The Porter era: Year two

“It can be impossible to evaluate a coach after the first season, but the second season is a different story. The hiring of a new head coach causes strenuous transition and philosophy changes that can be hard to overcome for young athletes. The Zips men’s soccer team played its first year under coach Caleb Porter last season.”

It can be impossible to evaluate a coach after the first season, but the second season is a different story.

The hiring of a new head coach causes strenuous transition and philosophy changes that can be hard to overcome for young athletes.

The Zips men’s soccer team played its first year under coach Caleb Porter last season.

Porter was a four-year letter winner at Indiana University.

In 1998, he was drafted into Major League Soccer, but had his career cut short by a knee injury two years later.

He then spent the next six years as assistant coach at Indiana, where he was also the recruiting coordinator.

During his tenure the Hoosiers had the number one recruiting class in the nation, according to CollegeSoccerNews.com.

After putting together an impressive resume, UA named Porter the head coach of the men’s soccer team in January 2006.

In the inaugural year of the Porter era, the Zips finished on top of the Mid-American Conference for the ninth time with a 13-5-1 record, but failed to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000.

Missing the tournament left a bitter taste in mouths of the Zips players and Porter knows that the team is ready to accomplish more.

We weren’t satisfied with last year, Porter said. We have high expectations, we want to get in the NCAA tournament. We want to win a national championship.

Porter is excited to start his second season at Akron because he believes that with a season under the team’s belt, they have had a chance to absorb his philosophy.

It takes time to adapt to a new coach and a new system, Porter said. But they have grasped our philosophy and realize the identity being built here will be very effective against the top teams in the country.

The drive is there, so Porter must focus on fine-tuning the team offensively and defensively.

Porter believes the defense was the strength of the team last year and oftentimes the offense struggled.

We have stressed on a better attack and staying strong defensively, Porter said. We needed to become more creative, explosive, dynamic and dangerous on offense.

Porter thinks Steve Zakuani will be able to immediately bolster his offense.

Steve Zakuani from England can create goals out of nothing, Porter said. He is one of the more dangerous players I have ever worked with.

The experienced players are in place, and thanks to Porter, the recruiting class is the best in the school’s history.

Porter has one ultimate goal and that is to put Akron’s soccer team at the top of NCAA. He wants the team to be a perennial powerhouse.

I am extremely pleased with the progress we have made as a program over the course of this year.  We are building the program to realistically accomplish these goals, Porter said with confidence. The brand of soccer and identity that is being cultivated each and every day will set our program up for consistent long-term success. 


” #1.1361935:2619235742.jpg:Porter done.jpg:A disappointing 2006 season leaves Porter and his team with high expectations for 2007.:”