SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that Avaya Stadium will host a men’s college soccer match between the University of California, Berkeley and Sacramento State University on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. The non-conference NorCal matchup is the first NCAA contest at Avaya Stadium since the Women’s College Cup in December 2016.
“We’re excited to welcome these two prominent local universities and their student-athletes to Avaya Stadium,” said Earthquakes President Tom Fox. “Both Cal and Sacramento State are strong educational institutions with proud soccer traditions and we’re happy to offer this match for free to our local community.”
The match will feature free parking and admission, as well as concessions available under section 102. Gates open one hour prior to kickoff.
Cal is led by five-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year Kevin Grimes, a longtime professional player and member of the 1996 San Jose Clash. The Golden Bears have made 18 total NCAA Tournament appearances, including a dozen in Grimes’ 18 seasons. The team’s NCAA Tournament berth last season was their first since 2014, when Quakes Homegrown defender Nick Lima was a sophomore. Cal’s roster includes seven former members of the Quakes Academy, including junior goalkeeper Drake Callender, sophomore defender Christopher ‘CJ’ Grey, senior forward Sam Ebstein and freshman defender Jean-Julien ‘JJ’ Foe Nuphaus.
Callender is one of 32 players, and four goalkeepers, to be named to the 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List as the nation’s top collegiate player. He was an NCAA All-Far West Region First Team and All-Pac-12 First Team selection as a sophomore in 2017.
"First and foremost, we want to thank Tom Fox and the entire Earthquakes organization for providing this wonderful opportunity for our student-athletes to play a match at the state-of-the-art Avaya Stadium,” said Grimes. “We are all Quakes fans and support our local team wholeheartedly. For the Cal players to have the chance to experience Avaya Stadium themselves will be an incredible experience."
Sacramento State is led by head coach Michael Linenberger, a former professional player in both the United States and Germany and team captain of the Duke University 1986 National Championship squad. He is in his 30th season with the program and is a four-time conference Coach of the Year.
The team has two former Quakes Academy players in junior defender Abraham Rosales and senior midfielder Dominic Scotti. The Hornets are anchored by forward Justin Bedig and defender Tyler Moss, who were both named All-Freshman Big West in 2017.
Sacramento State has made back-to-back postseasons for the first time since joining the Big West and previously appeared in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2009 and 2010.
“We’re very excited about playing at Avaya Stadium,” said Linenberger. “This should prove to be a great experience for our student-athletes. It is not common to have the opportunity to play in an MLS stadium.”
Media inquiries should be directed to Cal’s Assistant Athletic Communications Director Jonathan Okanes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Avaya Stadium
Avaya Stadium, home to Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes, is an 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium located on Coleman Ave. adjacent to the San Jose International Airport. The European-inspired building is the first cloud-enabled venue in MLS and is among the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. The stadium features a canopy roof and the steepest-raked seating in MLS to provide the best possible fan experience. Additionally, the north end zone houses the largest outdoor bar in North America, a two-acre fan zone and a double-sided video scoreboard. The suites and club seats are located at field level, giving fans a premium experience unlike any other in professional sports. The stadium has hosted numerous non-Major League Soccer events since its inaugural season in 2015, including the International Champions Cup, a trio of United States Women’s National Team friendlies, the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, the 2016 Major League Soccer All-Star Game against Arsenal FC and a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier for the U.S. Men’s National Team. For more information about Avaya Stadium, visit sjearthquakes.com.