2009 Spartan Men's Soccer Blog 2

Nick Cukar is a fourth-year senior and local product out of Millbrae, Calif., and Capuchino High School. He has struck for 15 goals from his outside midfield spot over the past two seasons, with an incredible 10 of them game-winners. The 2008 second-team all-region and first-team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selection is the leading returning goal-scorer in the conference. Nick is a kinesiology major.

San Jose State hosts Cal State Monterey Bay in an exhibition match on the brand-new FieldTurf inside Spartan Stadium this Friday, August 28, at 5:00 p.m. The women's team will then take on San Diego State beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. Individual game tickets for Spartan Soccer are now on sale. Prices are $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for youth aged 12 and under, and $1.00 for youth in soccer jerseys. San Jose State students can attend all matches free of charge with a valid Tower ID card. Groups of 20 or more receive a discounted rate. Gates open one hour prior to the start of each match.

Blog Entry #2 (Tuesday, August 25)
Getting Through Camp

Hello everyone, and welcome to the second installment of the 2009 men's soccer blog.

Camp ended Sunday. It was very productive, and established a great, competitive training environment to begin the season. Camp started off slow due to injuries, but as players started to heal and get fit, we established the goals we set out, not only for ourselves, but to set the tone for the upcoming 2009 season. In camp, we had many hard practices, which included a lot of fitness both with and without the ball. Fitness in college soccer is crucial, as the season is so short and the game is at a very fast pace. I have to say as a team, our fitness level is very high. I think we could be one of the fittest teams around.

Another area of focus in camp was establishing our defensive shape, and our execution within that shape. I believe that our defensive shape and execution was critical and the main reason for us finishing up last season going undefeated (5-0-1). I believe that in the spring, we were able to continue this. Now, with the addition of many newcomers, we were able to set the foundation for this season.

Now that camp is over and players are beginning to mold well with each other, we still need to keep being focused and determined for not only the MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) championship, but each and every game we play this year. We have been picked to finish third in our conference. However, after camp, I really believe that we can prove everyone wrong and really be a team to beat for the conference championship!

As we begin practice this week, our focus will be on recovering from camp and focusing on Friday's (exhibition) game against Cal State Monterey. The boys will be excited, as it's the first home game, but they will be heavily reminded to be focused and determined, and more importantly, to take the game professionally and be well-prepared. Hope to see you guys out there Friday night!!!

On a side note, I got an e-mail from (three-time captain and former teammate) Ed (Brand) the other day, with some encouraging words for this upcoming season. "Lead by example and set the standard. Don't get complacent, because trust me, these games and months will fly by." It was nice to get some inspirational words from Ed, who in my eyes, will always be the captain of this men's soccer program at San Jose State. It is an honor to be captain of this team, especially when taking over for Ed, who had been the captain ever since I started here. As captain this year, I am promising everyone who comes out that they will see a team that is focused, determined and well-prepared. No matter what the outcome of the game is, I can promise you that.

Take care and be ready for a great season! Go Spartans!

-Nick

2009 San Jose State Men's Soccer Blog Entries

August 15 - Nick Cukar, Senior Co-Captain

August 25 - Nick Cukar, Senior Co-Captain