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Santana And Lupercio Return For 2009-10 Season

November 2, 2009 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - California Cougars News Release

Stockton, CA - Nov. 2, 2009 - The defending Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro) champion California Cougars have agreed to contract terms with midfielder Nelson Santana and defender Pedro Lupercio, it was announced today. Per club policy, terms of the deals will not be released.

Santana, 30, recorded nine goals and 18 assists in 14 PASL-Pro games last season. Of his 18 assists, four were recorded during a match versus Edmonton on Dec. 13 at Stockton Arena. Santana is entering his fourth consecutive season with the Cougars. He made his 2008-09 PASL-Pro debut during Sunday's match against the San Diego Sockers. He picked up one assist in the match and took five shots.

Santana netted 11 goals and tallied eight assists for the Cougars over 26 games in the 2007-08 season. Santana recorded his first career hat-trick on February 23, 2008 against the Philadelphia KiXX at the Wachovia Spectrum. He converted on two three point goals and one two point goal for eight points during the 19-15 road loss. Santana scored at least one point in 13 matches and recorded nine multi-point games during the 2007-08 season. He also set a single season team record after committing 57 fouls in the season. He had previously set the record in 2006-07 after being caught for 50 fouls.

His rookie year in 2006-07 saw him score 22 points (seven goals and seven assists) and rack up eight blocks over 24 games.

Lupercio, 24, finished the 2008-09 PASL-Pro season with three goals and eight assists for 11 points. The second year defender was second on the Cougars roster in blocks with 23 over 16 league games.

Lupercio is a Sacramento State University graduate. He was taken by the Cougars as the 11th overall selection in the 2007 Major Indoor Soccer League College Draft. The Dixon, CA native made the move from college midfielder to professional defender with the Cougars during the 2007-08 season.

Lupercio scored his first professional goal on January 5, 2008 against the Chicago Storm at Stockton Arena. He was able to score three goals in 18 games last season. He also added one assist for a total of seven points. Lupercio's rookie season ended on March 22, 2008 in a match against Detroit. The young defender tore his left medial meniscus and missed the final two remaining 2007-08 regular season games.

Lupercio was an offensive standout while at Sacramento State. He accumulated 10 career assists in 69 matches over his collegiate career. Lupercio scored two goals and added two assists for the Hornets, while earning all-conference accolades in 2005.

The Cougars begin their fifth consecutive season of professional indoor soccer at Stockton Arena on November 8 with a friendly versus the "Stars of Mexico." Individual tickets are available through the Alpine Meats Box Office at Stockton Arena, by calling (209) 373-1700 and by visiting www.stocktontickets.com.

Season and group ticket specials are available through the Cougars office by calling (209) 373-1550. More information regarding the November 8 match and 2009-10 season can be found at www.californiacougars.net.

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