Defending NCAA Champions Akron Zips have a long way to go until their title defense begins in the fall, but a packed spring schedule will lay the groundwork for the start of the college season.
This Friday, the team will head over to Madrid, Spain, for a spring break trip. Players depart at the end of the week, while head coach Caleb Porter and his coaching staff have already set up shop on the other side of the pond.
"This is an opportunity of a lifetime for the Akron soccer program to spend our spring break in Spain, the top soccer country in the world right now," Porter said in a statement. "To be able to immerse ourselves in the game as well as take in the Spanish culture will make for a unique experience unlike anything our team has done before."
But trip to Spain’s capital will be far from a vacation. Akron will play the reserve teams of Atlético Madrid and Getafe before closing out against the Real Madrid reserves. Through it all, they will continue to incorporate some of the newest members of the team who have enrolled this semester.
Seven of Akron’s 11 starters from last season’s championship side made the jump to MLS. Their departures left a gaping hole in the program, but holdovers from last year who didn’t see as much time and yet another strong recruiting class will fill the void. Still, nothing will change in the Zips’ game.
“Obviously we’re not going to change the way we play, we’re not going to all of a sudden now adapt. It’s about the way we play, and it’s a very collective-oriented style,” Porter said back in February. “[Our style is] built on possession and combination play, ball movement, player movement, and it’s a one- and two-touch style.”
Akron Spain Schedule
- March 14 vs. Atlético Madrid Reserves
- March 16 vs. Getafe Reserves
- March 18 vs. Real Madrid Reserves