Ismael Ibarra Drafted By MISL's California Cougars

Stockton, Calif. - San Jose State University men’s soccer standout Ismael Ibarra was selected in the third round of the 2008 Major Indoor Soccer League College Draft by the California Cougars on Tuesday, January 29.

Ibarra, a senior forward, was one of 43 players selected. He was the 21st player chosen overall and the third among five selections in all by the Cougars. California also drafted UC Davis forward Nick Lind, Syracuse defender Brad Peetoom, St. Louis midfielder Brian Grazer and Sacramento State midfielder Eli Millan.

This is the third straight year in which the Cougars have selected a San Jose State player. The franchise made former Spartan Nelson Diaz the 16th pick in the 2006 draft, and Diego Soto a second-round selection a year ago.

A two-time junior college All-American and 2004 Division III Player of the Year at Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif., Ibarra was a two-year letterwinner at San Jose State, sitting out the 2006 campaign. He earned All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation first team honors in 2007 after gaining second-team selection and MPSF Co-Newcomer of the Year distinction as a junior in 2005. The Salinas native was also named to the 2007 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) NCAA Division I All-Far West Region First Team.

Ibarra was voted by teammates as their Co-Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of his final year of collegiate soccer. He led the team with 21 points on nine goals, including a game-winner at home against UNLV on October 14, and three assists. Five of those goals and one assist came in conference play. Ibarra appeared in all 19 games, starting 17, as San Jose State finished with a 10-9 overall mark. Out of 59 total shots, a team-best 26 were on goal.

“Ish was one of the most dynamic players and arguably the most dangerous one in our conference this past year,” said San Jose State head coach Gary St. Clair. “He certainly will do well if he wants to play.”

Ibarra has already participated in invitation-only tryouts with the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer this off-season. He is also still exploring opportunities to continue his playing career professionally in Mexico.

The California Cougars made their competitive debut in November, 2005, with the beginning of their first 30-game regular season. Located in Stockton, Calif., they play their home games at the state-of-the-art Stockton Arena, which opened to the public in December, 2005. The Cougars are currently coached by Bernie Lilavois.