Louisville star midfielder Mares transferring to Indiana


Dylan Mares, one of the best attacking midfielders in college soccer, will be switching schools this winter, leaving behind a strong program for the defending national champions.

Mares is leaving Louisville to transfer to Indiana University. The redshirt sophomore confirmed the transfer to SBI late Monday night. He will be eligible to play for the Hoosiers in 2013.

Louisville’s leading scorer with seven goals to go with six assists, Mares was outstanding in the NCAA Tournament, registering three goals and an assist while also forcing a game-winning own goal. He leaves Lousville to return to his home state of Indiana, with his hometown of Zionsville being less than 70 miles from Indiana’s Bloomington campus.

A freshman starter in the 2010 Louisville team that lost in the NCAA championship final to Akron, Mares saw his sophomore season ended by a torn ACL in the 2011 season opener. He returned in 2012 and showed the skills that have had pro scouts eyeing him for some time now.

A strong candidate for a Generation adidas contract next year, Mares will join a loaded Indiana squad that will return most of the team’s key attacking players from the team that just won the national championship. With Eriq Zavaleta expected to return to school, and with Indiana already boasting midfield standouts Nikita Kotlov and Harrison Petts, the Hoosiers could be even stronger in 2013 than they were in 2012, which they finished by winning the school’s eighth national championship.

Mares’ departure is a big blow for a Louisville side that will already be dealing with the expected departure of junior defender Andrew Farrell, the likely No. 1 pick in the 2013 MLS Draft, as well as seniors Paolo DelPiccolo and Gregory Cochrane. The Cardinals will still boast highly-regarded midfielder Will Vitalis, another player expected to be in contention for an MLS Generation adidas contract ahead of the 2014 MLS draft.

What do you think of this development? See Indiana repeating as national champions with Mares pulling the strings in central midfield? See Louisville being able to stay a top national contender without so many key players?

Share your thoughts below.

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34 Responses to Louisville star midfielder Mares transferring to Indiana

  1. Bobb says:

    I don’t mean to derail, but “redshirt sophomore”?

    People redshirt in high level college soccer? No wonder American players in their mid-20s are considered young unlike those in the rest of the world… The idea of “one of the best attacking midfielders in college soccer” not competing games for a year only supports those who bash college soccer (as if the limited number of games, substitutions, and clock were not enough)….

    • DanKarell says:

      Bobb, did you not read the story at all? He tore his ACL. So of course he’s going to redshirt that season. He always has the possibility of leaving school early anyways to go pro, so having an extra year in college isn’t a problem.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      He redshirted due to injury. It happens, but he’s back from the torn ACL and is one of the best midfielders in the nation. No real need for the anti-college soccer diatribe. It’s misguided in this case.

    • Vic says:

      Most top teams don’t use all the substitutions they’re allowed. As far as the schedule goes, a team plays about 18 games in the regular season. Add a few for the division tournament and possibly a few for preseason and ncaa tournament. Then add another five for the spring season. Add another 17 for the PDL season and your up to a min of over 40 games. How many more would you like?

  2. smokeminside says:

    How is he eligible to play right away? I thought there were rules against this kind of move.

    • Stubbs says:

      Switching to a program at Indiana which Louisville doesn’t offer maybe? There are loop holes

      • travies says:

        It’s not really a loop hole. Only football, basketball, and mens ice hockey mandate a year of residency at your new school before you are eligible. As long as you received your transfer and you’re not transferring within conference, you’re good to go. It’s different for the non-revenue sports where it’s less of a business.

        • Joe+G says:

          Here’s the official word from the NCAA:

          Q: Why do football and basketball players have to sit out a year after they transfer?

          A: The year-in-residence is required to help student-athletes adjust to their new school and ensure that their transfer was motivated by academics as well as athletics. Student-athletes who participate in most NCAA sports are eligible for a one-time transfer exception, which allows them to compete immediately after transfer once in their college experience if they meet all other transfer requirements (such as being academically eligible).

          However, student-athletes in sports that are historically academically underperforming – including basketball, football, baseball and men’s ice hockey – are not eligible for the exception. Though student-athletes in these sports can’t compete in their first year at their new school, they can receive an athletics scholarship and practice with the team. A waiver process is available to all student-athletes, and each waiver request is reviewed individually. From April 2011 to April 2012, the NCAA approved 91 transfer waivers and denied 71.

      • Joe+G says:

        That loophole primarily applies to students who have graduated. They can transfer to another school for grad studies and be immediately eligible as long as their current school doesn’t offer the grad program they are entering. A number of athletes have used this as a “one time” shot at a bigger or different program.

    • Shane says:

      Ben Speas did it also when he switched from the national champion Akron Zips to join N. Carolina, where he played a huge role in helping them win the national championship the following year. I always wondered how he was able to play right away too.

      • quozzel says:

        Martin Ontiveros also left the Zips after 2010 after his freshman season…he’s been playing the last two years (without sitting out) for Furman for Doug Allison alongside Walker Zimmerman and Coleton Henning, and he never sat out either.

    • matt says:

      Only in football and basketball I’m pretty sure.

      • Spencer says:

        Matt is correct, Ives has addressed this before that the sitting out a year doesn’t apply to soccer.

  3. Old School says:

    Being able to transfer without sitting out a year, is about #1724 on the list of ridiculous aspects of college soccer.

    • Travis says:

      Old school
      Wow, way to be misinformed. You can transfer without sitting out in every sport but football, basketball and ice hockey. Sorry that doesn’t fit your narrative.

      • Old School says:

        So every sport other than the big three in our country, i.e. our most relevant sports.

        It has nothing to do with being uninformed. It has to do with calling something absurd, absurd. However, if you want to compare soccer to volleyball or the swim team, by all means proceed.

        • Parzival says:

          Explain again what makes this absurd? It’s absurd because it goes against some arbitrary NCAA rule that you are more familiar with?

        • travies says:

          Old School
          thanks for including ice hockey in the big three but I’m pretty sure you meant baseball. And so you know, baseball also allows players to transfer freely one time.
          In a sports like college soccer where MOST of the players on the team are on partial scholarships if that, why enforce such a rule? How does limiting transfers somehow impact the level of the college game that you so detest? This is simply not a flaw but you are making it out to be one.

          • Old School says:

            I didn’t mean baseball, otherwise I would have included it.

            College baseball is garbage, too. Aluminum bats? Cmon son.

            • Dimidri says:

              So now you’re just not even defending your initial point of “Being able to transfer without sitting out a year, is about #1724 on the list of ridiculous aspects of college soccer.”

              Seems like having 20 year old players NOT have to not play games for an entire year would be a good thing and be consistent with what you think college soccer should be striving for (more games).

              Unless you’re so terrified that detractors will use the exemption as their silver bullet to show why soccer is inferior to the other sports…

            • travies says:

              no, you said the “big three sports” and last I checked that didn’t include ice hockey.
              You still have yet to point out how forcing transfers to sit a year in soccer somehow elevates the game.

    • Shane says:

      I’m so tired of the anti college soccer diatribe (as Ives puts it). Guys if you can point out a better option for American players that havent been offered a contract in Europe or a first team spot in MLS by 18 yrs of age, please point it out. College is way better than playing a handful of meaningless MLS reserve games.

      • Old School says:

        I think a lot of us are tired of the college soccer apologists.

        Instead of crying about better options (or lack thereof), how about we improve our system and point out flaws when they’re a story.

        • Parzival says:

          You, like everyone else, are awesome at pointing out flaws. How about you suggest a solution?

        • Brian says:

          Alright put your money where your mouth is and make it better. It is really easy to post how it could be made better by some one else. Perhaps you could figure a way to have an academy system that serves 300 million plus population with only 16 mls teams.Better yet provide the money that it would take for the clubs to provide a system that would render the college system obsolete. The facts are this country is too big for just the mls teams to develop talent.

          • Old School says:

            Let’s start and stop with the substitution system in soccer.



            • Dimidri says:

              Right, because if there’s one thing Americans lack in Europe, it’s fitness, the result of years of too many substitute breaks.

  4. Brian says:

    Depends on the college league ie. ACC, CAA, ect. if a student transfers in from outside, they are good to go. But if you transfer between schools within the league, you have to sit out a season.

  5. Rory says:

    Damnit… UL has had a heckof a run the last few years, between producing the rookie of the year this year (and the likely runner up in Deleon), the likely first pick this year, that National runner-up season, and another elite 8 year, this is a big hit to a growing program.

  6. Mikey V. says:

    Oh darn, Louisville losing a player, a good one at that! Maybe we have a chance to win Bluegrass battle next season.


    Kentucky Grad

  7. jb says:

    What is the reason he is transferring? The only thing the article mentions is that he was from Indiana…

    • Mikey V. says:

      It can’t be that he’s homesick as Louisville’s metro area extends into Indiana and is only 125 miles from his hometown. Louisville to Bloomington is a quick 90 mile trip. Who knows. IU is defending champs but in terms of pros produced the last couple of seasons IU and UofL are probably on par.

  8. nik says:

    Feel bad for U of L, but damn we are going to be LOADED next year.