Even though the 2020 FIFA World Cup takes place during June, there has still been quite a bit of soccer news on and around campus and across the United States. This has given the sport the perfect opportunity to establish itself as an elite athletic sport. Though the game has never been more popular or popularly supported by fans, there are still those who have yet to become interested.
Although the 2020 FIFA World Cup has been delayed until at least the month of June because of the COVID-19 virus, UC Berkeley has been named one of the country’s best teams when College Soccer News released its latest Preseason Top 30 rankings on Tuesday. The Golden Bears was also one of only six teams nationwide to earn high marks in all areas of their respective football program, including the coaches and support staff. The football players showed no signs of slowing down as well, as they finished with a stunning 10-2 overall record and the second-most wins among any Power Five team.
Conferences For The Football Team
The football team also has something to be proud of: it is one of just two conferences within the Power Five to allow for full scholarships to all athletes who sign on for the year. In addition to the scholarships, the school has invested a considerable amount of money into the athletic facilities. This includes the football field, a football locker room, a soccer field, and a soccer practice facility. There are also numerous full-sized field hockey and indoor soccer facilities and a baseball and softball facility.
Since the beginning of the 2020 season, Berkeley has made some major improvements to its program, including a new head coach for the program, Jim Roesler. Roesler has quite a unique background in coaching soccer, having coached the University of North Texas in Dallas and served as the coach of the Houston Rockets’ NBA Development League team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Berkeley’s Soccer Team Background
Berkeley’s soccer team’s new head coach comes from a coaching background that includes coaching men’s and women’s volleyball, track, field, and football. Roesler is very well known for his work with young players at both the collegiate and professional levels, working with national champions and top high-profile football and basketball players such as former UCLA star Bruin star Earl Thomas former NFL running back Terrell Davis.
Texas Tech University’s baseball team’s former head coach said Roesler is “very bright, a very intelligent and a very passionate coach.” Roesler is also “well respected as a soccer coach in college circles,” according to his former coach at the university. Roesler’s ability to coach younger athletes is apparent. He has won the most games of any current or former athletic director at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
College soccer news revealed that Berkeley is the only other Power Five school to earn a perfect 9-0 record this season. The team’s run included a 5-1 win over defending the champion, the University of Maryland. The win over Maryland included a penalty kick from sophomore goalkeeper Shea Gutoski, who is expected to play in the next FIFA World Cup. The first time the Golden Bears has ever claimed the conference title and is their third straight overall.
College soccer news also provided updates on the state of the soccer program at Berkeley, stating a strong possibility that junior college transfer forward Andrew Brown will play in the next FIFA World Cup. Brown is expected to earn his first international call-up to the senior national team this summer.