Amman gets a great Christmas gift: He's headed to Stanford

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Santa Rosa High’s Taylor Amman was at a Marin soccer practice Tuesday afternoon doing what he has done much of his life – kicking a soccer ball.

After practice, he returned to his car only to find a voice message on his cell phone. It was from Stanford soccer coach Bret Simon asking him to return the call.

“I was a little nervous when I returned the call,” Amman said. “At first he started to make small talk and then he told me that I had been admitted to Stanford,” said Amman, who was still excited five days later on Christmas Eve. “He was able to get all the people together that he needed to cause I had applied for early admissions.”

Soccer-wise Amman doesn’t know how much if any playing time he’ll get at Stanford. All he does know is that there will be 7-8 incoming freshmen joining him on the Cardinal roster and some of those might red-shirt.

“He (Simon) didn’t see me play that much,” Amman said, “only at a Stanford camp. So we’ll have to see how that works out. I don’t know about red-shirting. I did see Stanford upset Cal in their final game of the season and the college game is much faster and more physical than high school soccer.”

Amman, if you remember, was ruled ineligible earlier this high school season, and later lost his appeal for reinstatement

Amman, an all-Empire senior midfielder, was ruled in September to have used up his athletic eligibility prior to this season.

Before his junior year, Amman studied abroad in Spain and returned in June 2005. He played for Santa Rosa High last year and was on Santa Rosa United teams from U12 through U17 until he switched to Marin United this fall.

When he played in the Panthers’ first six games this season he was ruled to be in violation of a CIF rule regarding maximum semesters of attendance.

Santa Rosa eventually had to forfeit the games Amman played in this season. The Panthers made the NCS playoffs, but lost, 1-0, in a first-round game to eventual champion Maria Carrillo.

“All that is behind me now,” Amman said, “but I do know that playing in Spain definitely made me a better soccer player. It all worked out for the best.”

Amman plans to major in either Spanish or engineering at Stanford.
Stanford finished the 2006 season third in the six-team Pac-10 Conference with a 7-7-4 overall record, 5-3-2 in the Pac-10.

The youthful 26-man Cardinal roster featured only four seniors with 15 underclassmen.

FINAL 2006 PAC-10 MEN’S SOCCER STANDINGS
Team Pac-10 Overall

California 7-3 12-5-1
San Diego State 5-2-3 9-4-4
Stanford 5-3-2 7-7-4UCLA 4-3-3 10-5-4
Washington 4-5-1 13-6-1
Oregon State 0-9-1 5-12-2