By IVES GALARCEP
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.