Aug. 28, 2008
Northridge, Calif. - The extremely new-look Cal State Fullerton men's soccer team opens its 2008 season this weekend at the Matador Invitational Tournament at Cal State Northridge.
The Titans will face Alabama A&M at 2 p.m. on Friday and Georgetown at noon on Sunday. Fullerton has never faced either school on the pitch.
Fullerton returns only 11 lettermen and two redshirts to go with 23 newcomers on the elongated roster.
"Trying to mold a group together while also preparing them for the beginning of the season is always a difficult task," said third-year Head Coach Bob Ammann. "It becomes even more demanding with such a large number of new players. In a very short period of time we have brought together a group of individuals and formed a team. The 'chemistry' of the group has been our No. 1 objective. Our trip to Camp Pendelton and our preseason camp have really brought the group close and formed lasting bonds. This foundation is what we hope to build on over the next couple of weeks.
"We are relatively inexperienced in every position, however, we feel that we have a lot of talent at our disposal. The staff has difficult decisions to make when it comes to making a lineup.
"We have been fortunate so far with very few injuries. We have only been without two players that we hope will get back to full health in the coming weeks.
"We will be counting on a large number of new players. Only two from Friday¹s expected starting lineup started our opener last year. Half of this lineup has no D-1 experience. We will be milk feeding as we go and will need to be very patient. The potential of the group is high. Time will only tell how long it takes to get our bearings. I am looking forward to it."
Alabama A&M is coming off an 8-8-1 season that included a season-ending 2-0 win over San Diego State. The Bulldogs return their Nos. 2 and 3 scorers in MfanaFuthi Bhembe (6 goals and 2 assists) and Rogers Atugonza (5 goals and 1 assist).
Georgetown was 7-11-1 last year overall but 5-5-1 in the Big East. Veterans Chandler Diggs and Sean Bellomy each scored 3 goals last season.