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Academica squads in the hunt after one month of USL play
Local semi-pro club continues raising money for Jessica’s House ahead of big week
Academica men
The Academica SC men’s team will be back in action on Saturday in San Jose before preparing for their highly anticipated exhibition against the Chivas de Guadalajara U23 team on Friday at Joe Debely Stadium (Photo contributed).

The men and women of Academica SC, Turlock’s semi-professional soccer organization, are right in the middle of the standings through one month in their respective United Soccer League seasons.

In their second season with the USL’s League Two under longtime head coach Sergio Sousa, the men find themselves in seventh place in the eight team NorCal division with a 1-4 record. Despite the record not being the loveliest, all eight teams are separated by three or less games in the standings.

Faring just a bit better than their male counterparts is Academica’s women's squad, who are also in their second year of the USL W League play. They also have a 1-4 record under new head coach Trisha Gonzales, though for them, it is good enough for sixth place in the eight team race with a pair of opposing teams remaining winless through four weeks of play.

Academica women
Bailey Bracha and the Academica Women’s Soccer Club will be at home in Turlock this weekend for the Sunday Fun Day festivities, which includes a shirt giveaway as well as food and drinks (Photo contributed).

The men have a -5 goal differential this season. Of the seven goals scored by the Turlock team this season, three have come off the boot of Pitman High alumnus Felipe Lopez. The mark is tied with eight others from across the nation for most in League Two. Furthermore, he has played in just three matches.

The women have scored seven goals this season, but have struggled on the defensive end of the pitch, having allowed 18 goals through their five matches.

This season, both teams have partnered with Jessica’s House, the Turlock-based nonprofit Jessica’s House that provides grief support to children and families, for the Goals That Give Back initiative. For every goal scored by either of the Academica USL teams this season, the club will be donating $75 to Jessica’s House. Heading into the weekend, Academica has raised $675.

Each team has eight matches remaining in their seasons.

The men will be back in action for USL League Two play on Saturday when they travel to San Jose to take on Almaden FC at Pioneer High School at 7:30 p.m.

USL W League action will continue on Sunday night with “Sunday Fun Day” festivities when Academica takes on the ladies of Marin FC at 7 p.m. Gates will open to Academica Fields at 1343 W. Greenway Ave. at 6 p.m., with the first 50 fans receiving a free giveaway shirt. There will be food trucks and drink specials the entire night. 

From there, Academica will start preparing to host the Chivas de Guadalajara U23 team out of Mexico. On Thursday, Chivas U23 head coach Pepe Melendes will be at Academica Fields for an ID Camp, where local individuals can register to work out and be scouted for by the Chivas developmental coaches. On Friday, the exhibition between Academica and the Chivas will take place at Turlock High School’s Joe Debely Stadium.
For more information on the Chivas visit, upcoming Academica events and tickets, head to