy Winner prediction-lock {Darlington Nagbe | Akron} giving Akron back-to-back winners with Teal Bunbury last year and what should have been three in a row w/Steve Zakuani (Seattle Sounders) 2 years ago.
ZipSoccerNation growing ....

Posted by: Zipfutbol | December 14, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

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