Tryouts 2020

Turlock, CA – Last Saturday marked the start of Academica’s 2020 NPSL season as the club held open tryouts at Academica Field. The two-day event had over 60 players coming from as far as the Bay area. Players were looking to impress the staff in order to join AC’s 3rd season in the NPSL. While some were familiar faces most were new to the coaches and made sure to make a good first impression.

“We are always excited for tryouts since we get to see the best the area has to offer. While we have a pretty good idea of the local soccer landscape, we always find a surprise at this event”, said Club President Simon Bettencourt. “It’s also great to get the guys together after a break since the fall.”

Attendees were put through their paces as the first day of tryouts saw new players show off their fitness and technical capabilities. The level of competition was high as players knew that coaches were keeping a close eye on them. Head Coach Sergio Sousa enjoyed what he saw, “Try-outs were a success for us once again. This past weekend, we were able to identify and bring in some great young talents that are definitely going to help us moving forward. It’s great to see how much local talent we are connecting with  here at Academica. A bulk of the players who came out this past weekend were new faces and I believe that is something that we can be proud of. I’m excited to get going and to work with everybody as we prepare for our upcoming NPSL season.”

Head Coach Sergio Sousa addresses players after a session.

These tryouts were held to determine who would represent the Black and Gold heading into the 2020 NPSL season, scheduled to kickoff at the end of February. Academica would compete in the notoriously tough Golden Gate Conference where it made playoffs and advanced to the Western Region Semi-Final, falling to FC Arizona 3-2 after extra-time. 

Academica’s 2020 schedule is set to release on Jan 20th with season tickets already available through the team’s online store at


The Black and Gold Win In All 209 Clash

The Black and Gold Win In All 209 Clash

TURLOCK, CA – Sunday’s Liga Norcal Week 5 game saw 2nd place Academica hosting 5th place Modesto United. The Black and Gold came into this match off an impressive 6-0 dismantling of Elk Grove Everton while United traveled to Turlock off the back of a 3-3 tie against Davis Legacy. This was the first meeting ever between the two clubs with this being Modesto’s first season as a team.

AC started with Hernandez in goal followed by Churi, Tito, Canfield, and Maragoul in the back line. Sousa and Torralva started in midfield with Chongtoua in front of them Golbad, Cazares, and Carmona lead AC’s front line. The match kicked off with the Black and Gold hogging possession of the ball in United’s half. Carmona had the first real chance of the match when he let loose a shot of inside the 18 that flashed just wide. A few moments later United were awarded a freekick on top of the box and their effort curled only a yard wide of the upper corner. The midfield presence of Sousa and Torralva were granted acres of space in the midfield and were able to swing the ball from touchline to touchline. Carmona was again at the center of the action in the 23’ as he almost scored an Olimpico style goal off a freekick from the left side. The post denied his effort and in the ensuing scramble, Cazares flicked a low header just wide of the far post. The 1st half continued this way with the ball heavily in the United half and the last chance of the half came from a Golbad freekick that also flew wide. 

The 2nd half started much like the first with AC applying the pressure in hopes of breaking the deadlock. Three minutes after the start, Arnaldo Gutierrez found space for a header off a corner that beat the keeper but was cleared off the goal line by the Modesto defense. The match settled for a bit as Canfield and Gutierrez held the defensive line for AC with Hernandez seeing little action behind them. It turned out to be a defender that broke the deadlock as Gutierrez once again found his head to a Carmona corner to open the scoring in the 72’. The goal gave confidence to the home side as the Black and Gold swarmed United for the rest of the half. The dominance provided further fruits after Plascencia was brought down in the box and Golbad dispatched the PK to double AC’s advantage and add to his goal tally for the year. The match was wrapped up as Carmona let loose a lethal shot that rebounded off the post and fell to Bobby Ceja who arrowed it into the far corner to make it 3-0.The result put AC in contention for first place with Modesto dropping down to 6th. The Black and Gold go on the road this weekend to Chula Vista to take on Chula Vista FC in its 2nd round qualifier for the US Open Cup before returning to league play against Hilmar’s Acoreano. Academica’s next home match is set for Oct. 29th at 7:30 pm.


AC Beats Elk Grove to Continue Streak

TURLOCK, CA – Sunday’s 4th round match of the LIGA Norcal had Academica hosting the visiting Elk Grove Everton. Academica was coming into this match on 3-match win streak in all competitions while Elk Grove was coming off a 4-0 loss to Davis Legacy. This was the first meeting between  both teams this season. AC started with Hernandez in goal; Alcauter, Torralva, Martinez, and Lopez-Ellis in the back; Plascencia, L. Martinez, and Chongtoua in the midfield; with B. Ceja, R. Ceja, and Golbad leading the front lines.

The match kicked off with the Black and Gold maintaining the bulk of possession. Elk Grove could not get out of their own half in the opening 10 minutes. The first real opportunity of the match fell to Chongtoua as his point blank shot was saved by EFC GK Timeo Arellano with R. Ceja’s rebound shot also being pushed wide. Only a couple of minutes later, R.Ceja turned his marker inside out and was able to get a shot off that Arellano easily handled. The match had to wait till the 37’ for the first goal when Edwin Rodriguez found space on the right side and whipped a cross into Chongtoua who tapped into an open goal. This was Chongtoua’s first goal of the season. Elk Grove hung on till halftime keeping the match at just 1-0.

The second half started much like the first with AC dominating possession and keeping pressure on the EG defense. This paid off in the 54’ as Torralva was able to pick the ball off an EG defender and beat the keeper to double AC’s lead. This opened the floodgates for the Black and Gold as they would score another two goals in the next 6 minutes with Golbad and R. Ceja both adding their names to the score sheet. The goal of the match was scored in the 68’ when Golbad backheeled a whipped in cross to make it 5-0 and Rodriguez wrapped up the game with the 6th goal in the 89’ off a clean break away. The scoreboard read 6-0 at the final whistle.

This was Academica’s 4th win in a row and catapulted them to 2nd in the table. AC is back at home this Sunday we host Modesto United. The match kicks off at 4 pm with free admission to all fans.


AC downs PV United in USOC

AC downs PV United in USOC

TURLOCK, Calif. – Academica qualified for the 2019 edition of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after winning four qualifying matches in a row. Sunday’s match against PV United of Watsonville was the first step on repeating that feat. AC hosted PV at home for their first meeting ever in what promised to be an exciting affair. The Black and Gold were coming off of their draw to Davis Legacy while PV also drew to JASA Redwood in their prior match.

The match began with both teams looking jumpy as possession switched hands often. The back and forth play fell in AC’s favor as a scramble in the PV box was pounced on by Cody Golbad who smashed it home to open the scoring. The Watsonville squad responded with a flurry of dangerous crosses into the AC area but lacked the finished product. In the 33rd min PV’s Olivarez Quintero found himself with space in the box but pulled his shot just wide of the near post as Academica breathed a sigh of relief. The first half ended with a 1-0 advantage to the home squad.

The second half started with a bang as Desmond Madrigal headed home a Golbad corner to make it 2-0 to AC minutes after kick-off. This goal seemed to rattle PV as much as it emboldened the home squad. The Black and Gold began to pile on the pressure, twice finding the woodwork with their attempts. In the 60th minute Golbad found himself in space on the left and his low cross was tapped in by Ramiro Ceja as the home side made it 3-0. The away side did manage to pull one back in the 66th as a Mata Mendoza shot was palmed by GK David Hernandez but dribbled into the goal to make it 3-1. This didn’t slow AC down as Ceja had a half volley saved and Golbad flashed his header just over the goal from a Jorge Carmona freekick. As the match waned down, Adrian Plascencia lofted a beautiful through ball to put Luis Hernandez in on goal and he chipped the keeper to finish the scoring at 4-1 in his debut match for Academica. 

AC advances to the next round of qualifying where they will face Chula Vista FC in Chula Vista on the weekend of Oct. 19-20. The Black and Gold are back at home Wednesday 9/25 at 7:30 pm to take on Acoreano in Liga Norcal play.


AC Draws 2-2 with Davis in LIGA Opener

TURLOCK, CA – After a two-month hiatus following the end of their 2019 NPSL season, AC returned to the pitch on Sunday to begin preparations for its 2019 US Open Cup run this fall. The Black and Gold were competing in the LIGA Norcal in order to stay sharp for the Open Cup qualifiers. Sunday’s 6 pm match started off the fall season against Davis Legacy, the reigning champions of LIGA NorCal and the team that defeated Academica in the Copa Norcal final last June.

Head Coach Sergio Sousa chose a strong starting XI for AC’s first match since their playoff loss in July. The start of the match had AC with a majority of the position with Davis content with counter attacks over the top of Academica’s back line. Academica’s pressing game with Ramiro Ceja up top forced Davis into numerous uncomfortable situations with one of their keeper’s clearances coming off Ceja and nearly into his own net. The deadlock was broken in the 18th min as Ceja ran onto a Brennen Canfield through ball before beating his defender and slotting it home with his left foot. This trend continued as 8 min later Ceja was once again played through and he was able to find Cody Golbad whose lethal shot was smothered by the Davis goalkeeper. Only 5 min later AC had its second goal of the night as Arnaldo Gutierrez tapped in at the far post after Brian Chongtoua created the cross from the right hand side of the field. 

The end of the half was marked with confusion as a hard foul by Gutierrez was called outside the AC box and as Gutierrez was receiving his caution from the referee, Davis played a quick free kick to score on an open goal. The referee claimed that new rules now state that attackers do not need to wait for the referees whistle to take a quick free kick even if a caution is shown. Both teams headed into halftime with the score at 2-1.

The 2nd half kicked off and it was Davis who came out with a better start. They were able to find space behind the Black and Gold defense and goalkeeper David Hernandez was called upon to make some key saves. The game opened up after as the midfield was skipped more than once as balls over the top became the key choice of attack. In the closing minutes, AC applied the most pressure as the game was being played in the Davis half. In the 89th min, Adrian Plascencia smashed a left footed shot after a scramble in the Davis penalty area but was denied by the keeper’s trailing leg. The full time whistle blew shortly afterwards and both teams settled for a point.

Academica is back at home this Sunday at 7 pm as it begins its US Open Cup Qualifying run against PV United from Watsonville. Admission is $5 with season ticket holders getting in free. This will be a match you will not want to miss.