The California Golden Bears men’s soccer team got a bit stronger on the bench for their eventual return to competition. Former Cal Bear and MLS professional soccer player Alec Sundly has joined on as a volunteer assistant coach under head coach Kevin Grimes.
“Alec was an outstanding player at Cal during his four seasons,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “He was captain of that 2013 team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation for most of the regular season. Having that experience along with his recent professional playing career, Alec will provide invaluable insight to our players on a number of levels. We are grateful to have him back with us.”
Sundly played for Cal from 2010-2013 and made the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament in two of those seasons. He played professionally in both the MLS and the NISA.
At 28 years old, Sundly joins a talented coaching staff with hopes of returning the Bears to the NCAA Tournament and eventually kickstarting what could be a great coaching career.
“It’s awesome,” Sundly, 28, said of his return. “I’ve been keeping up with Kevin and the Cal guys since I’ve been gone. Coming back from my European journey in October, it was great to be back in California, be home with family, see my friends, and have that brief period playing with Cal United and reconvene with some Cal alums and Don Ebert, my old head coach. ”And now being back at Cal, I’m enjoying it. Being on this staff right now is a great learning experience for me.”
After his Cal career, Sundly was drafted by the New England Revolution with the 12th pick of the second round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. He also played in the USL and abroad in Sweden and in Germany. He most recently joined the Cal United Strikers of the National Independent Soccer Association.
He even played with former Cal alum Christian Thierjung and Shinya Kadono with Cal United.
“I’m glad we could share that,” he said. “I knew Christian a bit more since we were both on the 2013 team, and it was special to reminisce and hear about his journey to Cal United as well as to hear from Shinya about his pro journey.”
Sundly said his experience at Cal was amazing and he’s excited to be apart of the program again.
Welcome back, Alec!