Men's Soccer Team Previews

A new era is set to begin this weekend with the start of the 2011 men's soccer campaign. Click on a school name below to read a complete team preview and learn everything you need to know for the upcoming season.

California | Oregon State | San Diego State | Stanford | UCLA | Washington

California Golden Bears

2010 Record: 14-2-4

2010 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 8-1-1/1st

Starters Returning/Lost: 4/7

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 10/7

Newcomers: 10

Head Coach: Kevin Grimes (12th Year)

Alma Mater: SMU '90

Record at California: 128-71-25

Assistant Coach: Peter Lehrer

The Golden Bears are coming off the best season in program history, which included an NCAA Quarterfinal appearance and three NSCAA All-America honors. Cal welcomes 10 newcomers as it looks to replenish a roster that lost six starters to Major League Soccer.

Two freshmen join the Bears with U.S. Under-18 National Team experience. Connor Hallisey traveled to a four-team tournament in Israel last year, earning appearances against France and Germany. Seth Casiple trained with the team in 2010 and was called up to training camp in February.

Junior defender Steve Birnbaum, a co-captain in 2011, is the only returning starting defender. He posted career highs in goals (1), assists (5) and points (7) last season. Junior midfielder Tony Salciccia, another co-captain, and junior forward John Fitzpatrick are the other two remaining starters for the Bears. Senior Ted Jones is redshirting this year.

Key Matchups

Sept. 4 - California at Connecticut, 7:30 p.m. ET

Nov. 4 - UCLA at California, 3:30 p.m. PT

Nov. 11 - Stanford at California, 2 p.m. PT

Cal faces Connecticut, ranked No. 5 by Soccer America and No. 8 by the NSCAA, in the second weekend of the season. The match against UCLA could be a battle between the conference's top two teams if the preseason coaches' poll is correct. The Bears clinched the Pac-10 title last season with a 3-2 win over rival Stanford at home.

Player to Watch

#9 - John Fitzpatrick

Junior - Forward - Encinitas, Calif.

John Fitzpatrick, who tied for second on the team in both goals (7) and points (17) last season, looks to be an offensive threat for the Bears again this season. Fitzpatrick, who started 17 games in 2010, scored with under two minutes remaining to tie the NCAA quarterfinal game against Akron and send it into overtime.

Oregon State Beavers

2010 Record: 6-11-0

2010 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 1-9-0/6th

Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 13/8

Newcomers: 10

Head Coach: Steve Simmons (3rd Year)

Alma Mater: Concordia '90

Record at Oregon State: 15-7-3

Assistant Coaches: Adam Pearce, Gary Hamel

Oregon State returns several players with conference experience as well as those who were hampered by injuries last season. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Steve Spangler started all 17 matches in 2010 and finished with 77 saves. Junior midfielder/forward Colin Mitchell, who redshirted last season, was named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team in 2009. Mitchell ranked second on the team in goals after Danny Mwanga, who was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Redshirt junior defender Chris Harms is back after playing in only seven games last year due to injury.

Midfielders Roberto Farfan and Alex Eckerson are Oregon State's top returning goal scorers. Both played in all 17 of the team's games with Farfan tallying three goals and four assists and Eckerson totaling two goals and three assists.

A big name in the Beavers' incoming class is Khiry Shelton, a forward from the soccer hotbed of Texas. Shelton has U.S. Under-18 National Team experience, traveling to Israel last December for a tournament.

Key Matchups

Sept. 2 - Oregon State at North Carolina, 7 p.m. ET

Sept. 4 - Oregon State at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. ET

Sept. 30 - Washington at Oregon State, 7 p.m. PT

The Beavers make the cross-country trip in the second week of the season. North Carolina is No. 3 in the NSCAA preseason rankings, and Wake Forest received votes in the poll. Oregon State opens conference play with a visit from Washington after ending 2010 with a close 1-0 loss to the Huskies.

Player to Watch

#9 - Emery Welshman

Junior - Forward - Ontario, Canada

Emery Welshman adds offensive power to the Beavers' lineup after transferring from Siena College. The 2010 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Offensive Player of the Year, Welshman led the league in scoring with 13 goals and three assists for 29 points. He ranked seventh in the NCAA with 1.81 points per game and fourth overall with 0.81 goals per game.

San Diego State Aztecs

2010 Record: 10-7-2

2010 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 3-6-1/5th

Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 16/7

Newcomers: 12

Head Coach: Lev Kirshner (12th Year)

Alma Mater: Rutgers '91

Record at San Diego State: 78-94-37

Assistant Coaches: Matt Hall, Sami B. Nedjar, Paul Holohan

The Aztecs return eight starters and 16 letterwinners from the 2010 team that went 10-7-2, the program's first 10-win season since 1994. It was also the first double-digit win season under head coach Lev Kirshner.

San Diego State returns four of its top six point scorers from a year ago, led by junior Jose Altamirano. Senior co-captain Daniel Steres tallied four goals and two assists despite playing on the backline. Miles Byass was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 after scoring five goals as a freshman in 2010. Sophomore defenders Robbie Freise, Tyrone Martin and Casey Meuser also return.

San Diego State's incoming class includes two U.S. Under-18 National Team members, a high school All-American, a youth All-American, three adidas ESP participants and a state player of the year. College Soccer News ranked the recruiting class No. 35.

Key Matchups

Sept. 11 - Penn at San Diego State, 12 p.m. PT

Oct. 15 - San Diego State at UCLA, 7 p.m. PT

Oct. 22 - Michigan at San Diego State, 3 p.m. PT

The Aztecs welcome Penn, a 2010 NCAA Tournament second-round participant, for the Courtyard Marriott, San Diego Central Tournament. SDSU played UCLA to a 1-0 loss on the Bruins' turf last season, giving up a goal in the 78th minute. Michigan visits for a midseason matchup. The Wolverines advanced to the 2010 College Cup semifinals.

Player to Watch

#7 - Jose Altamirano

Junior - Midfielder - San Diego, Calif.

Jose Altamirano, an All-Pac-10 second team pick in 2010, led the Aztecs with nine assists and also racked up 11 points for second on the squad. His nine assists were the most by an SDSU player since Kenny Fechner had 10 in 2003. A U.S. Under-20 National Team member and 2009 All-Pac-10 honorable mention pick, Altamirano also garnered Pac-10 All-Academic first team honors last year.

Stanford Cardinal

2010 Record: 8-10-0

2010 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 3-4-0/4th

Starters Returning/Lost: 7/4

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 17/7

Newcomers: 5

Head Coach: Bret Simon (11th Year)

Alma Mater: Massachusetts, '80

Record at Stanford: 88-79-28

Assistant Coaches: Gregg Olson, Mike Graczyk

With the graduation of Dominique Yahyavi and Bobby Warshaw, Stanford will look to veterans such as forward Adam Jahn (3g, 3a) and midfielder/forward Dersu Abolfathi (3g, 2a) to be offensive threats. Senior midfielder/forward Taylor Amman also has the ability to attack defenders and create scoring opportunities. Amman played in 17 games last season, scoring two goals and tallying one assist.

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Jason Dodson started 14 games last season, recording three shutouts and a 0.93 GAA. Redshirt sophomore Galen Perkins saw action in six games, including four starts, in 2010. He made a career-best eight saves in a 2-1 over UCLA.

Stanford's recruiting class was ranked 10th by College Soccer News. Freshman forwards Felipe Noguerol and Zach Batteer were among the publications top recruits from the class of 2011. Batteer is a two-time NSCAA All-American, a Parade All-American and a member of the U.S. Under-18 National Team.

Key Matchups

Sept. 2 - Stanford at Maryland, 7:30 p.m. ET

Oct. 2 - Stanford at UCLA, 3 p.m. PT

Nov. 6 - UCLA at Stanford, 1 p.m. PT

Stanford faces Maryland, ranked No. 4 in the NSCAA preseason poll, in the second game of the season. The Terps have advanced to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 for nine-straight seasons. The Cardinal split the season meetings with UCLA, winning 2-1 on the Farm before falling 1-0 on the road.

Player to Watch

#12 - Adam Jahn

Junior - Forward - El Macero, Calif.

A capable goal scorer and distributor of the ball, Adam Jahn will be a vital part of Stanford's offense in 2011. Jahn played in all 18 games last season, starting 16. He tied for second on the team with nine points on three goals and three assists. Jahn started all 20 games as a freshman in 2009, earning All-Pac-10 second team honors. He scored four goals and tallied three assists as a rookie.

UCLA Bruins

2010 Record: 16-5-1

2010 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 8-2-0/2nd

Starters Returning/Lost: 11/0

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 24/4

Newcomers: 6

Head Coach: Jorge Salcedo (8th Year)

Alma Mater: UCLA '02

Record at UCLA: 87-38-23

Assistant Coaches: Eddie Soto, Kenny Arena

The preseason conference favorite, UCLA returns all 11 starters from last year's NCAA Quarterfinalist squad. Forward Victor Chavez led the Pac-10 with 10 goals and ranked second with 25 points as a freshman last season. Team captain and senior midfielder/defender Andy Rose started all 22 games in 2010. Midfielder Kelyn Rowe, the 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, returns after a highly decorated freshman season for the Bruins.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Brian Rowe, a second team All-Pac-10 selection last year, tied for first in the conference with eight shutouts and ranked second in saves with 91. His 91 saves rank third on the UCLA all-time single-season list.

Andy Rose was named a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Rose maintains a 3.233 GPA in sociology and is on track to earn his degree in three years. He has twice earned Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention honors. Rose's work in the community includes UCLA's I'm Going to College Program, Adopt a Classroom and Marathon Kids.

Key Matchups

Aug. 27 - UCLA at Louisville, 7 p.m. ET

Sept. 16 - UC Santa Barbara at UCLA, 7 p.m. PT

Sept. 25 - SMU at UCLA, 1 p.m. PT

The Bruins will play five games against teams ranked in the NSCAA preseason top-25: No. 1 Louisville, No. 5 SMU, No. 7 California (twice) and No. 14 UC Santa Barbara. The season opener against Louisville is a rematch of last year's NCAA Quarterfinal, which the Cardinals won, 5-4.

Player to Watch

#10 - Kelyn Rowe

Sophomore - Midfielder - Federal Way, Wash.

Kelyn Rowe earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Honors in 2010 and was named a third-team All-American by the NSCAA. Rowe also led the team with 10 assists last season, tying the school's freshman record, and ranked second on the squad in goals scored (7) and points (24). A U.S. Under-20 National Team member, Rowe is a College Soccer News Preseason First Team All-American and part of the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.

Washington Huskies

2010 Record: 11-6-1

2010 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 5-5-0/3rd

Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 11/6

Newcomers: 10

Head Coach: Jamie Clark (1st Year)

Alma Mater: Stanford '98

Record at Washington: 0-0-0

Assistant Coaches: Brandon Prideaux, Jeff Rowland, Richard Reese

Washington begins 2011 under the new leadership of coach Jamie Clark. He is in his fourth year overall as a head coach after spending last year at Creighton and the previous two leading Harvard. Clark is no stranger to the Pac-12. He was a two-time All-American at Stanford under his father, Bobby Clark, who is now the head coach at Notre Dame.

Along with College Soccer News Preseason Third Team All-American Brent Richards, the Huskies have five other senior veterans on the roster. Defender Jamie Finch, a two-time All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, started all 18 games last season. Midfielder Casey McCool had two goals and two assists in 17 games (15 starts).

Husky Soccer Field got a new look this year as the field was re-leveled, new team tents were added along the turf in front of the benches and a hill was built with bleachers behind the opposing goal.

Key Matchups

Sept. 4 - Washington vs. Florida Gulf Coast, 12 p.m. PT

Sept. 18 - Washington at SMU, 7 p.m. CT

Oct. 7 - UCLA at Washington, 7:30 p.m. PT

The Huskies face Florida Gulf Coast in the Nike Portland Invitational. FGCU is ranked in both the College Soccer News and Soccer America polls. UW hits the road for the SMU Invitational in Dallas. The Mustangs are ranked in the top 10 in three preseason polls. Washington battled UCLA in close 1-0 losses last season.

Player to Watch

#15 - Brent Richards

Senior - Forward - Camas, Wash.

Senior captain Brent Richards returns after leading the Huskies in goals his first three years. Richards has played in every game possible while at Washington, starting all but two. As a junior, he tallied eight goals and five assists, earning All-Pac-10 first team honors. A Lowe's Senior CLASS Award candidate, Richards also earned NSCAA Scholar All-America first team and ESPN Academic All-America third team recognition.

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