Men's Soccer Ready To Report For New Season

San Jose, Calif. - Members of the San Jose State University men’s soccer program are ready to report for the 2008 season.

No fewer than 12 letterwinners, nine of them starters, alongside a group of players who were redshirted a year ago, new arrivals, walk-on and tryout hopefuls will report to South Campus for physicals on Tuesday morning, August 12. Initial team meetings will be held that afternoon.

The Spartans, led by 19th-year head coach Gary St. Clair, will begin training with three straight days of three-a-day practices the following morning on Wednesday, August 13. Sessions will begin at 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on each date.

After a single 9:00 a.m. training session on Saturday, August 16, San Jose State will go into double days through Wednesday, August 20, with practices at 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

The Spartans will attend their annual Kick-Off Night at the Silicon Valley Capital Club on the evening of Wednesday, August 20, before holding one last training session at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 21, ahead of their exhibition opener against UC Santa Cruz inside Spartan Stadium on Friday, August 22, beginning at 5:00 p.m. That game will be followed by the San Jose State women’s team opening their 2008 season against perennial national power and South Bay rival Santa Clara University at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Two final double days will take place on Saturday, August 23, and Sunday, August 24, with sessions at 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

San Jose State will take a break for the first day of class instruction on Monday, August 25, with a regular week of 3:00 p.m. practices leading up to its own season opener at 3:00 p.m. against Notre Dame de Namur University at Spartan Field on Friday, August 29.

Practices for the San Jose State soccer programs are scheduled to be held at Spartan Field, with times always subject to change. All sessions are open to fans.

The Spartans will be led in 2008 by the captain trio of seniors Hiroki Akiyama, Ed Brand and Richard Mann, and the veteran direction of three more seniors in Sam Shore, Lewis Sweeney and Gavin Wenyon. Four juniors are back in leading returning scorer Nick Cukar (6 G, 2 A), Brian McGuire, Oscar Monjaras and Colby Moore (5 G), as well as the highly-regarded sophomore midfield duo of Efrain Burgos, Jr. (5 G), and San Jose native Ricky Dorrego (5 A).

San Jose State went 10-9 overall and an even 5-5 in finishing third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings in 2007, and will be looking for a second straight winning season and a first NCAA Championship appearance since 2003.

The Spartans will need to replace the likes of high-scoring forwards Ismael Ibarra and Julio Gonzalez, who combined for 15 of their 37 goals in 2007. San Jose State ranked 15th nationally in scoring offense with a 1.95 goals-per-game average as a team.

St. Clair is joined on his staff this season by 19th-year associate head coach Ron Smare, sixth-year assistant coach Chris Behler and first-year volunteer assistant coach Dan Benton, like St. Clair a former standout goalkeeper for the Spartans.

San Jose State Men’s Soccer Preseason Practice Schedule
(All training sessions are scheduled for Spartan Field at 10th and Alma Street, and open to the public. Schedule is always subject to change.)
Tuesday, August 12: Report date, physicals and initial team meetings
Wednesday, August 13: 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 14: 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Friday, August 15: 9:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 16: 9:00 a.m.
Sunday, August 17: 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Monday, August 18: 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 19: 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 20: 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. (Kick-Off Night 5:30-7:30 p.m.)
Thursday, August 21: 10:00 a.m.
Friday, August 22: 5:00 p.m. Match vs. UC Santa Cruz (Exhibition-Spartan Stadium)
Saturday, August 23: 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 24: 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Monday, August 25: No Training (First Day of Instruction)
Tuesday, August 26: 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 27: 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 28: 3:00 p.m.
Friday, August 29: 3:00 p.m. Match vs. Notre Dame de Namur (Season Opener-Spartan Field)
Saturday, August 30: 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, August 31: 7:00 p.m. Match vs. Stanford (Spartan Stadium)