Bruins Travel To San Diego Friday, Host UNLV Sunday
Sept. 23, 2009
This Week -- No. 10/3 UCLA (3-1) will play twice this weekend, traveling to San Diego (4-2) on Friday, Sept. 25 at 7 pm before hosting UNLV (4-1-2) on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 5 pm. Tickets for UCLA's home game on Sunday cost $7 for adults and $5 for youth (16 and under). UCLA students are free with ID.
Live Coverage -- Sunday's game will audio broadcast free at uclabruins.com, with Ralph Irvin and Courteney Cosso calling the action. In addition, Gametracker live stats will be available for both games this weekend.
In The Rankings -- UCLA moved up to No. 3 in the Soccer America poll and No. 10 in the NSCAA/adidas coaches poll. The Bruins moved up to No. 8 in the Soccer Times poll and 16th in Top Drawer Soccer's rankings.
Scouting The Toreros -- San Diego is coming off a 1-1 weekend in which it defeated 21st-ranked Michigan State, 2-0, and lost to 15th-ranked Dartmouth, 2-1. Freshman forward Patrick Wallen currently leads the team with three goals and one assist for seven points.
The Series With San Diego -- UCLA holds a 18-5-4 advantage over San Diego but have had some struggles at Torero Stadium. The Bruins are 1-3-2 in their last six games against the Toreros at San Diego, with the last win coming in 2001 in the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament, 4-0. In the two teams' last six matchups overall, however, UCLA is 3-1-2.
Scouting The Rebels -- UNLV is riding a five-game unbeaten streak, going 3-0-2 in its last five games. The Rebels are led by freshman reserve Nick Marshall, who has scored six goals with two assists in seven games and ranks 15th in the nation in goals per game.
The Series With UNLV -- UCLA holds a 19-2-2 advantage over UNLV and has won nine in a row, most recently in 2005, 3-0 in Los Angeles. The Rebels' last win came in 1984.
Bruins Rally To Defeat Cal State Fullerton -- UCLA scored two unanswered goals after Cal State Fullerton took a 1-0 lead early and went on to defeat the Titans, 2-1, on Sept. 17. The Titans took advantage of a counterattack and scored at the 3:08 mark, but the Bruins rallied with the tying goal by freshman Evan Raynr at 37:05. Junior Shawn Singh scored the game-winner at 64:34 with his first career goal. Senior midfielder David Estrada had assists on both goals. Sophomore Brian Rowe, in his first career start, earned the win and made a career-high five saves.
Nation's Top Assist Man -- Senior David Estrada is more than accustomed to scoring goals - he had a UCLA freshman record 12 in 2006. This season, he is sharing the wealth with his teammates and leads the nation in assists per game with 1.25. Estrada has provided assists on five of UCLA's eight goals this season (62.5%) and has recorded two assists in each of the last two games. His five assists this year already top his previous season-high of four, achieved in 2006.
Newcomers Contributing 75% Of Bruins' Goal Scoring -- Freshmen Chandler Hoffman, Evan Raynr and Ryan Hollingshead and newcomer Shawn Singh have scored 75% of the Bruins' goals this season. Hoffman and Raynr lead the team with two goals apiece, while Hollingshead and Singh have one each. The only other Bruins with goals are seniors Kyle Nakazawa and Sean Alvarado.
Rowe Gets Spotlight -- With Brian Perk out with the U.S. U-20 National team, redshirt sophomore Brian Rowe got his first start in goal for the Bruins against Cal State Fullerton. After yielding a goal in the fourth minute, Rowe shut out the Titans for the final 86 minutes of the game and made five saves to record his first career victory. In previous short stints in goal throughout these past two seasons, including exhibition games, Rowe had only allowed one goal in a total of 106 minutes.
Perk, Stephens Off To Join U.S. Team At FIFA U-20 World Cup -- Seniors Brian Perk and Michael Stephens will not be with the Bruins for a few games as they participate in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt from Sept. 24-Oct. 16. The duo left for training on Sept. 14 and will first play Germany in group play on Sept. 26. Group play ends on Oct. 2. If the U.S. advances out of its group, it would continue playing until as late as Oct. 16.
This will be Perk's second U-20 World Cup. He was a backup in 2007 and earned a Round of 16 win against Uruguay that sent the U.S. to the quarterfinals. This year for the U-20s, he has allowed just one goal in seven international games for a 0.14 goals against average and six shutouts. Stephens is one of four players on the final squad who did not participate in CONCACAF qualifying. He impressed in his summer showings with the U-20s, scoring a goal in consecutive games against Costa Rica in May. He previously played with the U.S. at the 2007 Pan American Games.
Senior Leadership -- For the first time in Jorge Salcedo's tenure as head coach, the Bruins can truly call themselves a veteran team, with a substantially large senior class of eight, the largest senior class at UCLA since 2003. Leading the way are six returning senior starters - midfielder Michael Stephens, goalkeeper Brian Perk, midfielder Kyle Nakazawa, forward David Estrada, and defenders Danny Suits and Luis Serrano - as well as defender Sean Alvarado and midfielder Andrew Sinderhoff. Stephens is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, while Perk, Estrada and Suits were all-conference selections. Nakazawa was a preseason All-America selection before injuries limited him to just 10 games last season. Seven seniors have started for the Bruins in at least two of the three games - Stephens, Perk, Nakazawa, Estrada, Suits, Serrano and Alvarado.
Fresh Faces -- A year after bringing in 12 new players, the Bruins welcome eight new faces to the squad in the form of seven freshmen and a junior walk-on. This year's freshman class was rated the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation by both Soccer America and College Soccer News. Leading the class is Top Drawer Soccer's No. 1 recruit in the nation, Amobi Okugo, who is also a member of the U.S. Under-20 and Under-18 National Teams. Also joining the Bruins are U.S. Under-18 National Team player Michael Roman and ESPN/Rise All-Americans Dakota Collins, Chandler Hoffman and Evan Raynr. Three of the freshmen (Collins, Hoffman and Okugo) were singled out as '100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On' by College Soccer News.
During opening week, Okugo was the only freshman to earn a start. However, Collins, Ryan Hollingshead and Raynr each played in both games. Hollingshead scored a goal in the win over Maryland. Hoffman and Roman saw action in the Georgetown game, with junior newcomer Shawn Singh receiving a start.
Five of UCLA's eight goals this season have come from freshmen - Hoffman and Raynr each with a team-leading two, and Hollingshead with one.
Preseason Honors -- Senior midfielders Michael Stephens and Kyle Nakazawa were named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Soccer America named Stephens and Brian Perk preseason All-Americans (Stephens 1st team, Perk 2nd team), and College Soccer News picked Stephens as a first-team preseason All-American. Stephens is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year and a member of Soccer America's 2008 MVPs Second Team. Last season, he led the Pac-10 in points scored (23) and tied for the league lead in assists with nine, including a school record tying four at San Diego State. Nakazawa, a midfielder from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., was also on the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List a year ago but had his 2008 season cut short due to injuries, playing in 10 games yet still ranking fourth on the team in assists with four. Nakazawa was UCLA's Team MVP in 2007 and was selected to Soccer America's All-Freshman team in 2006. Perk was a second-team All-Pac-10 honoree last season after posting a 0.45 goals against average and five shutouts in nine conference games.
Off-Season Happenings -- Bruin players were busy in the off-season, with Brian Perk and Michael Stephens seeing regular action with the U.S. Under-20 National Team. Perk has been dominant as the starting goalkeeper on the Under-20 National Team, posting seven shutouts in eight games, with a 0.12 goals against average in 2009. Stephens has seen action in four games this year and scored two goals. Both players traveled to Egypt and Argentina this summer with the U.S. team.
Freshman Amobi Okugo traveled to Northern Ireland with the U.S. Under-18 National Team to participate in the Milk Cup and also played with the U-18s in the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal.
Sophomore Eder Arreola led the Cherif Zein Elite 17-under boys' soccer team to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship in late July, scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over North Carolina's Triangle United to help his team capture the Don Greer Cup. Arreola's goal in the 26th minute gave his squad a 3-0 lead, and CZ Elite held on for the 3-2 win. Arreola dominated in the tournament, leading all goal scorers with five goals.
Looking Ahead -- Pac-10 play starts next week, with the Bruins traveling to Oregon State on Oct. 2 and Washington on Oct. 4.