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College Soccer


December 10, 2012
Soccer News Net Men's College Boot

Previous winners of the Soccer News Net College Boot.

2007---Zack Simmons, UMass
2008--- Mike Grella, Duke
2009---Teal Bunbury, Akron
2010---Darlington Nagbe, Akron
2011---Chandler Hoffman, UCLA

Cast your vote for the Soccer News Net College Boot player of the year

2007: Zack Simmons, UMass
Simmons, who started his collegiate career as a walk-on, back-up goalkeeper, led the Minutemen to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA College Cup in 2007.

Simmons recorded nine shutouts in 2007, leading the team into the NCAA tournament for only the second time in program history. Their Cinderella run to the College Cup ended with a 1-0 loss to Ohio State. Even in the loss, Simmons was stellar, making two rapid-fire saves before eventually allowing the goal.
“He’s a great goalkeeper,” said Ohio State’s Xavier Balc of Simmons. “Basically the only way to put it past him is to make him make a great play and while he’s on the ground, put it away.”

Other honors for his stellar performance that year included being named to the College Cup All-Tournament Team and the NSCAA/Adidas All-America Third-Team.

After a brief stint in Major League Soccer with the New England Revolution, Simmons went into coaching and is currently the JV coach at Haverhill (Mass.) High School.

2008: Mike Grella, Duke
Grella capped a fabulous four-year career at Duke University (3-3-2 conference, 10-8-2 overall) by leading the Blue Devils into the NCAA Division I tournament with 14 goals (second in the conference) and eight assists. That was good enough to be picked as the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

He finished his college career with 41 goals and 27 assists for 109 points as the Blue Devils registered a 51-25-7 mark during his tenure.

The 5-11, 170-lb. Grella scored the game-winning goals in the 2005 and 2006 ACC championship games.

Even before college, success was a hallmark of Grella’s career. As a member of the Albertson Red Storm, he helped the team to the U.S. Youth Soccer Association nationals in 2003 and 2004. He also was named national high school player of the year in 2004.

He is currently with Scunthorpe United in England's Football League One.

2009: Teal Bunbury, Akron
Bunbury led the Zips to the 2009 Men’s College Cup Final, where they fell to champions Virginia in penalty kicks. He also won the 2009 MAC Hermann Trophy.

Bunbury, who earned NSCAA All-America First Team honors in 2009, was the most dangerous striker in college soccer, leading the nation with 17 goals scored, five of them game-winners. In addition, four of his five assists set up game-winning goals.

In all, the native of Prior Lake, Minn., recorded at least one point 16 times in 25 games and had four multigoal games in 2009. Bunbury enjoyed an incredible run from late September to early November, scoring 14 goals in a 12-game span, including game-winners against Florida Atlantic, Virginia Tech, Buffalo and Penn State. His 39 points led the Zips to an undefeated season.

Bunbury capped his stellar college career by becoming the first-ever second-generation MLS player, when he was selected in the 2010 SuperDraft by the Kansas City Wizards, the same team his father, Alex, a member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, had played for. While still in high school, Teal played for Canada’s U-17 national team. He scored six goals in 23 games in his freshman season at Akron.

Bunbury is currently with Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City

2010: Darlington Nagbe, Akron
Nagbe, a junior forward from Lakewood, Ohio, started all 25 games and helped Akron win the NCAA College Cup for the first time. That season, he posted 27 points on seven goals and 13 assists, and was named the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year. He earned NSCAA National Player of the Week honors Sept. 8. Nagbe was the third consecutive Akron player to be voted a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, after 2008 runner-up Steve Zakuani and 2009 winner Teal Bunbury.

Nagbe also won the MAC Hermann Trophy, and was the the second straight Zip to earn the Soccer News Net College Player of the Year award, following Teal Bunbury.

Nagbe was the second overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and is currently with Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers.

Supporters’ Choice: Notre Dame’s Steven Perry, who finished third overall in the race for Soccer News Net College Player of the Year, finished first in the fan voting and received the Soccer News Net Supporters’ Choice Award for being the leading vote-getter in the month-long online balloting

2011: Chandler Hoffman, UCLA
Hoffman, a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, finished his junior year at UCLA tied for fourth nationally in both goals (18) and points scored (42). He also tied Bruins records for consecutive games with a goal and multiple goal games, scoring in five straight games and tallying four multiple goal games. In addition, Hoffman earned third-team All-American and first first-team All-Far West Region honors from the NSCAA and was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection after leading the conference in goals and points. The Birmingham, Ala. native (Oak Mountain HS/Birmingham United) signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer on December 30, finishing his UCLA career with 29 goals, nine assists and 67 points in 54 games played.

Hoffman is currently with Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union.

Supporters’ Choice: UC-Irvine junior Miguel Ibarra, who finished second in the overall College Boot voting, led all candidates in fan voting, giving him the 2011 Soccer News Net Supporters Choice Award.

Cast your vote for the Soccer News Net College Boot player of the year

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