“I am looking forward to proving myself in a new league in front of new people on a professional stage to show that I belong here, and that I can thrive and play really well and continue to take steps forward in my career,” Bjoershol said. “I’m happy, really grateful and excited to start a new season.”
In his final season with the Golden Eagles, Bjoershol was named NCAA Division II Player of the Year and helped lead Cal State LA to the first national championship title in the history of the men’s soccer program in 2021. The program’s first three-time All-American, Bjoershol claimed back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards from the California Collegiate Athletic Association in 2021 and 2019 and earned All-Region honors in all four seasons with Cal State LA.
Bjoershol joins the Las Vegas club after being invited to play and train with the team for its preseason, which started in January. Lights FC, an affiliate of LAFC, competes in USL Championship, the top tier of the United Soccer League, a Division II professional men’s soccer league.
“During our preseason, Morten was able to stand out with his physical presence in the back line, his ability to pass and help build up from the back, his ability to score goals on set pieces, and lastly his ability to play multiple positions,” said Lights FC head coach Enrique Duran. “We look forward to seeing him progress with the Las Vegas Lights and assisting him achieve his goal of playing at the next level.”
Cal State LA has a longstanding partnership with LAFC, whose soccer operations headquarters and performance center are located on the northern gateway of the Cal State LA campus. Lights FC trains at Cal State LA and travels to Las Vegas for all its home matches. Bjoershol officially signed his contract with Las Vegas Lights FC at the performance center on March 6 alongside his agent and Lights FC officials.
“I am very excited to see Morten sign with LAFC’s affiliate team. He had a great career here at Cal State LA and he definitely deserves this opportunity to play professionally,” said Michael Erush, head coach for Cal State LA men’s soccer. “We wish him the best of luck and will be cheering him on.”
Bjoershol appeared in a program-high 85 games for the Golden Eagles, scoring 12 goals in black and gold. In addition to the 2021 NCAA Division II National Championship, Bjoershol won two Super Region 4 championships, two CCAA regular-season championships and three CCAA Tournament titles with Cal State LA.
“Cal State LA has given me a bunch of opportunities to play big games in big spots—winning games, competing for titles and going to the national tournament,” Bjoershol said. “It’s just been an honor honestly and I wanted to take full advantage of it.”
Bjoershol graduated from Cal State LA in fall 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.
“We are so proud and happy for Morten,” said Daryl Gross, executive director for athletics at Cal State LA. “Morten is more confirmation that Cal State LA has one of the nation’s elite soccer programs in any NCAA division. For his pro career to start with our partner LAFC is a dream come true. He is an example of the complete student-athlete experience our great university offers, where you can receive an amazing quality education, get tremendous exposure and compete for national championships.”
Bjoershol and Las Vegas Lights FC open their 2022 USL campaign on March 13 at 4 p.m. PT against New Mexico United in Albuquerque.
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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.