Jay Singh, a 20-year-old junior whose coach called him "Beckham" for the way he could strike a ball, died unexpectedly Sunday night at his home in San Bruno, Calif.
Singh was redshirting at Cal State Northridge after transferring from Loyola Marymount. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the cause of death is still under investigation and results of an autopsy done on Monday would not be known for several weeks.
Singh, a midfielder, was heavily recruited out of Serra High School, the Catholic school famous for producing such pro athletes as Barry Bonds and Tom Brady.
Singh spent a semester at the U.S. U-17 residency program in the fall of 2003 after a strong summer, the highlight of which was a goal for the U-17s against Brazil in a 1-1 tie at a youth tournament in England.
He was heavily recruited by Santa Clara, UCLA, St. John's, Indiana and UC Santa Barbara but chose LMU. He played 12 games as a freshman in 2005 and six games as a sophomore before transferring.
Northridge coach Terry Davilatold theLos Angeles Daily News that Singh was the Matadors' best passer, saying, "I always called him 'Beckham' because of the way he could serve the ball."
According to Davila, Singh was being red-shirted in 2007 so he could contribute more fully the next two years at Northridge. Still, Davila credited Singh's inspirational talk before the Matadors' recent 3-0 win over UCLA for helping his teammates believe they could beat the Bruins
"We lost a prominent contributor to the Cal State Northridge soccer team," said Davila. "He will be greatly missed, and all of our thoughts and prayers go out to the Singh family."
"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jay Singh," said Cal State Northridge Athletic Director Rick Mazzuto. "Jay was a dedicated student-athlete, and a popular friend with teammates and fellow students. His contributions to the fabric and spirit of Cal State Northridge will be missed."
Singh is survived by his parents, Nita and Jaywant Singh, and brother Jason.
The Northridge and LMU teams are expected to travel to San Bruno for the funeral on Wednesday.
Wednesday's CSUN-UCSB Big West match, scheduled for Wednesday, has been rescheduled for Nov. 14 at Matador Soccer Field.