Men's Soccer Faces Oakland, UC Riverside At Cal State Fullerton SoccerTown Classic
Aug. 30, 2004
This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team will officially kick off the 2004 season with a pair of games this weekend at the Cal State Fullerton SoccerTown Classic. The Bruins, ranked No. 2 in the pre-season by Soccer America and No. 7 by the NSCAA, will face the University of Oakland in the season opener on Friday, Sept. 3 at 5 pm at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium. On Sunday, Sept. 5, UCLA will play host to UC Riverside at 3:30 pm at Drake Stadium. Sunday's game is the second game of a doubleheader with the UCLA women's team. The Bruin women play UC Santa Barbara at 1 pm.
Scouting the Golden Grizzlies -- Oakland posted a 12-5-5 record in 2003 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where it lost a double overtime thriller to Tulsa in the first round, 3-2. The Golden Grizzlies, the pre-season favorite in the Mid-Continent Conference, dropped a 1-0 exhibition game to Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday. Amongst Oakland's top returnees is All-Great Lakes Region second-team selection Jeff Wiese, who posted a 0.79 goals against average last season. Friday's game will be the first meeting between the two teams.
Scouting the Highlanders -- UC Riverside recorded a 7-10-1 record last season and returns forward Luc Harrington, the first Highlander ever to be named to the All-Big West First Team. Harrington scored 18 points on seven goals and four assists last year. Former Bruin Junior Gonzalez (1995-98) is in his first season as head coach after being an assistant coach at UCR for three years. UCLA is 10-0-0 all-time versus UC Riverside, but the two teams have not met since 1983.
Bruins Win Exhibitions Over Chivas Reserves, SDSU -- UCLA tuned up for the 2004 season with exhibition victories over the Chivas reserves in Mexico, 3-2, and San Diego State at home, 4-1. The Bruins, who trained in Guadalajara for five days, capped off their trip with an impressive win over the Chivas reserves. Senior midfielder Mike Enfield had a hand in all three goals, assisting Kamani Hill on the Bruins' first, absorbing a foul that led to a penalty kick goal by Chad Barrett, and scoring the game-winner off a Barrett cross. Four different players scored in the victory over San Diego State - Enfield, freshman Mike Zaher, junior Evan Corey and sophomore Benny Feilhaber. A total of 26 players participated in the game.
2004 Season Outlook -- UCLA returns five starters from its record-breaking 2003 squad, including 2003 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidate Aaron Lopez, Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Chad Barrett and first-team All-Pac-10 selection Brandon Owens. Also returning from last year's starting lineup is U.S. U-20 National Team member Kiel McClung and junior midfielder Ryan Valdez. The Bruins, which were picked to win the Pac-10 Conference for the third straight year, are a young but talented and deep group, led by seniors Lopez, Mike Enfield and Ahmed Khalil. Ten newcomers grace the 2004 squad, led by Soccer America's No. 1 recruit, forward Kamani Hill, and its No. 21 recruit, defender Mike Zaher. Junior transfer Ramon Manak (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) and freshmen Hill, Edwige Ligondé and Richard Flores have already seen action in the starting lineup during both exhibition games.
Lopez, Enfield Named To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List -- Seniors Aaron Lopez and Mike Enfield have been targeted as two of the Top 25 athletes to watch for the 2004 season, earning selection to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Lopez, who was a nominee for last season's M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2003 and helped the Bruins achieve a school record 0.52 team goals against average. In 2002, he was the Offensive MVP of the College Cup after scoring the only goal with 1:02 to play in the championship game. Enfield, a former U.S. Youth National Team member, ranked fourth on the Bruin squad in 2003 with seven assists and 13 points. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors in 2002.
Head Coach Jorge Salcedo -- Former UCLA All-American and assistant coach Jorge Salcedo enters his first season as head coach of the Bruins. Salcedo was the Bruins' assistant coach from 2001-03 and helped lead UCLA to the 2002 NCAA Championship and to two Pac-10 titles. He has already made an immediate impact as head coach, snaring the No. 1-rated recruited class in the country for the second consecutive year. Salcedo was a four-year starter at UCLA and, as a freshman, scored the game-winning penalty kick in the 1990 NCAA Championship game.