Aug. 25, 2009
BERKELEY - California collected a No. 7 ranking in the Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25 poll, the national magazine announced on Tuesday. UCLA, the only other Pac-10 team ranked in the Soccer America poll, sits at No. 9.
The Golden Bears finished with a 12-4-5 overall record (5-2-3 in the Pac-10) and in second place behind the conference-champion Bruins (10-5-6, 7-1-2) in 2008.
SA tabbed 2008 NCAA runner-up North Carolina (15-8-1 in 2008) as its top team, ranked 2008 NCAA champion and 2009 Cal opponent Maryland at No. 8, and selected Cal Poly (11-6-6 in 2008), another 2009 Cal opponent, at No. 20. The Bears play at Maryland on Sept. 6 and host Cal Poly in the Cal Legacy Classic on Sept. 13. Cal has two other games against SA-ranked opponents, with both against UCLA (Oct. 16 in Los Angeles and Oct. 23 in Berkeley).
The Bears have earned No. 8 preseason rankings from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Soccer Times and College Soccer News and a No. 4 ranking from Top Drawer Soccer's preseason poll. The Pac-10 Preseason Coaches Poll pegged Cal as the favorite to win the conference championship.
Cal opens the season on the road at Georgetown on Sept. 4.