After being a game away from the national finals and being crowned NCAA Division II West Region Champion last season, Cal Poly Pomona men’s soccer is ranked at No. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division II Men’s National Preseason Poll.

“Our guys know we will get everybody’s best shot, and whoever lines up against us knows our history. We have been to national finals, we’ve been to finals fours and because of that teams are going to coming after us,” said second-year head coach Adam Reeves. “This group is motivated to get better every single day, and bring their best on any given day.”

Soccer reached the final four of the NCAA tournament last season. (David Wilson | The Poly Post)

The Broncos did lose a big senior class as their top goal scorer and All-American Sergi Monso and All-CCAA midfielder Luis Najera Jr all graduated last season. To go along with their big offensive threats the Broncos also lost their goal keeper Jason Trejos.

After losing alot of valuable players from last season the Broncos look at returning players to carry the load.

Returning for the Broncos this season is senior midfielder, Jimmie Villalobos, who received All-CCAA First team honors last season. Villalobos scored eight goals for the Broncos last season, ranking him sixth in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Being the rock of the Broncos defense is senior defensive back Nadeer Ghantous, who also received All-CCAA first team honors. Ghantous started every game last season for the Broncos, while also contributing in three goals.

The Broncos also bolstered their roster by bringing in Division I transfers: sophomore forward Brian Peek and junior midfielder Alon Grod. Peek, who transferred from Cal State Fullerton, is going to be a big asset to the Broncos offense. His six-foot frame will help add some goals to the Broncos offense.

Grod played in 14 games for San Diego State, while starting in eight of them last season. Grod’s experience will help solidify the Broncos midfield.

“We have a lot of new faces and are excited about them. We also have a good group of returners that are showing great leadership and that are helping bring the new guys along,” said Reeves.

Returning and looking to make a big impact is the Broncos’ junior midfielder, Jordan Jackmon. Jackmon started seven games, scoring one goal and also adding four assists last season. Junior midfielder Cyro Oliveira is bringing in experience to the Broncos midfield as he started in 15 games and received honorable mention honors in the CCAA conference last season.

To go along with a the transfers, the Broncos added a big freshman class to make up for the amount of players that were lost to graduation last season. A total of seven freshman are coming in to make up for the minutes being lost.

The Broncos will continue to look to attack their opponents and show their will in the offensive end. Last season, the Broncos ranked first in CCAA with 55 goals in the season. Along with their superb attack game, CPP will look to continue their dominance on the defensive end, as last season they ranked third in goals allowed with 21.

“We want the ball and keep position and make the other team work to find the good moments to attack and penetrate on the offensive end,” said Reeves. “On the defensive end, we want to hunt the ball so we can get the ball back as quick as we can no matter where we are on the field. We will be a team that’s good in possession and takes it to the other team.”

The Broncos look to start their season off with a win, as they take on Montana State Billings at Kellogg Field at 7 p.m. on Friday Aug. 31.

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