Cal Men's Soccer Opens 2012 at Santa Clara
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  08/20/2012

Aug. 20, 2012

Friday, Aug. 24
7 p.m. - Cal (0-0) vs. Santa Clara (0-0)
Buck Shaw Stadium - Santa Clara, Calif.
Series Record vs. Santa Clara: 27-12-8
Last Time vs. Santa Clara: L, 4-2, 9/16/11 in Berkeley
Coverage: Live Video, Live Stats, Twitter
Tickets - Adults $8, Students $5, Seniors $5

BERKELEY - California men's soccer starts the 2012 regular season when the Golden Bears play at Santa Clara on Friday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.

For ticket information, please visit this Santa Clara webpage. Fans can also watch the game live on Santa Clara's website or follow the live stats of the game by clicking here or by following @SCUBroncos on Twitter.

Last season, Cal fell to Santa Clara, 4-2, in Berkeley. Then-freshman Connor Hallisey scored his first goal as a Golden Bear and forward John Fitzpatrick supplied Cal's other goal against the Broncos. The Bears have a 27-12-8 record in the all-time series with Santa Clara.

Scouting the Golden Bears
• The Pac-12 preseason coaches' poll chose Cal to finish second this year
• In 2011, Cal produced a 3-9-5 overall record and a 0-7-3 Pac-12 Conference mark
• 2011 All-Pac-12 honorees Steve Birnbaum, Tony Salciccia, Seth Casiple, John Fitzpatrick and Connor Hallisey are among the top returnees for the Bears
• Casiple, who trained with the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team in the offseason, earned the 2011 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award
• Seniors Birnbaum and Salciccia and fifth-year senior Ted Jones are Cal's co-captains
• Fitzpatrick, a forward, led Cal in points (11) and goals (5) last year; the senior, senior Kyle Lunt, senior Michael Munoz, sophomore Stefano Bonomo and junior newcomer Luis Fuentes are among Cal's options on the frontline
• Salciccia, a senior, Casiple and Hallisey are members of a talented midfield that could also include junior Alec Sundly, junior Kyle Marsh and others
• Birnbaum anchors the defense, which could include Jones, Marsh, sophomore and U.S. U-20 player Christian Dean, junior Ryan Neil, sophomore Dylan Serrano, Washington transfer Ryan Moore and others
• Junior Robby Gogatz (11 starts, 1.63 goals-against average) and sophomore Kevin Peach (7 starts, 1.34 GAA) shared time in goal last year; sophomore Justin Taillole and redshirt freshman Alex Mangels are also in the mix this season
Kevin Grimes is in his 13th season as Cal's head coach

Scouting the Broncos
• The WCC preseason coaches' poll picked Santa Clara to finish second in the conference this year
• Santa Clara produced an 11-5-4 overall record and 7-4-1 WCC mark last season
• The Broncos won their last five games in 2011, including a win over eventual WCC champion Saint Mary's, but missed out on a postseason berth
• Forward Erik Hurtado led SCU in goals (6), assists (7) and points (19) as an All-WCC First-Team junior last year
• Senior goalkeeper Larry Jackson compiled a 0.74 GAA over the last seven games of 2011
• A former Bronco All-American, Cameron Rast is in his 11th season as head coach at his alma mater

Cal Claims No. 2 Spot in Pac-12 Poll
Cal earned the No. 2 position in the Pac-12 Men's Soccer Coaches Poll, the conference announced Aug. 14. The Golden Bears garnered 18 points and one first-place vote, while defending Pac-12 champion and national runner-up UCLA (24 points, 4 first-place votes) took the top spot in the voting among the six conference head coaches. Washington received the other first-place vote along with 17 points to rank third, Stanford (14 points) was fourth, San Diego State (11) placed fifth and Oregon State (6) was sixth.

Bears vs. Ranked Opponents
Cal plays three games against teams ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll, as the Bears play No. 2 UCLA (Sept. 30 and Nov. 4) and No. 9 Maryland (Sept. 2).

Birnbaum Garners College Soccer News Honor
College Soccer News named senior defender Steve Birnbaum to its preseason All-America team, the publication announced Monday. The All-Pac-12 First-Team honoree started 36 games for Cal over the last two seasons and is one of three co-captains for the Bears.

Cal Playing on the International Stage
Former Golden Bear Demitrius Omphroy recently played for the Philippines in the senior national team's match with the Chicago Inferno of the USL's Premier Development League at Wheaton College in Illinois. The Philippines' scheduled friendly with the U.S. Virgin Islands - slated for Aug. 17 in Indianapolis - was cancelled.

The product of Alameda, Calif., had previously trained with the Panama Under-21 Men's National Team in 2010, as that squad prepared for the Central American Games. He has also played for U.S. youth national teams at the under-15, under-16 and under-18 levels. But he had never played for a senior national team, which allowed him to join the Philippines.

Alumnus and Portland Timber defender Steve Purdy played for El Salvador in an Aug. 11, 1-0 win over Guatemala in a friendly in Los Angeles and a 2-0 loss to Jamaica in an Aug. 15 friendly in Washington, D.C.

Alum Jacob Wilson Signs With CD Feirense
Jacob Wilson became the 18th Cal 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. Thirteen former Bears play professionally in Major League Soccer.

The Bears in MLS are in MLS are Luke Sassano and Eric Kronberg (Sporting Kansas City), Andrew Jacobson and Andrew Wiedeman (FC Dallas), Hector Jimenez and Josh Saunders (Los Angeles Galaxy), David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Calen Carr (Houston Dynamo), Servando Carrasco (Seattle Sounders FC), Stefan Frei (Toronto FC), Steve Purdy (Portland Timbers), A.J. Soares (New England Revolution) and Tyson Wahl (Colorado Rapids).

Former Bear Troy Roberts plays for the Rochester Rhinos in the USSF Division 2 Pro League, while Evan Sassano plays for Minnesota Stars FC of the North American Soccer League.

Kevin Grimes Leads Bears in 13th Season
Head coach Kevin Grimes enters his 13th season as the leader of the Cal men's soccer program after multiple recent years of great success including an unprecedented five Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards (2002, 2005-07 and 2010).

Grimes has a career record of 131-80-30 in 12 seasons at Cal. He earned the 2010 NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year award and the conference coaching honor after that year's team produced a 14-2-4 record, a .750 winning percentage, what turned out to be the last Pac-10 championship and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament elite eight.

Grimes came to Cal after serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Southern Methodist, for three seasons. During his tenure at SMU, the Mustangs recorded a 50-11-2 record and earned three NCAA tournament bids.

As a collegiate athlete, Grimes helped build the SMU program into one of the nation's perennial soccer powers from 1986-89. A two-year team captain, he was a two-time NSCAA First-Team All-American and a two-time finalist for the Hermann Award, which is given annually to the best collegiate men's and women's soccer players. Grimes graduated from SMU in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in economics.

Grimes played with the U.S. National Team from 1988-91, acquiring five full international caps and appearing in more than 30 matches. He went on to play professional soccer for eight years, most recently with the Orange County Zodiac of the A-League in 1997, when he was selected to the A-League All-Star Game in Rochester, N.Y. Grimes spent the early part of 1996 with the former San Jose Clash of Major League Soccer.

Next Time
The Bears travel to the East Coast to take on a pair of ACC powers in Virginia and No. 9 Maryland. Cal plays the Cavaliers at 4 p.m. PT on Aug. 31 in Charlottesville, Va., and at Maryland at 4 p.m. PT on Sept. 2 in College Park, Md.

A Golden Olympics for the Golden Bears
A total of 46 Golden Bear athletes, coaches and staff members represented Cal during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and together, they brought home a school-record-tying 17 medals (11 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze). The Bears have won 50 medals over the past three Olympics (16 in 2004, 17 in 2008, 17 in 2012), and they have captured 178 medals all-time (99 gold).

Cal No. 1 Public University in the Country
The University of California is the No. 1-ranked public university in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. The faculty has won 22 Nobel Prizes, including nine current members, while 28 alumni have received a Nobel Prize. A National Research Council analysis of U.S. universities concluded that the campus has the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country (48 of 52). Cal also has a long commitment to public service, with more than 4,000 students annually doing volunteer work and more than 3,000 Peace Corps participants all-time.