BERKELEY - With the Cal men’s and women’s home openers just a day away, the soccer programs have joined forces to create a new Cal soccer fan club – the Cal Soccer Bear Den – head coaches Neil McGuire (women’s soccer) and Kevin Grimes (men’s soccer) announced Thursday.
"Our Cal fans are amazing and we wanted to continue to build on this great support by creating the Cal Soccer Bear Den where our fans can sing and drive our athletes to victory,” McGuire said. “It is inspirational for players to play in front of a passionate crowd. We hope that the more fans we can get to join in the fun, the better the atmosphere will be for everyone."
Modeled after the fan bases of European soccer, the Cal Soccer Bear Den and Fan Club aims to create the best atmosphere in college soccer by engaging fans in chants to cheer on the Golden Bears. The chants were recorded by members of both the men’s and women’s soccer team to tunes such as “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and futbol-favorite “Olé, Olé, Olé.”
“Recording the chants and creating this fan club was overall a fun experience,” said Alec Sundly, a men’s soccer senior co-captain. “It was very inclusive, and we had a very tight-knit group. It was great to see all the players and coaches joining in. Both the women and the men are coming together to help grow soccer on both sides and make it a big communal sport.”
Fans can get involved by singing along with the chants at each home soccer match. The songs will be broadcast over the facility’s speakers before and after the game, as well as during key stoppage periods. A copy of the lyrics to each chant will be available in the game program prior to kickoff.
“The energy from the crowd is what moves us as a team. I believe that these chants we have created with the men’s soccer team will make Edwards Stadium the best collegiate soccer environment in the country,” said women’s soccer junior Grace Leer.
Along with the chants, Bear Den members will be able to sport specially designed Cal scarves, and the teams are also developing a Cub Cave for children.
“From this we’re hoping to sustain the culture of Cal soccer and hopefully bring the game to a higher level of popularity within American culture. Hopefully someday soccer here will rise to the level of the game in European culture or elsewhere around the world,” Sundly said.
Both Golden Bear teams open play at home Friday on Goldman Field in Edwards Stadium. First, the Cal men play host to No. 3 Georgetown at 2 p.m., followed by the No. 18 Cal women vs. Detroit at 4:30 p.m. Admission to the doubleheader is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors (aged 65 and above). Admission is free for youth (12th grade and below) and Cal students with a valid school ID.