TURLOCK, CA – We’re happy to announce our full 2021 Summer Schedule! This season sees the Black and Gold play 4 home games and 3 away matches against some of Norcal’s top teams. All home matches kickoff at 7 pm at Academica Soccer Field at 1343 W. Greenway Ave Turlock CA 95381.
Seven months ago, we were preparing to take on El Farolito in Week 3 of our 3rd NPSL season. The team was coming off an impressive string of four victories in a row including a win against the professional Oakland Roots and the reigning Golden Gate Conference champions FC Davis. We were optimistic about getting our first win over El Farolito after four tries. Spirits were high.
Unfortunately, the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools were closed, states were put on lockdown, the match was cancelled, and the writing was on the wall that our 2020 season was over. Safety became the priority as our coveted home fields went silent as trainings were cancelled and players were forced to stay at home. Our new jerseys and training equipment tucked away with no idea when they would be brought out again. It was a dark time for everyone as the world as we knew it changed.
Fast forward to now and the world is slowly rebounding from the devastation. Businesses are opening up again and adapting to new regulations, professional sporting events have returned albeit under strict regulation and no fans, schools have transitioned online and kids can once again see friends. Youth sports are coming back in increments and it’s great to see players back at our fields. These steps are vital in the worlds return to normalcy and we can’t wait until it is our turn to do the same. There is much uncertainty about our 2021 season but we are optimistic that we will return to competition early next year. We aren’t willing to risk the safety of our players until then, especially playing meaningless matches because that’s what we consider matches without our supporters. We want fans to be present but we aren’t willing to risk their safety in order to do so. For now, we as a club are working to get back on the field when it’s the right time. We can’t wait to hear the BGB sing, to enjoy the sunshine at Academica Field, to stay undefeated against FC Davis, and to see the Valley’s team take the pitch again. Just because we aren’t playing, doesn’t mean we aren’t still here for the 209.
In early 2020, our very own Cody Golbad started a community driven clothing brand called The 2o9 in an effort to improve his local neighborhoods. We sat down with Cody to see how this project has grown.
Tell us a little about the 2o9.
“The 2o9 is community minded non-profit whose mission and vision is to create both recreational and educational opportunities within the 209 area code.”
What inspired you to start The 2o9?
“Being born, raised and bred in beautiful Merced, CA, I grew up experiencing a serious lack of quality playing facilities within the area. Even though we made do with what we had at the time, I truly believe this particular vehicle for change can help develop the vast amounts of talents and skilled young individuals already present in our communities. Playing pick up around Merced growing up, I was lucky enough to build relationships which have continued to flourish to this day. Our mission is to continue to provide local youth with the opportunity to network and build those relationships which will pay major dividends for the rest of their lives.”
What inspired the logo for The 2o9?
“We created our logo with where we came from in mind. The 2o9 is the roots for the metaphorical trees we aspire to plant within our local communities. Our projects will help provide shade for those who are in most need.”
What projects do you have lined up?
“Our first project we are working on is the 2o9 recreational/educational facility in Merced. The recreational facility will host outdoor futsal leagues, tournaments and youth clinics for local sports clubs and the like. In Phase Two of our construction, we are looking to incorporate our educational academies and after school programs for local youth to gain experience and resources for growth through their teen and young adult lives.”
Proposed Recreational facility in Merced
We noticed that The 2o9 also produces a podcast; what topics do you cover?
“On The2o9 Podcast, I speak on a variety of subjects from psychology to self-improvement to financial literacy to providing updates on our projects and growth. Feel free to listen to an episode and subscribe on Apple and Spotify Podcasts.”
Who are some of the people that inspire you?
“We are inspired by a wide variety of individuals from the sports, music and business worlds. The firsts that always come to mind are Muhammad Ali, Kobe Bryant, and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle. These individuals embody the values in which our non-profit is built upon, more specifically, the aspiration to empower others to become the best versions of themselves. They also had the vision to create influence which goes past way beyond the scope of just themselves.”
Golbad in action for AC
What do you hope The 2o9 accomplishes in the future?
“The 2o9 will create our recreational and educational facilities in the city of Merced, with the vision to grow all throughout our valley. It is only a matter of time. We plan for our facilities and educational academies to have generational impact, influencing countless generations to come within our valley. As an organization, we are in this for “The Marathon” and understand that nothing great happens overnight. Day by day, we get closer to achieving our goals as a company.”
Where can people find more information regarding The 2o9?
“You can follow us on all the social media platforms. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @the2o9us. Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Podcast named The2o9 on Apple and Spotify Podcasts. To continue to follow our progress and learn even more about us, visit our website 2o9.us to read the blog, learn more about our projects and shop our community-minded merchandise. Peace and love from the 2o9.”
TURLOCK, CA – This Saturday, Academica welcome professional side The Oakland Roots to Turlock for their first match of 2020. AC comes into this match after a successful 2019 season where they made and won their first playoff match as well as qualified for the 2019 US Open Cup. The Black and Gold welcome back a large number of returners and will look to make this 2020 season another success. Head Coach Sergio Sousa is coming back for his 3rd season at the helm and welcomes his assistant coaches Sergio Sr. and Tevin Jones.
The Roots are beginning their second season as a club, looking to build off their inaugural 2019 fall season. Jordan Ferrell is beginning his first season as head coach for the Roots after serving as assistant coach the previous season. Ferrell has Valley roots after coaching at Delta college and the Sacramento Republic Academy. The organization has made some big name signings in its time, recently adding several ex-MLS players to this year’s team. Tristan Bowmen, Matt Fondy were added over the winter break while they retained Jack McInerney and Benji Joya after their first season in NISA.
This match comes as the first of two preseason games that Academica has scheduled before the Golden Gate Conference kicks off on February 29th. AC travels to Sonoma to take on the Sol before hosting its first home league match of the year as FC Davis comes to Turlock on March 7th. FC Davis is the reigning Golden Gate champion but were defeated in the first round of playoffs last season by AC. The Black and Gold will be looking to keep their excellent record against Davis as they have yet to suffer a defeat by the Lions in the past two seasons.
Saturday’s match against the Roots kicks off at 3 pm at Academica Field. Tickets available at AcademicaSC.com.