Two Men’s Soccer Standouts Enjoy Professional Opportunities In Sport
Former Tiger men’s soccer standouts Matt Borland ’09 and Justin Jenkins ’09 may have exhausted their collegiate eligibility, but that doesn’t mean their soccer careers have ended. In fact, they may have just begun.
Borland, the first two-time North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Offensive Player of the Year in program history, has been invited to practice and play scrimmage games with the Columbus Crew, the defending champions of Major League Soccer (MLS). Jenkins, a four-year starting sweeper for the Tigers, has earned a roster spot with the Cincinnati Kings, a semi-professional team that plays in the Premier Development League, a division of the United Soccer League.
Although he has not been offered a contract with the Crew, Borland has made the most of a golden opportunity to display his skills to the team’s coaches. He has practiced regularly with the team since early April, and he has played extensively in scrimmages against NCAA Division I powerhouses Marshall University, Akron University and The Ohio State University. Borland has played midfield, frequently lining up with some of the Crew’s top players, including defender Frankie Hejduk, who has earned more than 80 caps while playing with the U.S. national team.
Jenkins, the 2005 NCAC Newcomer of the Year, spearheaded a Wittenberg defensive unit that allowed just 10 goals during a school-record 13-game winning streak to start the 2008 season. He began practicing with the Kings in late March, and he was inserted as a starter before the team’s 2009 opener, May 16.