2009 San Diego State Men's Soccer Team Preview

Aug. 14, 2009

  • California | Oregon State

    2009 Pac-10 Men's Soccer Preview Series

    ASU

    TEAM QUICK FACTS
    2008 Overall Record: 6-9-3
    2008 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 3-4-3/3rd

    Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3
    Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 21/5
    Newcomers: 6

    Head Coach: Lev Kirshner (10th year)
    Alma Mater: Rutgers '91
    Record at San Diego State: 62-81-29
    Assistant Coaches: Matt Hall, Sami B. Nedjar

    2009 TEAM PREVIEW
    The Aztecs will be playing one of the toughest schedules in program history, facing four former national champions this season. Head Coach Lev Kirshner returns 21 letterwinners, including eight starters, from a team that finished third in the Pac-10 in 2008. Another big addition for SDSU will be its recruiting class, which was ranked No. 22 by College Soccer News, the third top-25 class in the past four years for SDSU. On the offensive side of the ball, the Aztecs return 97 percent of the program's scoring from a year ago. In his first year in the midfield after making the move from defense, junior Raymundo Reza was third in the Conference in points per game (1.11), tied for third in both goals per game (0.44) and goals (8), and tied for fourth in points (20). Senior defender Nick Cardenas will be a physical (6-5, 205 lbs.) and vocal leader in the backfield who can also be a scoring threat (eight goals, six assists in three years). The biggest concern will be the goalkeeping. Last season, SDSU played four goalkeepers, each playing at least three games apiece. If redshirt junior Brad Byrns, an Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 in 2007, can stay healthy, he should be the starter. Byrns went 6-1-2 with a 0.73 GAA as a freshman in 2007.

    KEY MATCHUPS
    • Sept. 25 - UC Santa Barbara at San Diego State, 4:00 p.m. PT
    • Oct. 2 - San Diego State at Washington, 7:30 p.m. PT
    The Aztecs will be tested in the opening match of the Nike Aztec Soccer Classic playing against UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos ranked No. 10 in the Top Drawer Soccer's preseason poll and are one of the two west coast teams ranked in the top 10 (California at No. 4). When the Aztecs and Huskies meet in Seattle, Wash. it will be the first road test of the season for SDSU. Last season, SDSU tied UW, 2-2, in Seattle and lost, 2-1, in OT down in San Diego.

  • Schedule | Roster | Team Page
  • ASU

    AZTEC TO WATCH
    10 • Nick Cardenas
    SR • Defender • Thornton, Colo.

    At 6-5 and 205 lbs., Cardenas is a punishing defender who plays a physical style and is not afraid of contact. He is the Aztec's most dangerous player on set pieces and corner kicks and uses his size and athleticism to beat opponents to the ball. A clutch performer with three career game-winning goals, he is dominant in the air, both on offense and defense. A vocal leader who inspires teammates, Cardenas, started all 18 games last season. He is a scoring threat with eight goals, six assists and 22 points in three years, despite playing in the back. Cardenas was Named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List last year and was a second team All-Pac-10 honoree. He was among the players listed in College Soccer News' preseason All-American team this summer.

     

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