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Top Players Of The 2013 College Cup – By Ben Roth

Harrison Shipp:  The Irish #10 displayed his excellent skill and vision in the final third during both games, providing three assists.  The senior captain was being marked all tournament, but still found ways to be dynamic and dribble through the opposing defenses.  The Chicago Fire homegrown candidate and possible Hermann Trophy winner showed his class over the course of the year and was without a doubt the best player in the College Cup



Patrick Mullins: The 2012 Hermann Trophy Award winner was nothing less than superb in both games this past weekend.  Mullins netted three clinical goals, including the game winner in the semi-final over Virginia.  The Terps captain has a swagger and humbleness about him that builds confidence in his teammates.  The senior forward’s three goals in the tournament extended his national lead in goals to 19 while bringing his total as a Terp to an extremely impressive 47.



Grant Van De Casteele: The Irish center back had two standout performances leading a Notre Dame defense which only let allowed one goal in the two games.  The MLS combine invitee was dominant in the air and rarely beat one on one.  Van De Casteele had some key stops and contained Mullins fairly well en route to the school’s first national championship.




Patrick Hodan:  The Irish sophomore midfielder was kept relatively quiet in the finals, but exploded in the semi-final, scoring two goals against a New Mexico defense who hadn’t given up a goal all tournament.  Hodan extended his consecutive goal streak to six games after his brace against the Lobos.  The crafty left footed player performed phenomenally all post season and is definitely a prospect for the future.



Darius Madison:  The Virginia striker put his full repertoire of skills and athleticism on display in the semi final match against Maryland.  The Philadelphia Union academy product played on his possible future MLS field and didn’t disappoint.  The sophomore sensation struck the post twice and was unlucky not to convert. 




Tsubaba Endoh: The Terrapin midfielder was active during both games and really impressed with his incredible technical ability and quickness.  Endoh provided the game winning assist in the semi final, with a crafty over the top ball to Mullins.  The shifty Japanese sophomore stood out in one of the most talented midfields in the country.




Andrew O’Malley:  O’Malley, Van De Casteele’s partner as center back, was stellar in both games while his game winning header in the final gave Notre Dame the National Championship.  The senior captain is highly underrated and deserves more credit for his toughness in the back. 




Nick Besler:  Besler, a defensive mid for the Irish, was the holding piece and deep lying force the team needed against two explosive attacking teams.  The brother of US National teamer, Matt Besler, Nick, although not flashy, played extremely well helping the midfield spray the ball around.  Expect Nick’s performance to put him in the conversation as a future MLS prospect.




Ben Roth is a contributing writer for College Soccer News covering the College Cup at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.  He can be reached at

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