By Ryan Maquiñana
Special to S.F. Examiner
Although the San Francisco Glens’ USL League Two team is currently in the offseason, their players have started the 2019-20 college soccer season on a collective tear.
This week alone, the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State, Stanford and Cal have captured wins in no small part due to the contributions of the Glens players on their respective rosters.
For those unaware, the USL League Two is in the fourth division of the American soccer pyramid and takes place during the summer. One rule that makes the Glens attractive to the top Under-23 prospects in the country is that players are able to maintain their NCAA eligibility by signing with the club as amateurs.
Here’s a quick snapshot of Glens in the collegiate ranks in the early going:
USF (1-3-0): Defender Shayan Charalaghi, a junior college All-American at Skyline College for head coach Gabe Saucedo (who also doubles as a Glens assistant coach), notched his first Division I assist with the Dons as USF shut out San Jose State 3-0 last Thursday.
The Glens’ head coach this past season, Javier Ayala-Hil, and assistant coach Javier Hernández are on first-year Dons head coach Leonard Griffin’s staff.
No. 3 STANFORD (3-0-0): The Cardinal defeated No. 2 Akron and UC Irvine in consecutive weeks thanks to some clutch play by forward Zach Ryan. After scoring a trio of goals in an abbreviated summer in San Francisco, Ryan has netted the last two game-winners for coach Jeremy Gunn’s Pac-12 title favorites.
No. 7 ST. MARY’S (4-0-0): Defender J.D. Michael has been a rock on the back line for head coach Adam Cooper and the Gaels, who blitzed San Jose State 5-2 to extend their regular-season unbeaten streak to an astounding 28 (24-0-4).
St. Mary’s also enjoyed a one-spot bump up the national rankings to seventh.
CAL (2-0-1): Alonzo Del Mundo, a winger, amassed an impressive three assists in the first half as Kevin Grimes’ Golden Bears downed UCSB on the road, 3-0. One of those goals was scored by Simon Lekressner, a Glens signee who trained but did not play this season due to lingering injuries. Del Mundo was named to Top Drawer Soccer’s National Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper Drake Callender, who signed with the Glens this past summer but was also unable to suit up for any games, was recently called up to the U.S. Under-23 National Team’s latest training camp.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (4-0-0): Winger Rei Dorwart, a Washington High School graduate, provided a spark off the bench as the Titans defeated Utah Valley 2-0, a result that would propel them into the national rankings at No. 22.
PENN STATE (2-1-1): Forward Josh Dabora saw his first collegiate action against Stanford and Stony Brook as the redshirt freshman unleashed two shots on goal.
SACRAMENTO STATE (3-1-0): Defender Tyler Moss saw his Copa de Causeway end unceremoniously after being booked twice in the Hornets’ 5-2 loss to CSU Bakersfield.
SAN DIEGO STATE (2-2-0): Senior defender Miles Stray started on the Aztecs’ back line as they split a pair of contests this past week — a 2-1 win over Belmont and a 3-2 loss to UNLV.
UC DAVIS (3-0-1): Nabi Kibunguchy, who was named to the Western Conference Team of the Year with the Glens, was a key cog in the Aggies’ 2-0 win over No. 25 Air Force in the Copa de Causeway. The towering junior midfielder kept the clean sheet — and earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team — by clearing a surefire goal off the line with a bicycle kick.
UCLA (2-2-0): Former Glens midfielder and 2018 Team MVP Andrew Paoli started for the Bruins in their 3-2 upset win over No. 1 Maryland last week. A junior from San Jose, Paoli will be expected to mentor the UCLA freshmen, namely Glens defender Eric Pearce, a mere three months removed from his high school graduation at Lowell.
SF STATE (1-1-0): Adrian Medina, a midfielder who made his USL League Two debut last year with the Glens as a high school senior at Stuart Hall, has commenced his college career in style. The redshirt freshman followed up an assist in the season opener with a game-winning goal in double overtime over Holy Names. The 1-0 result gave first-year Gators head coach Pedro Osorio his initial victory on the job.
Medina entered the game as a substitute for fellow Glen and senior midfielder Jonny Orozco, while a third player from the USL League Two club, freshman forward Julio González Ponce, is reportedly slated to make his debut next week. Last season’s Examiner Prep Player of the Year at Mission High School will add some extra scoring punch up front.
CAL STATE MONTEREY BAY (2-0-0): Midfielder Luis López opened his season scoring account in a 3-2 win over Dominican to maintain the Otters’ perfect record.
DOMINICAN (1-2-0): Defender Matt Albert and forward Brendan Adame got the starting nod as the Penguins edged Sonoma State, 2-1, for their first win of the season.
HOLY NAMES (1-2-0): Four days prior to the Hawks’ loss to SF State on Thursday, Josiah Romero uncorked a beautiful volley that found the back of the net in the Hawks’ 3-2 triumph over Humboldt State.