University of Akron junior defender Kofi Sarkodie earned the national Player of the Year by Soccer America on Friday.
Sarkodie, who helped the Zips (22-1-2) win the national championship 1-0 over Louisville in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Dec. 12, recorded a career-high eight goals and six assists in 22 matches from his outside back position. Sarkodie previously was named the 2010 ESPN Academic All-American of the Year as well as an NSCAA First Team All-American.
It is the third consecutive season a UA player has received the award from the publication. Sarkodie follows Teal Bunbury (2009) and Steve Zakuani (2008) as the only players in school history to win player of the year honors from Soccer America.
Senior midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong and junior striker Darlington Nagbe were also named to the Soccer America's MVP first-team with Sarkodie. UA's three honorees were the most by any school.
Ampaipitakwong is a two-time NSCAA All-American and became the school's first winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in 2010. He played in 24 matches this season, is the Zips' all-time leader for matches played (93) and finished his career with 17 goals and 30 assists.
Nagbe, who is one of three finalists for the Hermann Trophy, is also a two-time NSCAA All-American. He compiled a career-high 13 assists this season to go with seven goals while starting all 25 matches.]ep
Soccer America also named Zips midfielder Perry Kitchen and striker Darren Mattocks to its All-Freshman first-team. UA was the only school in the country to land two players on the first team.
Kitchen appeared in all 25 matches as the Zips' starting defensive midfielder. He finished with six goals and one assist.
Mattocks scored a team-high 18 goals, which was tied for the third-highest total in the nation, and had five assists in 25 matches. Mattocks finished as the second highest scoring freshman in the country to Michigan's Soony Saad, who scored 19 goals.