San Jose, Calif. - The San Jose State University men’s soccer team handed out awards at its end-of-the-year banquet for the 2006 season on Tuesday, December 5. For the second straight year, the event was held inside the Simpkins Stadium Center Gold Room on the SJSU campus.
Diego Soto, a senior tri-captain and central defensive midfielder out of King City (Calif.) High School and Hartnell College, earned “Most Valuable Player” distinction, as voted on by teammates. Soto was a first-team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honoree in 2006 after earning All-MPSF honorable mention following his first season in the program in 2005. Soto, an anchor defensively in midfield, notched his first major college point offensively with an assist on the fourth-minute opener in a 3-1 home loss to ninth-ranked New Mexico on October 29. He started all 15 games in which he played. His 27 shots were the second highest total on the team, with six of them on goal.
Ed Brand, a sophomore defender from London, England, who started all 16 games in which he played in 2006, was voted as the “Most Valuable Defensive Player.” Like Soto, Brand is a team tri-captain who was a first-team All-MPSF selection this year after earning honorable mention following his first season as a Spartan in 2005. Both of Brand’s goals came on penalty kicks in a 2-1 home win over Notre Dame de Namur University on September 16. He added assists against Sacramento State and UNLV, for six total points, third-best on the team.
Freshman striker Colby Moore, a local product out of Bellarmine Prep and Los Gatos, Calif., was chosen the “Most Valuable Offensive Player.” He scored a team-high four goals, and shared the lead in total points with sophomore teammate Hiroki Akiyama, at eight points apiece. Moore’s goals included conference game-winners at Sacramento State and at home against UNLV, and the fourth-minute opener in a 3-1 home loss to No. 9 New Mexico. His first collegiate goal was the unassisted 86th-minute equalizer in a 2-1 triumph at Stanford on September 8. Moore started nine of the 17 games he played, with eight of his 18 shots going on goal.
Yousef Samy, a fall walk-on prospect and sophomore out of Hercules, Calif., who previously attended Diablo Valley College and Northgate High School, picked up “Newcomer of the Year” honors. Primarily a defender, Samy played in 14 games, starting six. Four of his 15 shots on the year were on goal.
The final award of the evening, the “Coaches’ Award,” went to both senior midfielder Daniel Perez, and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Richard Mann.
Perez, a fifth-year senior and team tri-captain in 2006 out of John F. Kennedy High School in Oakland, Calif., was recognized by the MPSF for the first time this season, earning a spot on the second team. Perez started all 17 games in which he played, providing an assist on the second SJSU goal in a 3-0 home win over UNLV. He took 14 shots, with five on goal.
Mann, a San Jose native out of nearby Leland High School, was one of just three Spartans to start all 18 games, producing 72 saves and a 1.31 goals-against-average in goal. He registered five individual shutouts, bettering his total of four from the previous season, to earn third-team All-MPSF honors. Mann had garnered All-MPSF honorable mention in 2005.
Soto and Brand were “Coaches’ Award” recipients in 2005.
San Jose State head coach Gary St. Clair completed his 17th season in charge at his alma mater in 2006, as the Spartans finished 7-10-1 overall and 4-6 in league play with a team that had to replace no fewer than seven starters from the previous campaign.
2006 San Jose State Men’s Soccer Team Awards
Most Valuable Player: Diego Soto, Sr., MF
Most Valuable Offensive Player: Colby Moore, Fr., F
Most Valuable Defensive Player: Ed Brand, So., D
Newcomer of the Year: Yousef Samy, So., D
Daniel Perez, Sr., MF
Richard Mann, So., GK