Soccer Teams To Host Kick-Off Night On August 20

San Jose, Calif. - The 10th annual San Jose State University Soccer Kick-Off Night for the 2008 Spartan men’s and women’s soccer programs is Wednesday, August 20, once again at the Silicon Valley Capital Club in downtown San Jose.

The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks from a no-host bar will be served and coaches and players from both San Jose State soccer teams will be present.

The Capital Club is located on the 17th floor at 50 W. San Fernando Street, between Market and First streets.

Men’s head coach Gary St. Clair returns for his 19th season in charge at his alma mater. He has nine starters among 12 letterwinners back from a squad that went 10-9 overall and an even 5-5 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation a year ago, placing third in the league standings. That group includes all-conference honorees Hiroki Akiyama, Ed Brand and Nick Cukar. Akiyama, Brand and fellow senior Richard Mann will serve as team captains, with three more seniors on the roster in Sam Shore, Lewis Sweeney and Gavin Wenyon.

Jeff Leightman enters his first season at the helm of the Spartan women’s soccer program. Leightman comes to San Jose State after spending 10 years as the head coach at his own alma mater, Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. He will have four starters among nine returning letterwinners, alongside a highly-rated nine-player recruiting class, at his disposal in his efforts to guide the Spartans to their first winning season since 1999. The group coming back includes a trio of fourth-year seniors in Kaila Waitley and team co-captains Jennifer Guadagnolo and Lauren Moniz.

“I would describe the Capital Club event as a major event on our calendar,” says St. Clair about the Kick-Off Night event. “It gives our program, as well as the women’s program and the administration, a chance to interact with people that come to Spartan Stadium. It’s an incredible venue. You can’t ask for a better place than the Capital Club. This business is about getting to know people and creating relationships with them. Our fans get a chance to meet the players up front and in person, talk with them, and get excited about the season. We have our first game two nights later, so I can’t think of a better segue into the season than the Capital Club Kick-Off.”

Reservations are not necessary, but the Capital Club does require business attire at its functions. Parking is available under the Knight-Ridder Building.

Both San Jose State programs are in action in a Spartan Soccer doubleheader on Friday night, August 22, at Spartan Stadium. The men first take on UC Santa Cruz in an exhibition match at 5:00 p.m., before the women start the Leightman era against perennial national power and South Bay rival Santa Clara at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Prior to that night, the Spartan women host Humboldt State in their lone exhibition date on Sunday afternoon, August 17, at 12:00 p.m. on Spartan Field. Admission is free.