In a first for California, the men’s soccer team will play Sacramento State in Avaya Stadium tonight at 7 p.m. Avaya Stadium, the 18,000-seat dedicated soccer stadium in San Jose, Calif., is home to Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. Admission and parking to the non-conference match are free.
While the Golden Bears are favored, the Hornets have demonstrated a strong propensity to score. Sacramento State has scored eight goals over four matches this season. In exhibition matches earlier this season, the Hornets also notched two separate 6-0 victories over Bethesda University and Sonoma State.
Sacramento State has benefited from the strong play of its freshman forward Benji Kikanovic. On Tuesday Kikanovic was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week after scoring two decisive goals last week against Cal State Bakersfield. In a 5-4 overtime thriller, he scored his first goal in just 24 seconds and earned his brace in the 95th minute with the game-winner.
Cal is not formally ranked after last Friday’s 2-1 overtime defeat to No. 17 University of the Pacific. With a 2-1 record, the Golden Bears are currently “ranked No. 28” with 34 total points in the latest (Sept. 4) United Soccer Coaches poll.
The Golden Bears were ranked as high as No. 14 this season after two consecutive 1-0 victories at home against Detroit Mercy and Incarnate Word of San Antonio.
A HOMECOMING OF TRADITION
Homecoming may be coming early for Cal Coach Kevin Grimes. Drafted in the 1996 Major League Soccer Inaugural Player Draft, Grimes is a former San Jose Earthquakes player. The Earthquakes began Major League Soccer play in 1996 as the San Jose Clash.
Do you plan to catch Cal at Avaya Stadium tonight? Do you think the Golden Bears will be ranked in the top 25 next week?