San Jose, Calif.----- With four returning starters and seven returning lettermen, the San Jose State men's soccer team has been picked to finish second in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in 2006, in a preseason poll conducted by league head coaches.
The Spartans registered 19 points to finish tied for second place with Sacramento State, as 2005 MPSF champion New Mexico picked up five first-place votes and 25 points. Denver finished fourth in the poll with ten points, while Air Force (nine) and UNLV (eight) rounded out the six-team poll.
"Being picked second is certainly reflective of last year's performance," said San Jose State head coach Gary St. Clair, who enters his 17th season with the Spartans. "We have a very young team this year, and this is a great opportunity to a lot of our players to step up and show some things."
San Jose State posted a record of 11-5-3 overall and 7-2-1 in MPSF play to finish in second place a year ago. The 2006 squad will be led by senior midfielders and captains Daniel Perez and Diego Soto. Redshirt sophomore Richard Mann, an All-MPSF honorable mention selection, returns as the Spartan goalkeeper after posting four shutouts in 2005.
The Spartans open their season Friday, August 18, in Spartan Stadium, when they host Cal State Monterey Bay in an exhibition match at 7:00 p.m. The regular season opener is Sunday, August 27, against Cal State Fullerton in Spartan Stadium at 1:00 p.m.
2006 MPSF Men's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Poll
Team - Points (first-place votes)
1. New Mexico - 25 (5)
2T. Sacramento State - 19 (1)
2T. San Jose State - 19
4. Denver - 10
5. Air Force - 9
6. UNLV - 8