MLS on Campus: Memphis target man on Portland's radar

Mark Sherrod - On Campus

Photo Credit: 
University of Memphis

Welcome back to MLS On Campus, our weekly look at the goings-on in the college game. Every Monday, we'll give you the week's best highlight, the standout players, which games to watch in the week ahead and, of course, our national Top 10 list.

After all, the SuperDraft is only a few months away...

Big Men on Campus

Memphis junior forward Mark Sherrod  With the Tigers' season on the line, Sherrod (above) stepped up huge, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over SMU that punched his team's ticket into the Conference USA Tournament. Playing at a Memphis program that doesn’t get a lot of publicity, he's nonetheless caught the eye of many MLS clubs, and has played for the Portland Timbers U-23s during the summer. Sherrod may yet be one of the most MLS-ready forwards in the country, with a big frame and a game that combines power and finesse to score a prolific 45 goals in three seasons.

Coastal Carolina sophomore forward Ricky Garbanzo – He's has had to live in the shadow of teammate Ashton Bennett, the Jamaican who led the country in goals last season. But in 2012, Garbanzo is starting to make a name for himself, as the tiny South Carolinian has grabbed 11 goals as Bennett's sidekick. He saved the biggest one of the season for last Friday night against High Point in a 1-0 win, a victory that assured the Chanticleers of a perfect 10-0-0 record in Big South Conference play. It marked their 19th straight conference win overall.

Rank Trending Last College Comment

1

1

Maryland
(14-1-2)

There will be no undefeated teams in the NCAA this year as Maryland’s dream of an unblemished season came to an end last Thursday night at the hands of Wake Forest. With the game tied 2-2, senior defensive anchor London Woodberry was shown a red card in the 65th minute, and the Terps went on to concede twice in a 4-2 loss. But they still retain the No. 1 seed for the ACC Tournament. 

2

2

Akron
(15-1-2)

Another game, another shutout. The Zips have allowed just one goal in their last 13 games, though they needed late heroics from New England Revolution Academy-bred senior Scott Caldwell to save late blushes against Western Michigan in a 1-0 win. All that’s left for Caleb Porter & Co. is the MAC Tournament and an NCAA tournament run. 

3

3

UConn
(15-2-1)

The Huskies saw off a strong challenge from Villanova in the Big East Tournament quarterfinal to book a place in the semifinals at Red Bull Arena against Notre Dame. Junior forward Mamadou Diouf scored the game-winner against Villanova, his 13th of the campaign. The big Senegalese forward could have a Generation adidas contract in his future this winter.

4

4

UNC
(14-2-1)

With Maryland’s loss, Carolina was able to grab a share of the ACC regular-season championship with a 4-0 throttling of Boston College. It’s a toss-up as to who are the favorites in the ACC Tournament, though the Tar Heels have a tough quarterfinal matchup against archrivals Duke on Tuesday night with a potential championship rematch with Maryland looming on Sunday. 

5

5

Notre Dame
(14-3-1)

Senior forward Ryan Finley grabbed another goal and assist as the Fighting Irish battled back from two goals down to defeat Syracuse in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. A massive showdown with UConn at Red Bull Arena on Friday night looms for the Irish, who can still likely grab a top seed in the NCAA Tournament with a good showing this weekend.

6

6

Georgetown
(16-2-1)

The Hoyas booked their spot in the Big East Tournament semis, avenging last year’s quarterfinal loss to St. John’s with a 2-1 win over the Red Storm. With the score tied in the second half, Red Bull Academy freshman Brandon Allen — who else? — found the game-winner, his 12th of the year, to book a spot at Red Bull Arena in a game that should hold special meaning for him.

7

9

Marquette
(16-2-1)

The Golden Eagles won both their Big East Tournament games last week, including a massive 2-1 win at Louisville to book the fourth and final semifinal spot. Standing at 6-foot-7, Swedish redshirt freshman center back Axel Sjoberg is second on the Golden Eagles with eight goals this year, and picked up one in each game from the weekend.  

8

8

New Mexico
(15-3-0)

The Lobos sent off their veterans in style with a 6-0 win over Houston Baptist on senior night. After a rough start to conference play, New Mexico has hit its stride with six straight shutouts. Albuquerque — which is a little higher than a mile above sea level — is always a daunting trip for an NCAA Tournament game, and that will be no different in 2012.

9

(NR)

Wake Forest
(11-3-4)

If the Demon Deacons were on the Top 10 bubble before the Maryland game, that win moved them firmly into the "NCAA Tournament darkhorse" conversation, especially after putting four goals past the Terps. Their high-powered offense, led by Seattle Sounders Academy forward Sean Okoli, has scored 16 goals in their last six games.

10

(NR)

UCLA
(12-2-3)

The Bruins haven’t run riot through a fairly weak Pac-12, but they scored a huge win at Washington last week to take back control of the conference and they’re simply a tough team to beat. Senior winger Ryan Hollingshead is a threat to score from outside the box and he’s also been a major provider this year with eight assists. UCLA won’t be an easy out in the tournament. 

 

Highlight of the Week

North Carolina scored some great goals in its 4-0 win over Boston College to earn a share of the ACC regular-season championship. 

What to Watch For:

Big East Tournament (Friday & Sunday, CBS Sports Network)

Get a look at four of the top ten teams in the country this weekend as CBS Sports Network shows the Big East Tournament live from Red Bull Arena. Marquette takes on Georgetown and UConn face sNotre Dame with the winners meeting on Sunday afternoon for the championship and a sure No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

ACC Tournament (Friday & Sunday, ESPN3, ESPNU)

The other East Coast power conference kicks off their tournament this week, with the semifinals taking place on Friday night in Germantown, Md. Maryland has the easiest track to the final with Wake Forest and North Carolina the most likely foes for the Terps on Sunday in the championship game.