Starting Monday, the Chico State men’s soccer team will make its mark by doing something the program has never done before: Embark on a training and cultural immersion trip to Spain.

The team’s 32 players will participate in an 11-day trip that is sure to be a memorable one. A couple of coaches, a few parents, and some soccer alumni will also travel, with approximately 60 people making the trip they have spent the last year fundraising for.

Along the way, the Wildcats are scheduled to play a handful of games against teams made up of former La Liga players (La Liga is the premier division in Spanish soccer). The team hopes this early preparation will give players an advantage once the soccer season starts. The preseason kicks off August 20 at University of California, Davis; and the California Collegiate Athletic Association begins September 15 at UC San Diego.

To help document the journey, journalism major Dylan Wakefield will write about the team’s experiences, while business marketing major Sasha Peranteau will provide photos documenting the trip. Together, Wakefield and Peranteau, both senior forwards, will share some of the sights, sounds, and soccer they’ll experience, and we hope you enjoy following them along the way.

 

It’s not every day you find yourself packing your bags knowing you have a once-in-a-lifetime trip right around the corner. On Monday, we, the Chico State men’s soccer team, will hop on a plane and take off for Sevilla, Spain.

Needless to say, we are as excited as can be. Not only will we be touring through the beautiful country of Spain and visiting the major soccer stadiums we grew up dreaming of playing in one day, but we will also be playing four preseason games to kick off our 2017 season.

Spain and fútbol—not much more you could ask for, in our eyes.

And although this may seem like “just a soccer trip,” it is much more meaningful than that.

On a daily basis, as student-athletes, we get the privilege of representing the campus we love—the campus we call our home. We represent the Chico State family and battle day in and day out to showcase Chico State all across California. But Spain has a different oomph to it. This trip gives us the opportunity to represent Chico State on a whole new level. A level that we’ve, again, only been able to dream of. But now that dream is becoming a reality, and we couldn’t be more ready for this opportunity.

In preparation for this trip, the team arrived in Chico on July 10 to start captain’s camp—a week of training that consisted of double-day workouts. Following captain’s camp came another week of rigorous double-days with the coaching staff. And we just completed a third and final week of training before takeoff.

So, follow us on our journey through Spain so we can experience it together as one university.

—Dylan Wakefield, Journalism