July 12, 2011

Matador Minute with Yossi Raz

July 12, 2011

Yossi Raz recently completed his sixth season as a member of the Cal State Northridge coaching staff, aiding head coach Terry Davila with all aspects of the game, and will begin his seventh season, and first as the associate head coach, on the sidelines in 2010. The Matadors have posted a record of 59-53-26 in his six seasons, including a Big West title and a trip to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and an appearance in the Big West Conference Postseason Tournament in 2009.

Raz joined the Matador staff in 2005 after completing one of the most storied four-year careers in CSUN men's soccer history. Raz earned All-Big West Conference First-Team honors each season, becoming the first player in league history to receive First-Team accolades all four years. The midfielder came out of the gates flying as a freshman, netting seven goals and two assists for 16 points in being named Big West Freshman of the Year. His career-best season came in 2002 when the sophomore led the team with 11 assists and 25 points, also equaling his goal total from his freshman campaign.

Q. After your decorated career as a player at CSUN, how does it feel to be a coach for the team?
A. "Since arriving in America, Northridge has been a great home. The people of the athletic department are more than colleagues. To work with them toward winning a championship for the university is very meaningful to me and it is an honor to work for Cal State Northridge."

Q. What does it mean to you to be the associate head coach for the program this season?
A. "It shows that the department and our head coach Terry Davila value my qualities and it is an exciting opportunity for me to keep working hard and help out this program to the best of my abilities."

Q. Looking ahead to this season, how do you feel the team is progressing through training?
A. "It is no secret that we didn't have the year we wanted last year. It was humbling for us. Our staff and players are motivated to make sure it doesn't happen again. We are looking to represent the San Fernando Valley and the university to the best of our ability. We are working hard to improve on the season we had last year."

Q. How important do you feel it is to have a strong relationship with the community as a whole?
A. "It is essential that the soccer programs, both men's and women's, will conduct outreach in the community and support them as they support us. Summer camps and clinics, as well as our performance on the field, are a big part of it. The program and coaching staff works as hard as we can to field a team that the community is proud of. We work to get stronger every year, and it is a continuous growing process."

Q. What does hosting the Labor Day Classic in the early part of the season mean to the players and staff?
A. "We are very excited to put on this invitational again and host three outstanding programs. Cal State Fullerton made it to the Big West Conference final, UNLV made it to their conference tournament and obviously Akron are the defending national champions. It promises to be an exciting weekend in the San Fernando Valley and we hope that the community will get to enjoy it to the fullest."

Q. What are your expectations for this season?
A. "My past experiences as both a player and coach have taught me to remain humble and hardworking at all times. I feel that we are a talented group and I believe that if we work hard daily, we can bring CSUN back to the glory days."