BERKELEY – California will play in arguably the most challenging opening week of the 2013 season, as the Golden Bears host third-ranked Georgetown and second-ranked Maryland – both of which played in the 2012 NCAA College Cup – on Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium. The Bears’ season opener against the Hoyas – the 2012 national runners-up – takes place at 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30. The match against the Terrapins – and 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Patrick Mullins – is slated for a 2 p.m. start on Sunday, Sept. 1. Both matches will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
Cal is coming off of an 8-7-3 record (3-5-2 in the Pac-12 Conference) in 2012, which included a 6-0 loss at Maryland in the third game of the season. Steve Birnbaum missed that match. A 2011 All-Pac-12 first-team defender, Birnbaum played just once last year due to injury, but he is healthy and back for the Bears as a fifth-year senior.
For the Terps, the 2012 season ended when Georgetown edged them, 4-3, in penalty kicks in one NCAA semifinal, after the teams tied 4-4 in overtime. The Hoyas lost to Indiana in the championship, 1-0.
Both of Cal’s games are doubleheaders with the Cal women’s soccer team, whose matches will start at about 4:30 p.m. – or at least 30 minutes after the end of the men’s matches – each day.
Fans can watch the Bears play nine times – including five home games – on the Pac-12 Networks. The announcers for Cal’s Georgetown and Maryland games are Christian Miles (play-by-play) and former U.S. international Cobi Jones (analysis).
Cal will play seven games against teams ranked in the NSCAA preseason rankings. Besides battling Georgetown and Maryland, the Bears will play the following teams that earned kudos from the college soccer coaches’ poll: No. 9 UCLA (Oct. 13 in Los Angeles, Nov. 3 in Berkeley), No. 16 San Diego (Oct. 25 in Berkeley) and No. 23 Washington (Oct. 6 in Berkeley, Nov. 10 in Seattle).
Scouting the Golden Bears
Cal is playing Georgetown for the first time, while the Bears have a 1-3-0 record against Maryland
The Bears' co-captains for 2013 are Steve Birnbaum, senior midfielder Alec Sundly and junior midfielder Seth Casiple
Casiple is Cal’s top returning scorer, with 11 points last year
The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2011, Casiple also led Cal with seven assists in 2012
Junior forward Stefano Bonomo tied for the team high in goals (5) as a sophomore
Goalkeeper Kevin Peach, who started all 18 games as a sophomore last year, compiled a 1.40 goals-against average in 2012
Kevin Grimes is in his 14th season as head coach at Cal; the former SMU All-American (class of 1990) claimed five Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010) before the Conference became the Pac-12 in 2011
Scouting the Hoyas
Georgetown put together a 19-4-3 record (6-2-0 Big East) in its run to the NCAA final
Now a senior forward/midfielder, Steve Neumann posted the first hat trick of his career in the Hoya’s semifinal match against Maryland last year; he was the College Cup’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player
Neumann was the Hoya’s second-leading scorer (33 points) and leader in assists (13) in 2012
Brian Wiese – the 2012 NSCAA/Field Turf Division I Coach of the Year - is in his eighth season as Georgetown’s head coach
Scouting the Terrapins
Maryland – which posted a 20-1-3 record (6-1-1 ACC) last year – will open the 2012 season at Stanford on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.
Senior forward Patrick Mullins – an NSCAA first-team All-American – won the MAC Hermann Trophy as a junior
Mullins led Maryland in points (44), goals (17), assists (10) and gamewinning goals (7) in 2012
Sasho Cirovski – who led Maryland to NCAA titles in 2005 and 2008 – is in his 21st year as head coach of the Terps
Cal heads across the bay to take on the San Francisco Dons on Sept. 5 at 7 p.m.
Join the Bears in the Social Media Realm
Fans of the prestigious California men’s soccer team can get even closer to the Golden Bears - through Facebook and Twitter. By following the California men’s soccer team on its social media, fans can get even closer to the team, get breaking-news alerts, see photos and get other inside information. The Cal men’s soccer Facebook page features links to CalBears.com stories, polls, insider photos as well as videos highlighting the Bears. The Cal men’s soccer Twitter is the best place to find game results, links to stories as well as photos and other insider information.
Bears in the Pros
Cal is one of the most prolific producers of professional soccer players among college programs in the nation. Currently there are 16 former Golden Bears playing in the pro ranks, including 12 playing in Major League Soccer: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Calen Carr (Houston Dynamo), Servando Carrasco (Seattle Sounders FC), Stefan Frei (Toronto FC), Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas), Hector Jimenez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Eric Kronberg (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Purdy (Chivas USA), Josh Saunders (Real Salt Lake), A.J. Soares (New England Revolution), Tyson Wahl (Columbus Crew) and Andrew Wiedeman (Toronto FC). Three Bears – Anthony Avalos (SK Vard Haugesund, Norway First Division), Leo Krupnik (Maccabi Netanya, Israeli Premier League) and Jacob Wilson (Vasas SC, Hungary First Division) – play abroad, and Troy Roberts (Rochester Rhinos) plays in the USL Pro League.
Cal is the 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 seven 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.