Two men's soccer players named pre-season All-Americans

” A Two members of The University of Akron Men’s soccer team were given pre-season All American honors by College Soccer News(CSN) this Summer. Junior midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong was named to the CSN pre-season All American second team, and sophomore defender Kofi Sarkodie was named to the CSN pre-season All American third team.”

A Two members of The University of Akron Men’s soccer team were given pre-season All American honors by College Soccer News(CSN) this Summer.

Junior midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong was named to the CSN pre-season All American second team, and sophomore defender Kofi Sarkodie was named to the CSN pre-season All American third team.

It’s a great honor but we have to stay focused for the season, Sarkodie said. This isn’t the time to worry about individual accolades.

Although honored, the two All Americans remain focused on winning.

It’s great, but it’s still only pre-season, Ampaipitakwong said. It means nothing at the end of the season.

UA was one of four teams to have multiple members named to the 33-player team. The other teams with multiple members honored are St. John’s (2),Creighton (2), and Wake Forest (3).

It’s good to get the Akron name out there, it shows we have the talent to win a national championship, Ampaipitakwong said.

With seven returning starters from the 2008 season, a hungry UA may be in great position to compete for a national championship.

Returning seven guys is huge for team chemistry, Sarkodie said. Ampai (Ampaipitakwong) will step up, I will step up and we are young still.

According to the two All Americans, after a season that ended in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16, the team’s goal is no secret.

Our goal is a national championship, it’s not hidden, Sarkodie said. Making it to the Sweet 16, we feel like we were underachievers last season.

The teammates are not interested in personal goals. When asked if they had set goals for any award or certain statistic, Ampaipitakwong and Sarkodie were adamant that the only goal set were team goals, and the only team goal is to win.

Whatever stats come in each game, are the stats that come, it doesn’t matter, Ampaipitakwong said. Whatever it takes to get the win.

With only four juniors and seniors respectively, the UA soccer team is mainly constructed of sophomores and freshmen, and is young on paper. Sarkodie and Ampaipitakwong do not think a lack of collegiate experience will be a detriment this season.

At least four guys have been with national team programs, Sarkodie said. Our freshman will probably play more like juniors.

In addition to the depth added in the 2009 recruiting class, the two All Americans say their individual improvements, along with the individual improvements of other teammates, will also benefit this season’s squad.

I dealt with injuries in my first two years, I’m getting back to shooting and being aggressive, Ampaipitakwong said.

I’ve been working on attacking and crossing and taking guys one on one, Sardokie said.

The two All American teammates have been putting in the work in the class room as well. Ampaipitakwong, a Sports Management major who is minoring in Business, is a National Honor Society member. Sarkodie is a Microbiology major with a 4.0 GPA

We have a bet that he has to get a 3.8 or above when he graduates, or he has to buy me dinner, Ampaipitakwong said.

The UA Men’s Soccer team finished 17-2-4 last season, and will start the 2009 season in Tulsa, Okla. At the Tulsa Tournament on Sept. 4, against SMU.