FanPost

PAC-10 Soccer Preview



The Pac-10 Soccer Preview for BerkeleySportsBlog.com







With each Pac-10 team having played at least one match, BSB has decided this is as good a time as any for our Pac-10 Soccer Preview. The 2008-2009 season ended with the UCLA Bruins finishing top of the table in the PAC-10 and breaking the attempt for back to back to back titles for the Golden Bears. This year, the two are set to be the main contenders for the crown with Washington and Stanford as well as the potentially dangerous SDSU on the heels of the two UC Schools.

--



#1 (National Ranking: #8/7) California Golden Bears

The Golden Bears enter the season under high expectations having been ranked so highly in both the College Soccer News and Soccer America polls. This appears to be the season where the Bears can finally challenge for Final Four appearance that has alluded Kevin Grimes' men for so long. The Golden Bears are lead by junior forward Andrew Weidman who led the conference in goals scored last season and was named to the Preseason All-American squad as well as being placed on the Herman Trophy watch list (College Soccer's answer to the Heisman Trophy). Despite the good signs on offense, the Bears will be without the star of last year Stefan Frei who now plays professionally with Toronto FC, however, the Golden Bears expect that the safe hands of Frei's replacement sophomore David Bingham will be able keep the team in the hunt for a NCAA Championship.

Key Matches out of Conference:

vs. Cal Poly 9/13 2 P.M. PST
vs. Santa Clara 9/20 2 P.M. PST

--



#2(National Ranking: #19) UCLA Bruins

The perennial powerhouse in the conference, the UCLA Bruins return 8 starters from last year's Pac-10 title team as they prepare to try for back to back titles. The Bruins are lead by USA Under-20 goal keeper Brian Perk who looks set to be the next UCLA product to make a name for himself at the professional level. In addition to Perk, the Bruins have a number of weapons in the attack including, 2008 Pac-10 points leader Michael Stephens who pulls the strings in the midfield. In addition to having stars like Stephens and Perk to call upon, UCLA head coach has the Soccer America's #3 ranked recruiting class from which to reinforce his squad. The Sons of Westwood are sure to be the Bears strongest challengers and the Pac-10 title could very well be decided by the team's two matches in late October.

Matches against Cal:

@UCLA: 10/16 7 P.M. PST
@ Berkeley 10/23 P.M. PST

--



#3 Washington Huskies

A dark horse to steal the Pac-10 crown, the Washington Huskies represent a real challenge to the conference's California powerhouses. The Huskies are seeking to continue their impressive run of appearances in the NCAA tournament, having appeared in 12 of the last 15 tournaments. In order to maintain this impressive run, the Huskies will rely on offense from its leading goal scorer from last season Sophomore forward Brent Richards who lead the Huskies last season with 8 goals. If the Huskies are going to challenge Cal and UCLA for the title, it will be vital that Richards continues his scoring from last season. Despite the optimism in Seattle, Washington will have to replace two key starters from last season George John and Raphael Cox who were both drafted by MLS teams.

Matches against Cal:

@Berkeley: 10/9 - 4 P.M. PST
@Seattle: 10/30 - 7 P.M. PST

--



#4 San Diego State Aztecs

The Aztecs have always been a team to defy the ranking system, finishing above their projected spots in the last four seasons, and are currently ranked in the coaches poll to finish 5th in the conference. Despite their penchant for the dramatic, the Aztecs face one of the most difficult schedules as the Aztecs prepare to face four former national championship teams as they strive for PAC-10 supremacy. The Aztecs are lead by defender Nick Cardenas who has been incredibly dangerous for SDSU on dead ball opportunities while remaining a stalwart in the back. The Aztec Captain has started to receive a great amount of attention having been named to the Preseason All-American Squad.

Matches against Cal:

@ SDSU: 10/18 - 2 P.M. PST
@Berkeley: 10/25 - 2 P.M. PST

--



#5 Stanford Cardinal

Boasting one of the most tenacious defenses in the conference, the Cardinal could surprise and cause some considerable damage for the heavy hitters in the Pac-10. The Cardinal are lead by 2008 First team All-Pac-10 Selection defensive midfielder Bobby Warshaw. The Junior lead the farm with 8 points last season, notching three goals for the Cardinal. In addition, the Cardinal are aided by the inclusion of Soccer America's #4 recruiting class as well as Gatorade California High School Soccer player of the year Adam Jahn. The freshman forward, a former member of the US Under-18 team has the potential to be the break out player of the season for Stanford with his ability to not only score goals but also create scoring opportunities for his teammates.

Matches against Cal:

@Berkeley: 10/2 - 4 P.M. PST
@Stanford: 11/14 - 7 P.M. PST

--



#6 Oregon State Beavers

Traditionally, one of the weaker teams in the conference, the team will be a team of transition this season with the debut of new head coach, Steve Simmons formerly of Northern Illinois University. On the field, the Beavers are lead by Sophomore forward Danny Mwanga. Mwanga was voted Pac-10 freshman of the year and led the team in goals with 4. Should Mwanga continue to develop into a scoring threat, the Beavers may be able to get out of the cellar of the Pac-10 but may risk losing the skillful forward to the beacon of the MLS.

Matches against Cal:

@Berkeley 10/11 - 4 P.M. PST
@Corvallis 11/1 - 2 P.M. PST

The opinions expressed in a FanPost are, in every way, reflective of the opinions of every California Golden Blogs Marshawnthusiast. Moreover, they are reflective of every employee of SBNation, including Tyler "Blez" Bleszinski.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Join California Golden Blogs

You must be a member of California Golden Blogs to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at California Golden Blogs. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker