When Indiana University takes on Georgetown in Sunday afternoon’s NCAA Men's College Cup Final (LIVE 1:00 p.m. CT on ESPNU) in Hoover, Ala., the Fire may have split loyalties.
That’s because no less than eight players from the club’s vast Player Development setup will be involved in the final. The Fire are also the only MLS club to have players from their Academy playing on both sides of the final
Indiana enters the match having see six players with Fire ties part of the team that downed Creighton 1-0 in Friday’s second semifinal.
Fire Academy products in junior midfielder Jacob Bushue (Champagne, Ill.; 2009-10) and sophomore defender Patrick Doody (Naperville, Ill. 2008-11) are regular starters for the Hoosiers while freshman forward Andrew Oliver (Indianapolis, Ind. 2011-12) often comes off the bench for IU.
The three above players also join junior midfielder Harrison Petts (Zionsville, Ind.) and backup goalkeeper Michael Soderlund (Boise, Ida.) as players that have taken part in the club’s PDL and Super-20 teams over recent seasons.
Just to show how far reaching the Fire net goes at IU, the team also features freshman forward Richard Ballard (Louisville) who is a product of the Kentucky Fire Juniors.
Georgetown enters the match with three-year Fire Academy product Ian Christianson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 2007-09). The midfielder scored the Hoyas third spot kick to help defeated Maryland in the shootout after playing to a thrilling 4-4 draw in Friday’s first semifinal.
Tied for the team lead in games played with 25, the senior midfielder has tallied two goals and two assists and is joined at Georgetown by midfielder Tom Skelly (Albuquerque, N.M.) who spent the 2012 season with the Fire PDL team.