As we get deeper into the NCAA tournament, we are seeing many of the common names sticking around. However, there were many second round upsets last weekend with unseeded teams such as University of San Diego, Northwestern, and Syracuse making it to the third round. While you should keep an eye on the sleeper teams, there are some strong third round matchups that are sure to be thrillers in this tournament. I’ll be keeping it brief for you this week so you can have more time to enjoy this holiday.
Today we feature players from the third round matchup between number one seed Notre Dame and sixteenth seed Indiana University. I’ve already introduced you to Eriq Zavaleta and his complex connection with Chivas USA, but here’s more from the Hoosiers.
Luis Soffner – The senior goalkeeper, while not widely known, has put in a strong season that should put him on the radar of many MLS teams. He’s had 70 saves this season and has only allowed 16 goals.
Andrew Oliver – The young forward was one of the best players for the U.S. U-17 squad in 2011, winning the Golden Boot at the CONCACAF tournament. He played so well that he was invited to train with Liverpool FC. He hasn’t made as strong of a mark with Indiana having only scored 2 goals in 392 minutes. However, Oliver is someone to watch out for.
Ryan Finley – Finley has not started a game for Notre Dame this season, yet the prolific forward is the one of the top goal scorers in all of college soccer. With 19 goals and 4 assists so far, he could be a top draft pick. However, the fact that he has only been a substitute this season will most likely go against him – MLS scouts and coaches already put down the lack of minutes and experience college players get in their short seasons. Being a super sub won’t help Finley’s case.
Dillon Powers – If you’re a fan of the youth national teams, this guy is no stranger to you. Powers was a member of the 2009 U.S. U-20 squad that traveled to Egypt, and was a staple for the 2010 Milk Cup team that went undefeated. A box-to-box midfielder, Powers has been rumored to join MLS every draft since he decided to go to Notre Dame. He’s a solid player who is seen as one of the few MLS-ready players in the NCAA.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!