The hype surrounding potential D.C. United homegrown signing Ian Harkes is growing louder every day. This afternoon, the Wake Forest midfielder and son of United/USMNT legend John Harkes, was awarded the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, the NCAA’s award for that season’s MVP in collegiate soccer. Canadian national team starter Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia) won on the women’s side.
The 21 year old Harkes was a four-year starter with the Demon Deacons, who went to the NCAA tournament in each of those seasons. Playing as a box-to-box central midfielder with significant responsibilities in possession, Harkes produced 9 goals and 18 assists in his college career, including 5 goals and 4 assists in a sterling senior season.
Harkes was at the center of just about everything Wake Forest did on their run to this year’s College Cup final, where they fell on penalty kicks to Stanford. Harkes was named the best offensive player in the tournament, and scored an overtime game-winning goal in the semifinal round to send the Demon Deacons to that aforementioned final.
United’s pursuit of Harkes is well-known at this point. The Washington Post’s Steve Goff reported that player and club had talked as recently as Tuesday, and most signs seem to point toward Harkes becoming the ninth player to sign a homegrown deal with the Black-and-Red. However, Harkes - who was born in England while his father was playing there - has an English passport, opening up significant opportunities for him. If he were to sign with United, he wouldn’t be the only Hermann winner in the squad; Patrick Mullins won it twice (2012 and 2013) with the University of Maryland.