The Spartan Brand: Final Edition - Time To Reflect

Please click here to view all of Ed's blog entries.

Blog Entry #16 (Tuesday, December 16)
Final Edition - Time To Reflect

Hello everybody, and welcome to the last ever edition of The Spartan Brand.

It’s been a while since I wrote to you last, and a lot of things have happened. First of all, I want to talk about our last game of the season. We beat Sacramento State, 4-1. It was a sweet victory, and one the team deserved for a season where we had been competing in every game, and should have had more success than we ultimately did.

From a personal point of view, I was disappointed with getting sent off. I honestly did not feel my actions warranted a red card, but the referee lacked common sense and thought differently. I am not one to harp on about referees. They have a very difficult job. However, this particular referee was terrible, and was more concerned about making the game about him, rather than the two teams.

Anyway, moving on, that game was also Senior Night, and it brought to an end many Spartan soccer careers. Gavin Wenyon, Sam Shore, Richard Mann, Hiroki Akiyama, Lewis Sweeney and I were all playing our last game for the Spartans, and it was a sad moment. I know I can speak for everyone when I say we have loved our time here at State, and we have made some great friends along the way.

Nick Cukar has had a fantastic season. He scored nine goals, was selected to the national team of the week, named to the Far West All-Region second team, All-MPSF first team, and at our annual team awards, won Offensive MVP. It capped a brilliant year for The Goose, and as a good friend, I am very proud of him!

The team awards banquet was a very nice evening. As I mentioned, Nick won the Offensive MVP award, Gavin deservedly won the Defensive MVP award, Josh Boemecke won the best newcomer, and Colby Moore won the coaches’ award. Each and every one of those guys really deserved their awards. They all had great seasons. I was very humbled by being voted the overall MVP. I did not expect it, and it was a great honour to receive the trophy. These awards are voted on by the players, so it means even more to me to be respected by my peers! Cheers lads!!

Another set of awards handed out recently have been from our conference. Nick and I received first-team honours, while Colby, Hiroki, Sam and Josh all received honours as well!

Overall, looking back on the year, it was definitely a season of what might have been. I have no doubt in my mind that we were the best team in our conference, but the results at the beginning of conference hurt us. It showed our character as a side and as individuals, however, to go on a six-game unbeaten run to end conference and claim third from being cut adrift at the bottom after four games.

Finally, I just want to say thank you to all the players I have played with over my four years here, all the coaching staff, and all the fans that come to our games.

It has always been my intention to represent the University in the best way I can, and although there have been ups and downs, hopefully I have achieved that. As a captain, I am very proud of the team and this university as a whole. These last four years have been a fantastic time, and I have loved every minute of it. I am going to miss practice, the games, and having banter with the lads. But life has new challenges for me now, and the program will continue to thrive and develop. I am sure of that.

So on that note, thank you and I hope you have enjoyed The Spartan Brand. I have enjoyed writing it.

Go Spartans!

Ed Brand

Editor’s Note: I wanted to say a sincere thank you to Ed for doing such a fantastic job with the blog, providing great content on a consistent basis all season long, whether the team was winning or not. I was very happy with my choice. Thanks to Coach St. Clair as well, for allowing us to do this.

Like Ed indicated, the boys had a fine season, and all credit goes to them for turning it around and finishing strong when they could have folded it up after opening the conference season with four tough defeats. They deserved better with the way they were playing at the end, but with a 48-team NCAA Championship field, the rally fell a little short.

A special congratulations goes out to Nick Cukar, who truly had a remarkable year. Seven game-winning goals, out of nine goals, and nine victories, from an outside midfield position, is pretty unheard of.

It was a pleasure covering the team and bringing you The Spartan Brand in 2008. The six seniors, Ed, Gavin, Rich, Hiroki, Sam and Lewis, will definitely be missed. My first year here at San Jose State, was the first year that Ed, Gavin, Rich and Hiroki were on the field, so I saw them plenty in action. I really enjoyed watching all six of them. Good luck, gentlemen, and thank you again, Ed.

Happy Holidays to all.

Go Spartans!

Doga Gur