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.