Men's Soccer Picked To Finish Third In MPSF Poll

Woodland, Calif. - The San Jose State University men’s soccer team was picked to finish third in the 2007 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation preseason poll released by the conference office on Wednesday, August 1.

The Spartans received 15 points in the voting. Picked to finish first was five-time MPSF champion, New Mexico. New Mexico has won three consecutive titles and received five first-place votes. Denver placed just above the Spartans with 21 points and received one first-place vote.

Head coach Gary St. Clair is heading into his 18th season at the helm of the Spartan men’s soccer program with a solid squad of 13 returning lettermen, including eight starters. St. Clair led San Jose State to a 7-10-1 overall record and a 4-6-0 conference mark in 2006. The team finished the season tied for fourth place.

San Jose State’s top returning players include 2006 first-team All-MPSF selection Ed Brand, second-team All-MPSF pick Hiroki Akiyama and third-team All-MPSF goalie Richard Mann.

Brand leads the Spartans on defense. The central defender played and started 16 games for San Jose State in 2006. He recorded six points on the season with two goals and two assists.

Akiyama was second on the team in goals in 2006. He posted eight points with three goals and two assists.

Mann played and started all 18 games for the Spartans last season. He allowed just 23 goals and made 72 saves. He posted a 7-9-1 record and earned all four of the team’s conference wins.

The Spartans will open the 2007 season with an exhibition game against UC Santa Cruz on August 24 before heading to North Carolina to play in the Davidson adidas Classic on August 31-September 2.