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NCAA men's soccer Final 4 filled with IMG Academy soccer program alums

Anthony Ampaipitakwong
Anthony Ampaipitakwong

When the Akron, UNC, Virginia and Wake Forest men's soccer teams gather this week in Cary, NC, for the semi-finals and finals of NCAA D-I championships, a few players will have something in common.

Akron's Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Blair Gavin, Enrique Paez, Kofi Sarkodie and Zarek Valentin; UNC's Alex Walters and Javier Velez; Virginia's Diego Restrepo; and Wake Forest's Alfredo Rodriguez-Allen all have spent time training at the IMG Academy soccer program.

Some quick info:

* Ampaipitakwong, a three-time MVP of the IMG team and member of last summer's IMG Bradenton Academics PDL team, is a finalist for the Hermann Trophy given to the nation's top men's and women's collegiate soccer player (Winner announced on Friday).

* Paez was named the 2007 IMG Academy soccer program Defender of the Year.

* Rodriguez-Allen was named IMG Academy soccer program Most Improved Player in 2005 and 2006 and was the leading scorer at the prestigious Dallas Cup in 2007

* Walters was named IMG Academy soccer program Player of the Year

* Velez was team captain of the IMG Academy soccer program U-17 team

Akron (23-0) plays UNC (16-2-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Virginia and Wake Forest (both 16-3-3) face off at 5 p.m. Friday.

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