University of Akron men’s soccer coach Caleb Porter said the six players who recently left the program did so on good terms.
Ben Speas, Martin Ontiveros, McKauly Tulloch, Gabriel Genovesi, Richard Diaz Jr. and Diego Navarrete each decided to leave the program.
“I’m not going to go into the details of each player and the reasons behind them choosing to no longer remain with our program,” Porter said. “However, I can say that in every case, we sat down with the player and mutually came to the decision that it was best for their futures as well as for the future of the program.
“Every decision that I make is always in the best interest of the players and the best interest of the program. None of the players are leaving on bad terms and I wish them all the best. I’ve enjoyed working with all of these young men and appreciate their contributions to Akron soccer.”
Speas, Ontiveros and Tulloch contributed to the 2010 national title team by playing a total of 1,206 minutes. The three players combined to start four matches and combined for three goals in 25 games last season.
Speas, a Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy graduate and Stow native, scored four goals and had six assists in 50 games for UA.
Ontiveros and Tulloch were freshmen last season and played in 12 and 10 matches, respectively.
Genovesi and Diaz redshirted as freshmen last season and Navarrete joined the team in January. Genovesi competes for the Zips track and field team, which won the Mid-American Conference title Saturday.
Porter and his staff continue to recruit as the roster continues to evolve. The Zips will have another highly touted recruiting class on campus for this season.
Returning for 2011
Darren Mattocks, Scott Caldwell, Chad Barson and David Meves are the four returning starters for the Zips.
Michael Balogun, Thomas Schmitt, Reinaldo Brenes and Eric Stevenson are returning reserves who played in 10 or more matches last season.
UA had seven players drafted from the team into Major League Soccer in January: Darlington Nagbe, Perry Kitchen, Zarek Valentin, Kofi Sarkodie, Michael Nanchoff, Chris Korb and Anthony Ampaipitakwong.
Steve Zakuani, Teal Bunbury, Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski are other former Zips playing in MLS who played for Porter.
Six players (Chris Barton, Cameron Carris, Hunter Dorton, Ryan Greenhill, Aaron Henkle and James McCormick) transferred following the 2008 season and four players (Matthew Mason, Yoram Mwila, Josh Pantazelos and Brandon Silva) left after 2009.