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A look at every former Akron player that is now in MLS

With the 20th Major League Soccer season right around the corner, hustlebelt takes a look at every former Zip that now plies his trade in MLS.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Now that CBA talks have finally been finalized and we know that the Major League Soccer season will start on time, let's take a look at all the new and old Zips that are plying their trade in MLS and predict how they will do in the 2015 season.

Saad Abdul-Salaam

We actually have this one covered already. Check out the 10 things you need to know about Abdul-Salaam right here.

Chad Barson

Barson made 13 appearences for Columbus Crew SC last season, including eights starts in the backline. He is widely recognized as a versatile full back that can play on either the left and right side, and looks to be a moderate contributor on a Crew team that made the playoffs last year.

If Barson can keep getting forward and return to the form of his rookie season, where he signed a Homegrown contract with Crew SC and played in 20 games --logging 1612 minutes -- then he may set himself apart from Waylon Francis and some of the newcomers to Mapfre Stadium.

Teal Bunbury

You might remember Bunbury for this curling effort in the playoffs last season, but he is more than just a good striker of the ball.

Bunbury helped his team to the MLS Cup final before finally succumbing to a LA Galaxy team that was hot on the form of a retiring Landon Donovan and MVP Robbie Keane. But Bunbury and his New England Revolution have a great season ahead and the former Zip will look to replicate his form last year, which saw him score six goals and assist on eight others.

Evan Bush

Bush had an up-and-down season in Montreal last year. He was apart of two wins, six losses and five draws with the Impact and with only Eric Kronberg challenging him for a spot, Bush should see some more time on the pitch this season.

Scott Caldwell

Caldwell did well in his sophomore season with the Revolution. He's never been much of a scorer, but his defensive contributions and ability to connect with Jermaine Jones and the rest of the midfield will be key for New England this season.

Caldwell played 31 games last season, including all five playoff games, and if he can continue finding his teammates with precise passing -- he had four assists last season -- then he will probably have another good year for MLS Cup finalists.

Perry Kitchen

Kitchen had a very good 2014. He helped turn an abysmal D.C. United team in 2013 who only had three wins, into a Eastern Conference-leading juggernaut who fell in the semifinals of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Kitchen, who can play as both a midfielder or a defender, added scoring to his repertoire last season, recording five goals and four assists to his stat line.

After that impressive season, Kitchen earned an invite to U.S. men's national team camp and recorded some quality minutes in the USMNT's win over Panama earlier in January.

With all that on his mind and the regular season fast approaching, Kitchen will need to be in great form for D.C. once again if United is to make another strong playoff run.

Chris Korb

Korb helped that D.C. United team as well, playing defender in 20 games last season, to have one of the stingiest defenses in the league. He is an experienced defender with four years of MLS play under his belt and if he can produce on the offensive end as well this season -- as he did with his three assists last season -- he should see an uptick in usage.

With the outside back position slightly up in the air for D.C. at the moment, Korb would do well to cement his place early and use his experience to prove his worth.

Darren Mattocks

Mattocks had a solid season in Vancouver last season. He played in 30 games last season, his most since coming to the league in 2012, and showed his offensive prowess with six goals and three assists. He has always been a proven goalscorer who possesses the pace and guile to get behind opposing defenders, if he could convert on more of his efforts then he would truly be one of the best strikers in the league.

Mattocks had 54 shots last season, with 23 on target. With about 30 percent of his shots on goal turning into goals, Mattocks can truly show his worth by putting more shots on frame and, by association, more in the back of the net.

Darlington Nagbe

Nagbe is one of the many players that followed their former coach, Caleb Porter, to the professional level in Portland. Porter has made a habit of drafting many of his former stars at Akron and Nagbe, along with some of the others coming later in this list, see some major time underneath the former UA coach.

As an attacking midfielder, Nagbe is one of the most dynamic outlets the Timbers have, and his ability to pass in tight situations and turn possession into attack make him invaluable to the Timbers' system. He had an bad season offensively last year, scoring only one goal but he made up for it with seven assists.

If Nagbe can recreate the form of 2013, where he scored nine and assisted four in 34 games, then he can be a standout player for Portland once again.

Michael Nanchoff

Another of Akron's finest that followed Porter to Portland. Nanchoff will be looking to prove himself to his former coach  after only featuring three times in 2014. Not much to say other than the fact that the Timbers have a packed midfield core and if Nanchoff wants to break in, he has a lot of competition to contend with.

If Nanchoff can improve on the offensive end and take advantage of the litany of midfield injuries that Portland has coming into the season, then he might get some extended time for the Timbers early on. Whether he can expand upon that and gain a starting role will depend on how well he does on the pitch and the training ground.

Kofi Sarkodie

Sarkodie has been a revelation for the Dynamo since he was drafted No. 7 overall in 2011. His first two seasons were underwhelming as he made only 17 appearances and recorded a single assist.

But he bursted on the scene in 2013, making 33 starts and assisting on four goals in his position at outside back. Sarkodie put up nearly the exact same numbers last season, making one less start, but still provided an attacking outlet for the Dynamo and switched defense into attack.

With the Dynamo trending upwards in terms of performance, Sarkodie may be able to help Houston back to the playoffs after missing out in 2014.

Dillon Serna

Not much to report on Serna. He's an exiting young player that signed a Homegrown contract with the Colorado Rapids in 2013. He is a pretty solid attack-minded midfielder, who had three goals and four assists to his name in 27 games last year.

The Rapids struggled heavily last year, only grabbing six wins in 34 tries. But if Serna and the rest of Colorado's midfield and forward line step up and score some more goals -- the Rapids had the fifth-worst amount of goals scored in the Western conference -- then Colorado may stand a chance of making the playoffs in a highly-competitive Western conference.

Will Trapp

Trapp served as Vice Captain for the Columbus Crew in 2014 and he showed why he was given the position by consistent quality performances in front of the back four. He, much like Kitchen, impressed Jurgen Klinsmann enough to be invited to U.S. MNT camp this January and earned his first senior team cap against Chile.

Although he looked slightly out of his depth against the Chileans, Trapp always looks comfortable on the ball for Columbus, willing to take players on and almost always producing the right pass to transition defense into offense. Trapp showed that last season with four assists and a goal for Crew S.C. and he looks primed for another solid season this year.

Ben Zemanski

Perhaps the saddest one to end the list with.

Zemanski sustained a torn ACL during the Timbers' preseason friendly against Vancouver. Zemanski did see a downturn in minutes last season, but he, as well as Nanchoff, would have seen an uptick in minutes with the mass midfield injuries that Portland is entering the season with.

Now that he is on that list of injuries, he needs to focus on rehabbing that knee and coming back strong.

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