Men's Soccer Opens Season Saturday Against Cal State Northridge

Aug. 22, 2006

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This Week -- The No. 5 (Soccer America)/10 (NSCAA) UCLA men's soccer team opens the season at home against No. 23/19 Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Aug. 26. The game will take place at Frank W. Marshall Field at Drake Stadium at 7 pm.

Live Coverage -- Saturday's UCLA-Cal State Northridge game will be broadcast live on the internet at Darren Preston, Michael Sondheimer and Lukas Mehring will call the action. In addition, UCLA will provide live in-game scoring at

Bruins In National Rankings -- UCLA is ranked anywhere from No. 1 to No. 10 in the national pre-season rankings. Top Drawer Soccer lauded the Bruins the top billing in its rankings, which are based on projections for the 48-team field at the NCAA Tournament. Soccer America has UCLA ranked No. 5, College Soccer News has the Bruins ranked No. 8, and the NSCAA/adidas poll ranks UCLA No. 10.

Zizzo Selected To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List -- Sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo has been selected as one of 25 student-athletes named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Zizzo is a member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team that advanced to the finals of the 2006 Milk Cup in August. Last season, he earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors after leading all conference rookies with five assists and seven points. Zizzo, who is one of just three underclassmen on the men's watch list, earned All-Freshman national honors and second-team All-Pac-10 acclaim in 2005.

Reed Named To Pre-Season All-America team -- Senior goalkeeper Eric Reed has been selected to the College Soccer News pre-season All-America third team. Reed had a successful 2005 season, recording a 0.60 goals against average, which ranked sixth in the nation, and earning 12 shutouts, the third-most in school history. He flirted with the NCAA record for lowest goals against average late in the season, posting as low as a 0.21 GAA in the first week of November. He also earned first-team All-Pac-10, third-team All-Far West and first-team Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Season honors. Reed continued that high level of play in the Premier Developmental League (PDL) this summer, earning PDL Goalkeeper of the Year honors after posting a league-low 0.62 goals against average.

About The Bruins -- UCLA brings a new-look squad to the field in 2006, with 13 newcomers amongst its 26-man roster. Leading the returning players are all-conference stand-outs Eric Reed (first-team All-Pac-10), Sal Zizzo (second-team All-Pac-10 and 2005 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year), Brandon Owens (second-team All-Pac-10) and Brad Rusin (honorable mention All-Pac-10), as well as top returning scorer Maxwell Griffin (4 goals, 2 assists). UCLA's incoming class is rated No. 1 in the nation thanks to the addition of seven current or former U.S. Youth National Team players. Leading the newcomers are Under-17 National Team starter Kyle Nakazawa and Under-20 National Team starter Tony Beltran, who each earned a spot in the starting lineup for UCLA's exhibition contest on Sunday. These players will need to fill in the shoes of departed players Marvell Wynne, Patrick Ianni, Jonathan Bornstein, Jordan Harvey (MLS) and Kamani Hill (not enrolled Fall Quarter; plans to re-enroll in the Winter Quarter). Owens is out of commission to start the year after tearing his ACL in the spring season, and junior defender Edwige Ligonde and freshman defender Chance Myers suffered injuries early in pre-season training. Ligonde is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left leg, and Myers has been cleared for training after an ankle sprain.

Scouting the Matadors -- Cal State Northridge is coming off a 2005 season in which it won the Big West Conference and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16. The Matadors finished last season with a 15-4-3 record and return 2005 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year Kevin Guppy and all-conference honorees Taylor Canel, Sean Franklin, Derek Hanks, Ryan Rossi and Matt Tracy.

Prior Matchups -- UCLA leads the all-time series against Cal State Northridge, 12-0-1. The two teams tied last season, 0-0, at Northridge.

Bruins, Lions Tie 3-3 In Exhibition -- UCLA and Loyola Marymount played to a 3-3 tie in an exhibition contest on Aug. 20 at LMU's Sullivan Field. The two teams played one 45-minute period followed by a pair of 30-minute periods. In the first period, with both teams playing its first team, UCLA controlled possession, outshooting the Lions, 8-0. After the Bruin starters were replaced, the scoring opened up, and the Bruins benefited from an own goal at 67:18 and then followed up with a Jason Leopoldo goal 30 seconds later to go up 2-0. LMU tied the score with goals at 70:43 and 72:04 and then went ahead in period 3 at 83:02. With two minutes left on the clock, however, Bruin sophomore Maxwell Griffin netted the equalizer.

Coming Up -- The Bruins will continue a stretch in which they face four consecutive teams that advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 when they travel to face defending NCAA champion Maryland on Sept. 1 and Virginia on Sept. 3. The UCLA-Maryland game will be televised on CSTV.

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