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Bay Area Derby: No.23 Cal Men's Soccer at No.6 Stanford on Pac-12 Networks

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Golden Bears can use a good result on Thursday night to affirm a place in the NCAA tournament. Bears are in the midst of a 4 match winning streak. GOAL ON YOU BEARS!

Christian Thierjung hopes to lead the Bears to a win over Stanford tonight.
Christian Thierjung hopes to lead the Bears to a win over Stanford tonight.
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California Golden Bears (9-5-2, 4-3-2 in Pac-12) at Stanford Cardinal (13-2-2, 6-1-2 in Pac-12)

Where: Cagan Stadium, Stanford, CA

When: 6 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Announcers: J.B. Long and Cobi Jones

Three weeks ago, coming off a 6-0 loss to UCLA, Cal Men's Soccer appears to be on the verge of missing the postseason. A 4 game winning streak, including a revenge win over UCLA, has put the Bears in position to return to the NCAA tournament. A good result on Thursday night will assure the Bears, ranked 23rd in the Coaches' poll, of a spot in the men's NCAA tourney.

Stanford has already clinched the Pac-12 title (for the 2nd straight year), but they are playing for home field before the College Cup.

Bears played Stanford to a 2-1 loss in Berkeley earlier this season. Bears had a couple great chances early in that one but couldn't convert. Stanford played that match without their star striker in Jordan Morris since Morris had USMNT duty after being called up by Jurgen Klinsmann. Coincidentally, the current great Cal run coincided with a change in keeper to freshman Jonathan Klinsmann. So it should be no surprise that Morris will be gone yet again. The junior was called up for the USMNT's 2018 World Cup Qualifiers beginning on Friday against St. Vincent and the Grenadines in St. Louis (Thanks Jurgen!).

A young Golden Bears squad has a balanced attack that is lead in recent weeks by the great play of Christian Thierjung, the team leader with 9 goals (to go with 4 assists), including 5 in the last 4 matches. Jose Carrera-Garcia, who had the lone goal at Stanford last year, has 5 goals to go with 10 assists. The 29 goals scored by the Bears come from 11 different players.

Stanford are coming off a loss at UW, but have been deadly at home. They are 7-0-2 with 6 clean sheets. In fact, the main strength of Stanford in 2015 is their defense. Both of these are nice and tidy records for the Golden Bears to spoil.

The team will surely be content with a draw like what the women's got last Sunday.

It should be a fun match.

GO BEARS!