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East Bay Boys Soccer Notebook

If you were to take last year’s final boys soccer standings in the East Bay Athletic League and fast forward to January of 2010 and assess the league race, you probably wouldn’t have thought that California High School would be in the thick of things.

After all, the Grizzlies finished 5-13-5 last year, and 1-10-3 in league.
However, this is a new year, and a very improved Cal team.
The Grizzlies are ranked No. 2 in the Bay Area News Group’s East Bay online soccer rankings, they are 8-0-2 overall and are off to a 2-0-0 start in EBAL play.
“We use a variety of things as motivation each game, including last year’s results,” Cal coach Chris Faidley said. “Game experience is the greatest teacher, but last year was very difficult. Even though we were young and suffered a number of injuries, the season was a humbling experience.”
This year, the Grizzlies have proven to be for real with non-league wins over Pittsburg, Castro Valley and Arroyo, and league wins against two top notch teams in Granada and Amador Valley. With that being said, Cal knows that EBAL play is going to be very tough.
“Each team in the league plays physical, aggressive soccer, so we’ll have to match that energy each game and keep our composure when we inevitably face adversity,” Faidley said. “De La Salle and San Ramon Valley, in particular, are very disciplined defensively and they take advantage of opponent’s mistakes, so we’ll have to be sharp against them.”
Another thing that makes the EBAL more intriguing this year is that the league has finally switched formats, now giving three points for a win (instead of two) and a tie is still one point.
Winning, this year, will be at a premium.
“I don’t think anyone will go undefeated in our league, and I also think there will be a number of ties,” Faidley said. “Which makes the rule change more important. We’ve discussed the importance of winning a game when you have the opportunity to. Because of the rule change, I expect it will take at least 10 or 11 wins to finish on top.”
Cal appears to have a chance to do something special this year and they are doing it without the big named stars that soccer fans are used to seeing in a Grizzly uniform.
Players like Andrew Weideman (likely to be drafted in the upcoming MLS draft) and David Bingham (starting keeper at UC Berkeley) have gone through the program, but this year it is a team effort led by the likes of Elliot Anderson, Guillermo Rivas, Taylor Leidheisel, Andrew Noble and Andre’ Rawls.
With past Cal teams, we’ve relied on terrific individual players,” Faidley said. “One thing I enjoy with this team is that we have a number of solid players. A variety of guys have stepped up and played well this season.”

Rankings

Small changes. Las Lomas cracks the top 15.

1. Richmond (5-0-5)
2. California (8-0-2)
3. De La Salle (4-4-1)
4. Granada (8-2-1)
5. Bishop O’Dowd (6-0-3)
6. San Ramon Valley (6-1-2)
7. Acalanes (8-1-0)
8. Albany (8-0-2)
9. Berkeley (6-2-1)
10. Castro Valley (7-2-2)
11. Dublin (11-2-0)
12. Newark Memorial (11-3-1)
13. Clayton Valley (7-1-2)
14. Amador Valley (3-4-4)
15. Las Lomas (7-3-0)

Others considered: Deer Valley (6-3-1), College Park (4-5-4), Arroyo (5-4-0), Alhambra (6-1-2), Free (5-2-3), Foothill (5-5-1), Ygnacio Valley (5-2-2), Mission San Jose (7-4-1), Liberty (3-4-2), Logan (6-7-1).

League standings

ACCAL
Team Overall League Points
Alameda (2-9-0) 2-0-0 6
Berkeley (6-2-1) 1-0-0 3
El Cerrito (3-4-0) 1-1-0 3
Richmond (5-0-5) 0-0-0 0
Pinole Valley (2-5-1) 0-1-0 0
De Anza (3-7-2) 0-1-0 0
Hercules (0-3-0) 0-2-0 0

BSAL
Team Overall League Points
St. Mary’s (5-3-2) 3-0-1 10
Albany (8-0-2) 2-0-0 6
Piedmont (4-2-1) 2-1-0 6
Kennedy (5-5-0) 2-1-0 6
Swett (2-3-0) 2-2-0 6
Salesian (1-0-1) 1-0-1 4
St. Patrick-St. Vincent (1-2-0) 1-2-0 3
Encinal (0-9-0) 0-4-0 0
St. Joseph-Notre Dame (0-6-0) 0-3-0 0

BVAL
Team Overall League Points
Antioch (2-4-3) 2-0-1 7
Freedom (5-2-3) 1-0-2 5
Deer Valley (6-3-1) 1-1-1 4
Pittsburg (4-6-1) 1-1-1 4
Hertiage (1-4-0) 1-2-0 3
Liberty (3-4-2) 0-2-1 1

DFAL
Team Overall League Points
Alhambra (6-1-2) 3-0-0 9
Dublin (11-2-0) 3-1-0 9
Acalanes (8-1-0) 2-1-0 6
Las Lomas (7-3-0) 2-2-0 6
Dougherty Valley (4-4-0) 1-2-0 3
Campolindo (3-5-3) 0-3-1 1
Miramonte (0-2-1) 0-2-1 1

DVAL
Team Overall League Points
Ygnacio Valley (5-2-2) 1-0-1 4
Concord (1-5-2) 1-0-1 4
Clayton Valley (7-1-2) 1-0-0 3
Northgate (2-7-1) 1-0-0 3
College Park (4-5-4) 0-0-2 2
Mt. Diablo (0-2-0) 0-2-0 0
Berean Christian (1-9-1) 0-2-0 0

EBAL
Team Overall League Points
California (8-0-2) 2-0-0 6
De La Salle (4-4-1) 1-0-1 4
San Ramon Valley (6-1-2) 1-0-1 4
Livermore (2-3-0) 1-1-0 3
Monte Vista (2-4-5) 0-0-2 2
Foothill (5-5-1) 0-1-1 1
Amador Valley (3-4-4) 0-1-1 1
Granada (8-2-1) 0-2-0 0

HAAL
Team Overall League Points
Arroyo (5-4-0) 3-1-0 9
Castro Valley (7-2-2) 2-0-1 7
Hayward (5-4-0) 2-2-0 6
Bishop O’Dowd (6-0-3) 1-0-2 5
San Lorenzo (3-3-1) 1-1-1 4
Mt. Eden (5-5-0) 1-1-0 3
San Leandro (2-5-3) 0-3-1 1
Tennyson (0-2-1) 0-1-1 1
Moreau Catholic (1-3-0) 0-1-0 0

MVAL
Team Overall League Points
Newark Memorial (11-3-1) 3-0-0 9
Logan (6-7-1) 3-0-0 9
Mission San Jose (7-4-1) 3-1-0 9
Washington (1-7-2) 1-2-1 4
Kennedy (1-3-1) 1-2-1 4
Irvington (2-7-2) 0-3-0 0
American (0-5-0) 0-3-0 0

Statistics

Here is the list of the players in the East Bay who are top ten in goals and assists.
Goals
Fuentes, Newark 10
Weir, Dublin 10
Borges, Albany 10
Thornton, Castro Valley 9
Villagran, Newark 9
Romero, YV 8
Chen, Las Lomas 8
Hoster, Dublin 8
Anderson, Cal 7
Rietz, BOD 7
C. Gonzalez, San Lorenzo 7

Assists
Borges, Albany 8
Gomez, Clayton 8
Swafford, BOD 7
Montes, Richmond 7
Arzate, Newark 7
Weir, Dublin 7
Hoster, Dublin 7
Lopez, YV 6
Shiluck, Castro Valley 6
Tieku, EC 5
Chen, Las Lomas 5
Fuentes, Newark 5
C. Gonzalez, San Lorenzo 5

For questions, comments, to report scores, update standings or statistics, please email Matt Smith at mhsmith78@gmail.com.

Matt Smith