Aug. 27, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - With the 2009 regular season opening match at San Diego only days away, the Cal State Northridge Matadors will host the UNLV Rebels in their only exhibition match on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field.
Friday's match-up will mark the return of many Matador players. CSUN lost only three seniors due to graduation and are in turn returning an experience-laden roster, which includes ten seniors, 15 upperclassmen and 21 total returning players.
Among the returnees is three-time All-Big West selection senior midfielder Sunghyun Kim, who earned a conference first team honor in addition to a National Soccer Coaches Association of America Second Team award. Other returnees include All-Big West Second Team honorees, junior forward Camilo Rojas and senior defensemen Robert Pate and All-Conference honorable mention senior defender Chad Borak.
Also making their return to the pitch will be senior Devin Deldo, sophomore Rafael Garcia and junior Moy Gomez, who each missed significant portions of the 2008 season. Deldo and Garcia each played in only a single game last season and Gomez was held to 12 games.
The exhibition match with the Rebels will also mark the debut for nine Matador newcomers who will all look to make a good first impression as they take the field for the first time for Cal State Northridge.
Although the game will not count in the standings for the Matadors or the Rebels, the game will be significant for several Matadors who are looking to make their final mark on Head Coach Terry Davila and the coaching staff as they clamor for playing time this season.
The Matadors are no strangers to UNLV, as they last squared off with the Rebels in the finals of the Cal State Fullerton Tournament last September, with Northridge shutting out UNLV for a 2-0 decision.
The Rebels are coming off two exhibition contests, with UNLV recording two ties against opponents in Cal Baptist 1-1 and against a team consisting of Canadian players they went to a scoreless tie.
UNLV was picked to finish fourth in the 2009 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation preseason men's soccer coaches poll. Top returners for the Rebels include junior Stephen Sifuentes, who recorded three goals in league play a season ago and midfielder Nicholas DeLeon, who earned an All-Conference Second Team Selection.