MACwood Squares: Who's The Greatest Akron Soccer Player Ever?

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 15: Steve Zakuani #11 of the Seattle Sounders FC scores a goal in the first half against Chivas USA on October 15 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

MACwood Squares is our summer reading series on the best athletes in Mid-American Conference sports history. This week features Akron. Looking for your MAC school? Consult our schedule for other teams and please submit your nominees as well.

Maybe we just make this thing nine soccer players. We have enough to fill it out. Akron soccer might have the largest crop of great player of any sport in any MAC school

Right now there are 12 former Zips in the MLS, and a handful of others in the NASL. Last year's national championship is just a momentary epilogue to its rich history.

First we start with this list of Akron All-Americans, and notice all those two-timers:

1956: Ed Long
1957: Ed Bender
1960: Fritz Kungl
1961: Fritz Kungl
1962: Pete Milich
1963: Pete Milich
1966: Joe Quieoroga, Ford Brunner
1967: Joe Quieoroga, Ford Brunner
1968: Jim Malcom
1970: Richard Parkinson, Eugene Alfred, John Lewang
1971: Richard Parkinson
1972: Richard Parkinson
1975: George Nanchoff
1976: George Nanchoff, Louie Nanchoff
1977: Louie Nanchoff, Steve Gliedt
1979: Joe Pereira
1982: Simon Spelling, Matt English
1983: Simon Spelling, J.B. Amangoua
1984: Sean Burke, Shaun Pendleton
1998: Roderick Scott, Michael Apple
2005: Siniša Ubiparipović, Ross McKenzie, Yohann Mauger
2006: Siniša Ubiparipović
2007: Corey Sipos
2008: Steve Zakuani, Anthony Ampaipitakwong
2009: Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Teal Bunbury, Darlington Nagbe
2010: Darlington Nagbe, Kofi Sarkodie

Now let's go with those who have Wikipedia entries!

Evan Bush
Benny Dargle
Conrad Earnest
Blair Gavin
Perry Kitchen
Cameron Knowles
Chris Korb
Devon McKenney
Michael Nanchoff
Justin Sadler
Zarek Valentin
Kyle Veris
Ben Zemanski

That's just to show you how much there is to sort through. But if we had to pick eight out of the group, we might do something like this:

Pete Milich (1960-63) — Maybe you can't really compare goal numbers across generations, but 85 goals in four season seems a little ridiculous. Nobody else has more than 60 as a Zip. In one game he netted seven goals against Frostburg State in 1962.

Robert Parkinson (1970-73) — The only one of this bunch with three All-American selections. Convincing enough.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic (2004-06) — Just want to see if his name will fit in my graphic template. Also, he was twice an All-American and once a MAC Player of the Year.

Evan Bush (2005-08) — You need a good goalkeeper, and he pretty much owns the Zips books between the pipes.

Steve Zakuani (2007-08) — By virtue of being a No. 1 MLS pick in the 2009 SuperDraft. (Super!) He was also a Hermann Trophy finalist as a sophomore, which is pretty groovy.

Teal Bunbury (2008-09) — This is the color I plan to paint my kitchen. He's also a Hermann winner and Sporting Kansas City forward.

Anthony Ampaipitakwong (2007-10) — Okay. HIS name won't fit. But his game totally does: he was twice a Hermann Trophy finalist and played in more games as a Zip than anyone else. You can find him with the San Jose Earthquakes. Apparently everybody from Akron wants to go all the way over to the west coast.

Darlington Nagbe (2008-10) — This past year's Hermann Trophy winner when he had seven goals and 13 assists. You can currently see him with the Portland Timbers.

We'll try the poll as well.

Who are your nominees for Akron's MACwood Squares? Comment below, tweet us at @HustleBelt or submit a FanPost making your case. The final nine will be revealed Friday.

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