Star forward Teal Bunbury will leave Akron two years early to enter the MLS Draft, according to a Washington Post blog.
Bunbury, the 2009 Soccer America Player of the Year, will learn on Jan. 8 whether he won the Hermann Trophy, given to the nation's best player. The MLS Draft is Jan. 14.
It certainly does not help Akron's outlook for 2010, but it should help recruiting efforts, particularly if Bunbury is selected early in the first round. Steve Zakuani went first overall to the Seattle Sounders in the most recent draft.
Head coach Rob Ianello decided who will fill two integral roles on the team.
John Latina, a former offensive line coach at Notre Dame, will serve as offensive coordinator. Jim Miceli, a former offensive coordinator at Georgetown and recruiting coordinator at Maryland, will run the recruiting operations.
Filling Miceli's job, in particular, was critical, as it is whenever a new coaching staff takes over. Akron has lost one recruit so far, but he was an important one; Chase Hoobler, a three-star linebacker, decommitted and gave his word to Indiana.
Ianello has already stated that he plans to run a pro-style offense. Latina was a part of running such an offense at Notre Dame. It's easy, of course, to put up huge numbers when you have players like Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate. And that's where recruiting comes in.
Akron will tip off at 7 p.m. against Illinois-Chicago tonight. Now that I'm back from Las Vegas, I'll liveblog it.