NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -
Six members of the Cal State Northridge men's soccer program were selected to the preseason All-Big West Teams by College Sports Madness, while the Matadors as a team were mentioned in numerous media polls ahead of the 2013 season. The Matadors, who were ranked as high as 14th by Soccer America a year ago, open the campaign with an exhibition on Saturday, Aug. 24 at Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m.
The Matadors featured by College Sports Madness are no strangers to earning individual accolades, as four of the six picked up All-Big West honors at the end of last season. Forward Edwin Rivas and midfielder Carlos Benavides were selected for the First Team, while forwards Sagi Lev-Ari and Beto Velasquez, and midfielders Chris Smith and David Turcios were chosen for the Second Team. In addition, Benavides was recently named the No. 39 ranked player in NCAA Division I by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
As a team, Cal State Northridge is receiving votes in preseason polls conducted by College Soccer News and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Top Drawer Soccer mentioned the Matadors as a team getting serious consideration for their poll, but coming in just outside of the Top 25. Both Soccer America and Soccer Times have yet to release their preseason rankings.
The Big West Conference will announce its Preseason All-Conference Team and the results of the annual preseason coaches poll this Thursday.
Following Northridge's exhibition at LMU this Saturday, the Matadors will play their first regular season contest on Friday, Aug. 30 against the Albany Great Danes at 7:30 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field as part of the Ryan Rossi Memorial Tournament.