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San Diego State Seeks The Edge They Need for Upward Movement In 2023

A Promising Recruiting Class Should Help Fill The Voids That Exist.

Coach – Ryan Hopkins – 4th Season
Conference – Pac-12
2022 Record – 5-0-4 overall, 1-6-3 in conference
2022 National Ranking – Not Ranked
Five Year Win Total
2022 – 5
2021 – 8
2020 – 1
2019 – 4
2018 – 4
Key Departures

Jacob Castro – Goalkeeper – Appeared in and started 33 games during two seasons at San Diego State after transferring from the University of Washington. 2021 All-Pac-12 First Team. 2022 All-Pac 12 Second Team. United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Reion Third Team in 2022. Had a 1.27 goals against average over two seasons at San Diego State with ten shutouts. Signed homegrown contract with Seattle Sounders.

CJ Fodrey – Forward – Appeared in 16 games with 15 starts during 2022 with five goals and four assists. 2022 All-Pac-12 First Team selection. 2022 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. College Soccer News 2022 All-Freshman First Team selection. Signed Generation Adidas Contract after the conclusion of his freshman season and was the number 13 overall pick by Austin FC in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft becoming the highest draft pick in San Diego State history.

Blake Bowen – Midfielder – Appeared in 56 games with 47 starts with nine goals and five assists during four seasons. A 2022 All-Pac-12 Second Team selection. All=Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2020 and 2021. The number 59 selection in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft by the Seattle Sounders FC.

Donovan Roux – Midfielder – Played in 32 games with 28 starts scoring three goals and contributing four assists during two seasons at San Diego State. Transferred to UNCG.

Kyle Colonna – Defender – A 2022 co-captain. A four-year starter who played in 52 games with 46 starts over four seasons with three goals and one assist.

Inigo Villaldea – Midfielder – Appeared in 32 games with 31 starts with six goals and then assists over three seasons at San Diego State. 2022 Pac-12 Honorable Mention. 2021 All-Pac-12 First Team. 2020 Pac-12 Honorable Mention. Named to United Soccer Coaches Far West Region Second Team in 2021. Transferred to Bryant University.

Elias Katsaros – Defender – A three-year starter who appeared in 38 games with 37 starts over three seasons. Scored three goals in 2022 season. Signed homegrown contact with Soccer Sounders affiliate Tacoma Defiance in MLS Next Pro League.
2023 Outlook

San Diego State has established over the past few seasons that on a given night they can beat anyone. The Aztecs will enter the 2023 season seeking to develop the balance, depth, team focus and continuity needed in order to prevail on a more consistent basis.

Offensively, SDSU will enter the season without players who were responsible for 20 of the 26 goals they scored in 2022 including forward CJ Fodrey (7g, 4a), the 2022 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and All-Pac-12 First Team selection, who elected to enter the profession ranks after his freshman season. Sophomore forward Austin Brummett (2g, 2a) who appeared in 16 games last year with 12 starts is the only returning player who scored more than one goal last year.

Accordingly, SDSU’s effectiveness on offense will hinge on the emergence of several goal scorers and the ability of members of the 2023 recruiting class to pace the attack. The good news is that the class includes several proven goals scorers who could be just what the doctor ordered . Forwards Alexander Levengood, a three-time All-CAA First Team selection from William and Mary, Terence Okoeguale who appeared in 15 games last year at Akron, and Owen Zaldivar who had 12 goals and four assists at Garner-Webb, and midfielder Seth Clark who was a two-time All-ASUN Second Team selection at Liberty are among experienced transfers with the potential to add power to the attack. Freshman Alex Soukup who played for the LAFC Academy is among other members of the recruiting class who could challenge for playing time.

Sophomores Beto Apolinar (0g, 2a) and Javi Camargo (0g, 2a), senior Henry Smith-Hastie (0g, 1a) and junior Jordan Korbus are among returning midfielders who look to be in the mix in 2023. Sophomores Tristan Viviani (1g, 1a) and Noah Cretier are among key returning defenders. Senior Jules Anderson looks to be among other returning backs who will seek to play a greater role in 2023. Graduate Student transfer back Reid Sproat, a three-time All-Horizon League Selection at Oakland, is a solid addition who should challenge for a starting spot. Freshmen defenders Roman Holt and Ethan Zamora are among other members of the recruiting class who could compete for minutes sooner rather than later.

Sophomore Logan Erb who appeared in and started one game last year returns in goal along with senior Djibril Doumbia who transferred in last year from Old Dominion and junior Elliot Pavis. They look to be the candidates to fill the gap that exists in goal due to the departure of Jacob Castro who was an All-Pac-12 Second Team selection in 2022 and First Team selection in 2021.

San Diego State has quality players and head coach Ryan Hopkins knows what it takes to win at the highest level but they have their work cut out for them. A lot of things have to fall into place so expectations should be tempered. It may all come down to the bump in the level of the play that the returning sophomores get from having a year of experience under their belts and the ability of the newcomers, particularly the transfers, to make an immediate impact. The third factor and the one upon which upon which their ultimate fate will likely hinge is their ability to merge their individual talents into a unified and focused team. That is the factor that could give the Aztecs the edge they need to close the gap in Pac-12 play and increase their overall win total.

Terence Okoeguale – Forward – Cologne, Germany – Berufskolleg an der Lindentrasse – A junior transfer from Akron where he appeared in 15 games with six starts in 2022 with two goals and five assists.

Ethan Zamora – Defender – Chula Vista, California – Carlsbad High School – Played for City SC and the Real Monarchs in the MLS Next Pro in the spring of 2022. Named MLS NEXT Best of the Best.

Alexander Levengood – Forward – Richmond, Virginia – St. Christopher’s School – A transfer from William and Mary where he was a four-year starter and three-time All-CAA First Team selection with 24 goals and 14 assists in 58 games. United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region selection in 2021 and 2022. Scored seven goals and contributed nine assists during the 2022 season.

Roman Holt – Defender – San Antonio, Texas – University of Texas at Austin Online High School – Played for San Antonio FC.

Seth Clark – Midfielder – Christchurch, New Zealand – A transfer from Liberty where he was a four-year starter with nine goals and 14 assists. Two-time All-ASUN Second Team selection and 2019 ASUN All-Freshman Team member.

Alex Soukup – Forward – Canoga Park, California – Canoga Park High School – Played for LAFC Academy in MLS NEXT. Named to the GA Cup Best XI in 2022. Invited to the U.S. US U-14 and U-18 National Team Camp. Played with LAFC 2 on an amateur contract in 2023.

Owen Zaldivar – Forward – Lawndale, California – ASU Preparatory School – A transfer from Gardner Webb where he appeared in 44 contests with 27 starts with 12 goals and 14 assists. Scored seven goals during the 2022 season.

Luke Cantafio – Defender – Orange City, California – Telsa Academy – Played for Strikers FC. Invited to the U-14, U-15 and U-17 U.S. National Team Camps.

Reid Sproat – Defender – Auburn, Indiana – Leo High School – A transfer from Oakland where he appeared in 55 games with
51 starts over four seasons and was a three-time All-Horizon League selection and started every game over the past three seasons.

Picture from San Diego State Athletics

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Posted in 2023 Team Reviews

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