Cal and UCLA Earn Top-20 Preseason Rankings by Topdrawersoccer.com
Aug. 12, 2009
walnut CREEK, Calif. -
The CALIFORNIA and UCLA men's soccer teams were ranked in the topdrawersoccer.com top 25 preseason poll, which was released this week. Cal was the only Pac-10 team ranked in the top five. STANFORD also received votes.
Led by 2008 Pac-10 Player of the Year, senior midfielder Michael Stephens, the Bruins won their second-straight Conference crown and sixth in eight years last season. UCLA ranked 20th in the ranking after going 7-1-2 in Conference play last year, making its 26th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bruins return eight starters from last year's team.
The Golden Bears are ranked in the top five in the preseason ranking, coming in at No. 4. It marks the second straight year Cal was in the top 10 preseason rankings. Last month, College Soccer News ranked them at No. 8. Led by first team All-Pac-10 junior forward Andrew Wiedeman, the Golden Bears return nine starters in 2009.
Stanford, led by junior midfielder Bobby Warshaw, a 2009 Hermann Trophy candidate, was the only other Pac-10 team to receive votes. Last season, Stanford finished sixth in the Pac-10 going 2-6-2 in Conference play.
UCLA and the Golden Bears head to the nation's capital in the D.C. Area Classic. The Bruins will take on defending national champion Terrapins on Sept. 4 in College Park, Md. before heading down the road to Georgetown in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 6. Cal takes on the Hoyas first on Sept. 4 to open the 2009 campaign, then close out the weekend in College Park on Sept. 6 against Maryland.
Stanford opens the new season by traveling to Bethlehem, Pa. to battle Lehigh on Sept. 1.