Recent Oglethorpe men's soccer alumnus Micah Akin has signed a deal with German fifth division club SSVg Velbert, marking the latest in a series of recent Oglethorpe soccer alumni to sign at various clubs around the world.
Akin will play in the "Oberliga Niederrhein" (which directly translates to English as "Premier League of the Lower Rhein"), one of a series of regional leagues that make up the fifth rung of the German soccer ladder. He joins Aaron Walker, who's been with United Soccer League (USL) side FC Cincinnati this season, and Mark Lavery, who's played in the Icelandic First Division, among other places, as recent Oglethorpe soccer alums to sign contracts with teams around the world.
Akin just finished an outstanding career at Oglethorpe. He earned All-SAA honors after all four seasons that he played for the Stormy Petrels. The 2016 season marked the third time he has earned All-SAA First Team honors in his career and the first time he's taken an SAA award, as he earned SAA Defensive Player of the Year accolades.
Akin anchored a defense that led the SAA with just six goals allowed and a 0.78 goals against average (GAA) in conference play. He earned a spot on the SAA All-Tournament Team for his performance in the team's first-round victory over Hendrix on Oct. 29 and their semifinal defeat to eventual-champion Centre the following weekend. Akin's ability to organize the defense and neutralize opposing attacks was a stamp on a career that began as an All-SAA Honorable Mention selection following his freshman campaign in 2013, a season which the Petrels ended as SAA champions, and ended with back-to-back SAA regular season titles.
After graduating from Oglethorpe in May, Akin traveled to Germany to go on trial with the club. He was recently given his FIFA international clearance, allowing him to play with them. He will be with Velbert through the length of their 2017-18 season, which concludes in late May.
More information about Velbert (including game schedules and reports), can be found on their website (in German): http://ssvg.de.
Walker's FC Cincinnati, which has proved to be one of the most successful clubs in USL history from an attendance standpoint, is in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals against the New York Red Bulls, an MLS side, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 8 p.m. They are the only team below MLS on the American soccer ladder to make it this far in this year's U.S. Open Cup, an annual tournament featuring teams at every level of American soccer.