The San Jose State University men’s soccer team is making a cross-country trek to open the 2007 regular season. The Spartans are heading to North Carolina for the Davidson adidas Classic, a two-day, two-game tournament with Charlotte, St. Mary’s and Davidson.
SAN JOSE STATE
The Spartans enter the 2007 season after a 7-10-1 finish in 2006. The team was chosen to finish third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in 2007 by the conference’s coaches. The high ranking is a reflection of San Jose State’s veteran starters returning this season. Richard Mann returns to goalie this season after playing every minute of last season. In the field, Brian McGuire, Sam Shore, Gavin Wenyon, Oscar Monjaras, Ed Brand, Colby Moore, Jacob Morrison, Ismael Ibarra, Hiroki Akiyama, Nick Cukar, Edward Murillo-Jimenez, Julio Gonzalez, Savio Carrijo and Yousef Samy return to the line-up.
The forward line welcomes back the team’s top scorer from 2006 in Moore, as well as the 2005 MPSF Co-Newcomer of the Year in Ibarra. Moore tallied four goals in his first season of college soccer, including two game-winners, while Ibarra provided five goals, four of them game-winners, and five assists, during a very productive first season of major college soccer prior to missing last year.
Newcomers joining the squad this season come to San Jose State with a wide variety of experience. Several are from local area high schools while others come from as far as Portland, Ore., and Las Vegas, Nev. Among them, Efrain Burgos, Jr. is a favorite to be the attacking midfielder. In the team’s exhibition against UC Santa Cruz, Burgos notched the most shots on the team with three, including one on goal. Ricky Dorrego is a standout midfielder out of nearby Lincoln High School who was the San Jose Mercury News "Player of the Year" a year ago and was recognized by College Soccer News on its national listing of "100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On." Freshmen who can play up top include Olympic Development Program (ODP) regional standout Brent Young and ODP state team players Steve Dongo and Robert Jackson.
San Jose State opens the Davidson adidas Classic with a match against the Charlotte 49ers on August 31, at 2:00 p.m., Pacific Time. Charlotte opened the season with exhibition games at Winthrop (0-2) and against UNC-Wilmington (3-1).
The 49ers were picked third in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll. Last season, Charlotte won nine games, including five in the Atlantic 10. Sophomore goalkeeper David Martin was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team after posting a 0.81 goals against average with seven shutouts.
This season, the 49ers welcome back six starters and 13 letterwinners led by seniors Paul Begue, Tim Seibert, Graham Tatters and Tom Woollard as well as Martin. The 2007 season also marks the first at Charlotte for head coach Jeremy Gunn, who came to Charlotte last December after a highly successful eight-year career as head coach at Division II power Fort Lewis College in Colorado.
The Spartans will conclude their trip east with a 9:00 a.m. (PDT) game against the host team, Davidson. The Wildcats are predicted to finish seventh in the 2007 Southern Conference men's soccer standings, and senior forward Robby Hoak has been voted to the preseason all-conference team.
Under the direction of seventh year head coach Matt Spear, who is 66-49-9 at the helm of his alma mater, the Wildcats look to make their fourth appearance in the Southern Conference Championship, match in the last five seasons.
Hoak, a native of Raleigh, N.C., was the lone Wildcat selected to the 2007 All-Southern Conference Preseason squad. The only player to start all 19 games for Davidson a year ago, the 6-4 striker has recored 34 points (14 goals & 6 assists) during his three-year Wildcat career. As a sophomore, Hoak ranked among league leaders in total points (ninth), goals (sixth) and goals per game (10th), despite starting just 12 of the 21 contests.
Following the Spartans’ return from the East Coast, the team will travel up and down the state of California to play San Francisco, UC Riverside and UC Irvine before hosting rival, Santa Clara, in the home-opener on September 20, at 7:00 p.m.