A bright future for football at CSUMB

The Monterey Bay Football Club (Monterey Bay F.C.)  held a seminal event, revealing two important announcements for fans and California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students on Sept. 16. The first announcement being the multi-year club partnership with Cardinale Auto Group, and the groundbreaking for the shared-use stadium on campus. Cardinale Stadium will be complete by May 1. 

New stadium renovations include four 90-foot high poles with broadcast sports lighting implemented for night matches and FIFA-approved turf. Premium seating options and newly renovated locker rooms are worthy additions. 

A new beer garden is under construction by Monterey Bay F.C. and Alvarado Street Brewery, bringing the football atmosphere to life with a place for spectators to enjoy local beer during events. The garden will be one of the largest for a United Soccer League (USL) soccer stadium, 

Joe Cardinale, the President of Cardinale Automotive, believes that Monterey Bay F.C. has an all-star team. Cardinale can barely contain his excitement for the team, which guarantees a packed stadium at every game. 

Bringing football to Monterey was the dream of Monterey Bay F.C. Chairman and Owner Ray Beshoff. Developing an environment that celebrates the region’s diversity in its community members and landscapes, creates the greatest union of land and sea, which is represented through the club nickname – “The Union.” 

The university has been searching for a private partner to rehabilitate the stadium. CSUMB’s President, Eduardo M. Ochoa, outlined what excites him about the partnership.

 “Soccer aligns with the communities that we serve,” Ochoa said. “It will attract people from Salinas Valley, and there’s a lot of soccer talent there.” 

Ochoa is no stranger to the game of football. Growing up in Argentina sparked his passion for the sport. 

Monterey Bay F.C. will raise the university profile through international viewership, stimulating interest in the region and expanding tourism. 

The USL’s partnership with ESPN+ provides more than 100 million homes in 55 countries with streaming access to matches.  

Frank Yallop, Monterey Bay F.C. Head Coach, expressed his goals with the team.

 “My main aim is to ensure that the local players have a chance,” Yallop said. “I’d rather take a player from Watsonville or Salinas than someone at the same level from Indiana.” 

Yallop has known Ray Beshoff for a long time, and credits his ability in putting good people in the right places. Beshoff’s understanding of team composition and Yallop’s extensive experience with the sport provide coverage sets the team up for success. 

Cardinale Stadium will provide CSUMB soccer athletes with the opportunity to compete on the renovated field for specific events. 

Allexxis Hand, forward on the women’s soccer team, discussed her thoughts on the new stadium.

 “I think the environment of fans and being able to come out to support a pro team is very exciting,” Hand said.

Monica Hrncir, women’s soccer team defender, explained why she’s looking forward to the future of soccer at CSUMB.

“This attraction will bring more to our sport,” Hrncir said. “Being able to tell my family that this is where I went to school, this is Cal State Monterey Bay.”

While Hand and Hrncir are graduating this year, and seeing their sport reach greater heights on campus is something to celebrate. 

Football is coming to Monterey, surging new life into athletic events on campus. Spectators will have to wait until spring before the action begins. A bright future lies ahead for recreation at CSUMB.

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