With 11 new players from around the world on its roster, the Loyola Marymount men’s soccer team opens its 2019 season Aug. 30 at Sullivan Field with a 7 p.m. match against Virginia Tech, the first of a five-game homestand.

LMU returns eight players who started at least six games in 2018, including Jack Sauls and CJ Neville, the Lions’ second and third leading goal scorers last season. Also returning are junior defender Tim Burke, former All-Trinity League player at Servite High School in Anaheim, and sophomore defender Corbin Mercado, another Servite graduate.

Head coach Paul Krumpe enters his 22nd season at LMU, looking to help the Lions maintain their place on the national soccer scene. The former co-captain of UCLA’s 1985 NCAA champions has led the Lions to four NCAA tournaments, and to West Coast Conference championships in 2010 and 2013.

Last season, LMU finished sixth in the WCC at 3-4 (6-12 overall), with St. Mary’s (6-0-1 in WCC, 18-0-2 overall) winning the title. St. Mary’s ended the year ranked 11th nationally and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Pacific (last year’s WCC runner-up) returns sophomore forward Mamoru Kamisasanuki, a three-time All-Trinity League selection at St. John Bosco in Bellflower. The native of Tokyo scored one goal last year, an overtime game-winner in the season opener against UAB.

Santa Clara (seventh in the WCC) features redshirt junior defender Matt Golbranson, former two-time International League MVP at St. Monica Academy in Pasadena. He is the son of former Santa Clara coach Len Golbranson.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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