Aug. 9, 2012
BERKELEY - Jacob Wilson became the 18th California alumnus to join the professional ranks when he signed with Portugal Second Division team CD Feirense. A Cal player from 2005-09, he is one of three former Golden Bears - including Anthony Avalos, who plays with Norway's SK Vard Haugesund, and Leo Krupnik, with Israel's Maccabi Netanya - who plays professionally abroad.
"Jacob has certainly paid his dues playing in the lower divisions of Germany these past few years," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "He's also had some setbacks with injuries. To make it through all that and get himself signed with a great team in Portugal is quite an achievement. We couldn't be happier for him."
The Fremont, Calif., product perhaps had his best season in 2008, when he started 16 of 21 games, earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention and garnered Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention. He also scored three goals, collected two assists and wound up with 10 points. Wilson also earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention and Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention in 2009, when he started in nine of 11 games in his final year at Cal.
A defender when he ended his Cal career, Wilson, 26, is now a forward for CD Feirense.
He played for lower division German club SV Germania 90 Schöneiche before moving to Portugal.
"Having 18 professional players active from Cal tells us a few things," Grimes said. "We have been blessed to have some great student-athletes these past 12 years in our program. It also gives clear expectations for guys currently in the program, and future recruits, that if they want to pursue a pro soccer career, Cal has a proven track record of developing talent for the next level. Having three players now in Europe is quite impressive."
The current Bears open their 2012 season on the road on Aug. 24 at Santa Clara.