I had the opportunity to go and see both the Maryland-BC and UNC-VaTech games last weekend. (1) Maryland-BC Maryland completely owned this game. While BC's forwards showed good speed and ability, BC's failure to link play through the midfield really hurt them. From the stands, it seemed like BC's midfield was a bit lazy, and most of the time they didn't combine with defenders to create space and then play up to their forwards. Maryland's front duo of Casey Townsend and Patrick Mullins played great, and as I said before, will give teams lots of problems through this season. Sunny Jane and Widener(?) Saint Cyr are athletic, technical, and versatile. This team should easily be in the ACC final. Anything less than the College Cup for this squad would be a disappointment. They do have a few flaws where teams can beat them, but I'll leave that to fellow scouts and coaches to find those. (2) UNC-Virginia Tech A surprising result, but really just bad luck for UNC. They hit the post, they completed dominiated possession, and well endured the physical abuse from VT. I thought VT often played like a handful of goons looking to beat up UNC. It seemed as though they knew that they could not keep up with UNC's passing game, so they decided to take hits (and a few cheap shots) when possible. Discouraging for the game of college soccer. VT's real bright spot, in my opinion, was the play of their left forward, #6 Robert Alberti. He had a good number of dribble fakes, beat UNC's right back several times, and was one of the few VT players that left a favorable impression on me. If VT plays through him more, they should win some close games. It was the first time I had seen UNC in person in about three years, but they were MUCH more attractive to watch than in years past. The ball was generally played using 1-touch and 2-touch, players linked and overlapped often, and their organization was good. True, they did loose the game on a corner kick in double overtime, but that team should keep their heads up and forget about their loss (as I write this, I now see they handled James Madison 4-1). Ben Speas is a big addition for them. I liked the way he made himself open for the ball and stretched out VT's defense. As everyone remarks, Billy Schuler is a big part of their attack. On this board, I've often seen remarks about the speed and work rate of Enzo Martinez. It was my first time to see him. As a scout and coach, I saw that he definitely has the speed, dribbling skills, and work rate that everyone talks about. But something concerns me about this player, and while I was watching the game, I thought to myself that he was missing something, namely that he cannot dribble with his head up in traffic, and as a result he frequently lost the ball. Anytime VT double-teamed or physically pressured him, he failed to look for or find a safe pass, and struggled. While it's true that VT's midfield was much bigger than him, as a scout I would be concerned about his ability to play the midfield at the professional level for the same reasons. If I were the head coach of UNC with this squad, I would change Speas to midfield and place Martinez as a wide midfielder or forward. Regardless, this UNC team was fun to watch, and I think it is worth your time to drive and see them play if they are playing within a few hours of you. I think if Cameron Brown was in this year's squad, they would be even more fantastic, but such is fate. Noticing how Brown was the last player off of the field after the team's loss at VT, I imagine it is eating him up to watch from the sidelines, and that he will make a big impact on the 2012 team. --- Seeing Maryland (especially at home) or UNC play is definitely worth your time and money. The fun of ACC soccer.