Just yesterday the 2009 Generation Adidas class was announced, with 9 players on the list. These names are always interesting, as last year’s Top 3 picks (and 6 of the first 8 picks) were Generation Adidas players. The class features 2 defenders, 4 midfielders, 2 strikers, and 1 lone goalkeeper (Stefan Frei, of Cal; although born in Switzerland, I don’t believe he is related to the Swiss international – it’s like “Smith” over there). 3 of the players (Omar Gonzalez, Jeremy Hall, and Rodney Wallace) are from the national champion Maryland Terrapins.
The most interesting name on the list, however, is that of Steve Zakuani. The striker from the University of Akron led the nation in goals with 20, and in points per game with 2.14. Originally born in the Republic of Congo, Zakuani was raised primarily in London where he played on the Arsenal youth squad from 1997 through 2003. Spotted by the Zips coaching staff when they were evaluating a different player, Zakuani brought Akron all the way to the #2 ranking in the country and is a finalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, to be announced tomorrow evening. He was named the Mid-America Conference POY, Soccer America POY, and 1st-team NCAA Division I.
Soccer clearly runs in the family, as Steve’s older brother Gabriel came up with Leyton Orient and Fulham (where he was eventually loaned to Stoke City), and currently plays for Peterborough United in the Colaship.