Men's Soccer Reveals 2017 Spring Schedule
Feb. 2, 2017
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego State men's soccer team will square off against 2016 MLS Cup runner-up Toronto FC on Friday, Feb. 3, in Irvine, Calif., highlighting the squad's seven-game spring schedule as announced by Aztec head coach Lev Kirshner.
Despite a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference during the regular season last year, Toronto FC advanced to the finals of the MLS Cup where they fell to the Seattle Sounders on penalty kicks (5-4). Toronto features former SDSU standout Steven Beitashour, who played for the Aztecs from 2006-09 before his selection by the San Jose Earthquakes in second round (30th overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
With the Earthquakes, Beitashour was named to the 2012 MLS All-Star Game, playing a full 90 minutes in a 3-2 win over Chelsea. He also helped his hometown San Jose club win the MLS Supporters' Shield that year, which is presented to the team with the best regular-season record. Beitashour later spent four years with the Vancouver Whitecaps where he was named the 2015 MLS Right Back of the Year by Soccer America. In addition, he played for the Iranian national team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Following its clash with Toronto FC, San Diego State will return to Montezuma Road for match with crosstown foe Point Loma on Friday, Feb. 17. The Division II Sea Lions posted their fourth consecutive winning season in conference play last year, logging an 8-4-1 record to finish third in the PacWest standings. Point Loma had four players earn all-league honors, including defender Tyler Allen, who was named to the NSCAA all-region team for the second year in a row.
The Aztecs will once again head north past the 5/405 Freeway split for its next encounter, traveling to Carson, Calif., to battle LA Galaxy II on Saturday, Feb. 25. "Los Dos" posted a 12-11-7 overall record last season before falling to the Swope Park (Mo.) Rangers in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the United Soccer League. Former SDSU star Daniel Steres served as captain of the 2015 Galaxy II squad that advanced to the USL finals before signing with the parent club last season.
The Aztecs will head back to "America's Finest City" for the remainder of the spring, including a day-night doubleheader against Cal State San Marcos and Cal State Northridge, respectively, on Saturday, March 11 atop SDSU Sports Deck. In just its second year of competition in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, CSUSM registered a 5-6-4 overall record and a ninth-place mark of 4-4-4 in conference play. Individually, the Cougars placed four players on the all-CCAA squad, including the team's point leader Bryan Morrison (3 goals, 3 assists), who was a second-team pick.
CSUN, meanwhile, posted a 9-7-5 record last season, highlighted by an NCAA Tournament appearance, where it dropped a 1-0 decision to Pacific in the first round. Earlier, the Matadors captured the Big West South Division title with a 5-2-3 ledger, before winning the conference tournament championship with a thrilling victory over Cal State Fullerton in double-overtime, 2-1. Individually, Juan Fernando Samayoa, the Big West Defensive Player of the Year, garnered all-Far West Region accolades from the NSCAA, along with fellow senior Patrick Hickman. Last August, SDSU and CSUN battled to a scoreless double-overtime draw in a preseason friendly at Northridge.
After a 10-day hiatus, the Aztecs will play host to the reserves from Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles of Liga MX, Mexico's premier professional soccer league on Wednesday, March 22.
SDSU will put the finishing touches on its spring slate three days later when it makes the short trek down I-8 for another local derby with the University of San Diego on Saturday, March 25. The Aztecs beat the Toreros during the regular season last September, 1-0, on Travis Nicklaw's golden goal in the fifth minute of overtime. USD ended the 2016 campaign with a 6-9-3 overall record, tying for fifth place in the West Coast Conference with a 3-4 mark. The Toreros landed four players on the all-WCC squad, including first-team selection Michael Turner, while Merlin Baus, Miguel Berry and Patrick McGrath earned honorable mention.
San Diego State completed one of its most memorable campaigns last fall with a 9-4-6 overall record highlighted by its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2006. The Aztecs, who finished the regular season ranked 19th by the NSCAA and 15th by Soccer America, posted a 3-2-2 record against teams ranked in either of the aforementioned Top-25 polls during the year, including a 1-0 victory over No. 1 Akron at home on Sept. 2.
SDSU had a program-record five student-athletes receive NSCAA All-Far West Region distinction, including first-team pick Pablo Pelaez, while Nicklaw and Kyle Adams earned second-team honors. In addition, Adam Allmaras and Matt Callahan garnered third-team recognition. The Aztecs also placed 10 players on the Pac-12 conference all-academic team, which marked the most in school history.
San Diego State Men's Soccer