Scouting for the Revs: Andre Akpan

Discussion in 'New England Revolution' started by burud111, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. burud111

    burud111 Member

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    Went to Harvard v. Monmouth today for the NCAA Tournament Rd. 2. I was hoping to get a look at Akpan and maybe discover some other players.

    Game started very even. Harvard scored before halftime after hitting the crossbar twice in the same sequence. Central defender scored.

    After halftime, Harvard started to sit back and Monmouth looked the more dangerous team. To this point, Akpan was being looked for by his teammates but wasn't showing anything. He was good at heading passes off of goal kicks to his teammates and repelling the defender. He'd shown glimpses of extended possession but also had some concrete touches.

    Monmouth hit the crossbar when a player latched his head onto a cross from the right. Then on a counter-attack, Akpan ran at 2-3 players and lasered a left footed shot past the goalkeeper. Really well struck with the left and while he disappeared for most of the game, he came through.

    Ivy League Rookie of the Year Brian Rogers bent a low free kick around the wall into the net to secure a 3-0 win.

    Akpan's Pros: Can hold off physical defenders, has size, can possess the ball, appears to be two-footed
    Akpan's Cons: Dropped back into midfield a lot, disappears at times, seemed lazy at some points.

    Other players I liked:
    HVD: F Brian Rogers, Fr. Has great potential, very impressed.
    HVD: AM Alex Chi, Jr. Might be too small for MLS, (5'6") but was wily.
    HVD: D Kwaku Nyamekye, Sr. Big imposing defender, Iro-esque.
    MON: D Daniel Bostock, Sr. From England! the Captain I believe.

    Honorable Mention:
    Harvard: Adam Rousmaniere, Baba Omosegbon
    Monmouth: Ryan Kinne, Drew Von Bargen


  2. RevsFanDan

    RevsFanDan Member

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    Why is size an issue??? Can he play??? Is he smart??? Does he know where his team mates are on the field???

    C'mon people..THIS IS THE ONE SPORT where SIZE doesn't matter, at all!!!

    Rimando just proved that you don't have to be 6'6 and have arms as long as Michael Phelps to win a championship...3 TIMES!!

    Let's get this American Sporting mentality out of our minds about size..Geez!!
  3. The Magpie

    The Magpie Member

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    Akpan likes to play as a pivot of sorts, especially this year knowing that opposing defenses will key in on him, often freeing up space for his teammates. I have to agree that he can disappear at times, that being said, he's having a helluva season after the departure of Fucito.

    As far as scouting by the Revs? I know that Paul Mariner was a regular fixture at Harvard matches over the past few years, and I won't be surprised to see Burns or Nicol at Ohiri on Sunday when Harvard takes on defending national champion Maryland in the Sweet 16. Chicago certainly has to have been keeping an eye on him, this as he was top-scorer for Chicago Fire Premier in 2009, and being a Grand Prairie, TX-native, I'd like to think Dallas would have a look at him.

    Alex Chi is a good young player, and I actually know his aunt... but the player I've been saying for years could be a MLS sleeper is Nyamekye. He's 6-1, 200lbs, and actually isn't much bigger than Akpan, but he plays big, and most importantly, he plays smart. That "soccer brain" that Nicol has spoken so fondly of in the case of someone like Michael Parkhurst? Nyamekye has it. He's a Swiss citizen, and is good enough to probably play back home at some level, but if I'm New England, I'd give him strong consideration for a later round pick in the MLS Superdraft a la Andy Dorman.

    I'm hoping to photograph the Harvard vs. Maryland match on Sunday (match time TBD), so maybe I'll see some of you out there.

    Evan
  4. jokeefe80

    jokeefe80 Red Card

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    the title of this thread is so LOL


  5. burud111

    burud111 Member

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    Yeah, there were definitely time when Nyamekye took the ball upfield aggressively, but he was always smart about it, and didn't turn it over.
  6. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

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    I think that would be true if the Refs called the game the way the rules are written. Unfortunately, there is far too much physical play by defenders which. IMO puts a small Forward at a significant disadvantage.
  7. Chowda

    Chowda Member

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    I think Evan started scouting him for the Revs three years ago. :) No joke, he has posted about him as far back as 2006.

    But someone from the Revs has seen him play more than a few times. I'd like him here, but he may not far that far.
  8. RevsFanDan

    RevsFanDan Member

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    Not if he's good enough..! Humans have a strange way of learning to adapt to difficult and stressful situations. Some can be pushed around so much that they get red carded right out of a World Cup out of frustration...then come right back and almost single handedly win the top prize in Sport. =)
  9. burud111

    burud111 Member

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    it was Rousmaniere with the free kick not Rogers.
  10. MrSangster

    MrSangster Member

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    Rogers did more tahn Apkan. Apkan looked lazy today. Not sure if he changed his mind on the PK attempt, but, his approach and follow up shot seemed half-hearted.

    Really liked the #11 Casey Townsend ( Sophomore) and #10 Drew Yates (senior)for Maryland. Yates worked both offensively and defensively for the Terp's and looked strong in the middle of the pitch.
  11. Soc4Us

    Soc4Us Member

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    Agree with your comment on Apkan. I hadn't seen him before, several people in the crowd were talking about him before the match. Big letdown. I don't even think Maryland was doing anything special to mark him.

    Nicol, Tornberg, and Feldman were at the match, at least for the first half.
  12. The Magpie

    The Magpie Member

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    Maryland's defense was the difference in the game today, denying Akpan of any noteworthy touches while applying relentless pressure in the middle of the field. Harvard keeper Austin Harms didn't help matters though, misplaying the ball on both Maryland goals. Kwaku Nyamekye impressed me again though, and I'll say it again: If I'm New England, I'd give serious consideration to using a late-round pick on the Harvard defender.

    FWIW, Nicol was on hand for the match, as was Brad Feldman and Joe Bradley of Mass Premier Soccer. It's also my understanding that there was at least one European scout in attendance as well.

    The Magpie
  13. burud111

    burud111 Member

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    Yeah, I didn't see Nicol or Feldman were they on the side of the field with benches?

    I did see two guys in full Ireland Eircom regalia though. Don't know if they were scouts or whatever.


    Akpan disappears and does appear lazy to me. He doesn't go the game or drop back into the midfield, despite being probably the best possessor of the ball on the field. Bad service is only so much of an excuse. His missed penalty wasn't good but it wasn't bad.

    For Maryland #10 Drew Yates was really good I thought. He could hold the ball and keep defenders honest by showing him that he could beat them.

    Kwaku for Harvard was worse going forward today, but he bailed out his team in crucial moments, while also being out of position in others. He's like a bigger (and potentially better) Emmanuel Osei.

    Alex Chi was outmuscled numerous times by the bigger Maryland team.

    Rogers was good again for Harvard, while Harvard's goalkeeper needed to do better on multiple plays. MacMath, Maryland's goalkeeper and a bunch of errant goal kicks that could've cost the Terps. He saved a key header late and the PK though. I liked Terps defender Ethan White.

    Casey Townsend was good for Maryland, but he came across as a little cocky and condescending to the referee. Only a sophomore though.

    Part-time Red Bull Matt Kassel didn't impress me from what I saw, though he was in the top 10 in assists in the ACC.

    Overall, from these 2 games, if I'm an MLS coach I'm only considering Akpan, Nyamekye, Yates, and possibly Rogers and Townsend down the line. Possibly a late flyer on Kinne or Bostock of Monmouth.
  14. MrSangster

    MrSangster Member

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    Akpan was offsides 4 times by my count. But, it was more than just Akpan. Whenever the ball crossed midfield , the Crimson player was instantly double teamed. Harvard didn't switch up the ball. In the second half , a ball was sent from the right to the left halfback (#8?) where he was soon 1 against 4. Great team defense from Maryland.

    I agree about Alex Chi (#9) being outmuscled in the middle. Too small, not enough strength and not enough height to challenge for the ball. One play in the second half where he crossed midfield on a through ball and Yates perfectly put his body in front of Chi and spun around back toward the Harvard goal for a counter attack.

    I thought that was a very soft first goal to give up. Two Harvard defenders on the ball, one slips and that allows Townsend to dribble and cross from the goal line (Bangu!). The Harvard defender wasn't tight enough on his man, but a weird skip or deflection floated the ball over the Harvard keeper. Had the GK stayed on his line, he would have made the save. He came off his line a few times very hesitant. The second Maryland goal was the result of an excellent counterattack where they switched the ball to the opposite side.
  15. The Magpie

    The Magpie Member

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    Nicol and Bradley arriving just before kickoff:

    [​IMG]
  16. Chowda

    Chowda Member

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    Refresh my memory, who is Bradley?
  17. dncm

    dncm Member

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    Joe runs MPS who were instrumental in getting Nicol over as player/coach for the now defunct senior Bulldogs side.

    Joe also played at Harvard.

    Not sure why they would have been there together outside of maybe friendship. They are somewhat competitors since the Revs now have the U16/18 teams which would compete with Bradley's MPS teams.
  18. Minutemanii

    Minutemanii Member+

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    He's my son's coach. Sometimes.

    http://www.mpsbr.com/home/363497.html (look for the little lad with the ball at his feet!!)

    Sorry, I just had to! :D
  19. Crooked

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    I saw Nicol at the BC/Drake game, good to see they're making the rounds to catch some games... I just hope this isn't the extent of our scouting this offseason.
  20. rkupp

    rkupp Member+

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    Nicol and Mariner have always made the local div. 1 college games when they've been in town - that's probably why they've had some of their best luck drafting ACC, Ivy and BE players.
  21. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

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    Friendship is probably the right answer. I don;t think they view each other as competitors in any way. I may be mistaken, but I think they both still play together on the Bulldogs over-35 team.
  22. The Magpie

    The Magpie Member

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    Just FYI, but the following local college players have been invited to the 2010 Adidas MLS Player Combine:

    Frederick Hall (Quinnipiac University)
    Kwame Watson-Siriboe (University of Connecticut)
    Samuel Appiah (Boston University)
    Carlos Villa (University of Hartford)
    Toni Stahl (University of Connecticut)
    Mike Pezza (University of Connecticut)
    Andre Akpan (Harvard University)
    Craig Henderson (Dartmouth College)
    Nick Elenz-Martin (Brown University)
    Kwaku Nyamekye (Harvard University)
  23. RevsRule

    RevsRule Member

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    I guess BC fell off the radar screen
  24. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

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    Most of their best players are underclassmen.
  25. Chowda

    Chowda Member

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    Same for Brown. Their captains were a sophomore and a junior.

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