TURLOCK, CA – Yesterday the Black and Gold announced their 2020 full season schedule. Let’s take a quick preview of what this year will have in store for the boys.
For the second time in a row, AC would be starting their season with a preseason friendly against a full professional team as the Oakland Roots are making the trip over the Altamont. Oakland is coming off their very first season as a club where they finished last in their National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) conference but were a success off the pitch as they averaged close to 5000 fans at their home matches. The Roots have retooled in this offseason and look especially dangerous as they have signed two former MLS players in Tristan Bowen and Matt Fondy. The Roots are also led by Valley native Jordan Ferrell who is taking his first head coaching job this season.
Looking at league play for Academica, the Golden Gate Conference has somewhat shifted. This season will see 7 teams compete for the championship as San Ramon FC and Oakland Stompers have not returned. The conference has added the Oakland Roots development squad named “Project 51O” to help make up the difference. Academica will open up its 2020 NPSL season with an away trip to Sonoma to take on the Sol, a place where Academica has yet to be defeated. AC will host its home opener the following weekend as FC Davis comes down to Turlock to look for revenge for their playoff loss to the Black and Gold last year. This season looks to be one of the toughest so far as teams like FC Davis and El Farolito look to return as strong as ever and others like Napa Valley 1839 benefitting from an off season that saw them make the jump to the professional level with the NPSL Members Cup last fall.
Head Coach Sergio Sousa is also eager to begin the season, “I am looking forward to the season kicking off. Training sessions have been intense. We have a young, energetic and talented squad that we believe is well equipped to go on to compete in another long NPSL season. The Golden Gate Conference is tough. We are excited to be able to again represent and highlight the Central Valley’s best talent against such good competition. We look forward to playing in front of our fans again, as well. The boys have been pushing hard in training to ensure that all of those who support us have games marked on their calendars deep into the postseason.”
Another change this season is the addition of a conference tournament at the end of the season to determine who will represent the conference in regional playoffs. The top four teams of the Golden Gate conference will face off at the end of the season to decide who will take on the winners of the rest of the NPSL for the National Championship. This should add more excitement leading up to the tail end of the league. The conference tournament would begin June 20th with playoffs starting July 11th.
Individual and season ticket packages for all home matches are now available online at AcademicaSC.com.