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COACHES' BREAKDOWN: Derschang is more athletic than some left-backs at the MLS level, and he's got all the attacking flair that you could want out of the position: He's at his best when he's bombing up the sideline, can beat guys 1-v-1 and hit a good cross (though not as consistently as coaches would like). Still, he has only been playing at that spot for the last year, so there's still lots to learn. His positioning will have to improve, and he occasionally makes bad decisions on the ball. More importantly, can he develop the tactical savvy to out-think MLS attackers, and can he maintain the focus to do it for 90 minutes? Derschang's biggest obstacle will be proving that he's not just an attacker playing a defensive position, but his attitude in learning his new role at Akron has been fantastic, and he's been hungry to keep improving.
COLLEGE: 2013: Appeared in 20 matches, making 18 starts ... finished tied for third on the team with four goals and one assist ... 2012: Appeared in 18 matches, starting 12 ... started two games at striker and 10 at left back ... assisted a goal in his first game at Akron, helping the Zips to a 4-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast (Aug. 24) ... 2010-11 (at SMU): Top Drawer Soccer Freshman All-American and two-year starter at SMU ... helped lead the Mustangs to an overall record of 29-9-3 over two seasons ... advanced to the NCAA Tournament each year, including a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2010 ... appeared in 37 games overall, earning 33 starts ... found the net six times, including a pair of game-winners, to go with six assists ... named to Conference USA All-Freshman team.
High School/Club: NSCAA High School All-American at Cherry Creek HS ... 35th-ranked recruit in the nation, according to Top Drawer Soccer, after scoring 36 goals and adding 33 assists over a four-year career ... 5A Colorado Player of the Year as a senior after scoring 21 goals and totalling eight assists ... two-time, first-team all-state selection ... named to the U.S. National team Pool at the Under-14, Under-15 and Under-17 levels and participated in the U.S. Under-17 residency program in 2008.
Personal: Born March 16, 1992 ... parents are Peter and Kathy Derschang ... has two older sisters; Allison and Megan ... Megan runs cross country for Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. ... sports management major.