Steve Zakuani became the first pick of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft today.
The Zips forward is heading to Seattle to be a part of the expansion Sounders.
It has been a whirlwind few months for Zakuani. After several weeks ranked at No. 2, the Zips forfeited their home-field advantage in the Sweet Sixteen. They traveled to Northwestern and lost. Within a week of the official announcement to leave school, Zakuani became the first pick in the draft.
This is some vindication for the often-overlooked Akron program. The NCAA has had no qualms about seeding the Zips lower than the polls and RPI suggest and stripping the team of its hard-earned home-pitch advantage. However, when a businessman, Sigi Schmid, had to choose where to invest his money, it did not matter the conference or the name of the institution. He bet on the best talent, and that was a Zip.
This is also a boost for the Zips program. Coach Caleb Porter undoubtedly will tell recruits that they can come to Akron, and after only two years, they have potential to be the nation's most sought-after player.
Zakuani led the nation with 20 goals and 27 points this season as a sophomore. He was Soccer America's player of the year and was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, given to the top NCAA Division I player.