Pac-10 Play Begins For Bruins In Pacific Northwest
Sept. 30, 2009
This Week -- No. 4/2 UCLA (5-1) will kick off Pac-10 Conference play this weekend with a pair of games in the Pacific Northwest. The Bruins first play at Oregon State (4-2-2) on Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 pm and then at Washington (3-4-1) on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 2 pm.
Live Coverage -- Gametracker live stats will be available for both games at UCLABruins.com. Sunday's game at Washington will be webcast live at gohuskies.com.
In The Rankings -- UCLA moved up to No. 2 in the Soccer America poll and No. 4 in the NSCAA/adidas coaches poll. The Bruins also moved up to No. 5 in the Soccer Times and College Soccer News polls and eighth in Top Drawer Soccer's rankings.
Scouting The Beavers -- Oregon State is led by 2008 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Danny Mwanga, who has totaled five goals in eight games, and Colin Mitchell, who is close behind with four goals. Mwanga scored the game-winning goal in the Beavers' last game, a 1-0 overtime win over Marist. Goalkeeper Steve Spangler holds a goals against average of 0.83 with three shutouts.
The Series With Oregon State -- UCLA holds a 19-4-0 record against Oregon State and has won the last seven matchups. The Beavers' last win against UCLA came in 2005, a 1-0 win in Corvallis.
Scouting The Huskies -- Washington enters the week with a 3-4-1 record, but three of its four losses have been decided by one goal against ranked teams. In their most recent game, the Huskies defeated Cal Poly, 3-1. Freshman Ryan Moore scored two goals in the game and ranks second on the team in scoring with eight points (3g, 2a). Sophomore Brent Richards leads the team with 10 points (4g, 2a). Goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins holds a 1.06 goals against average with two shutouts.
The Series With Washington -- UCLA is 17-11-2 all-time against Washington and won both contests last season by scores of 2-0. Washington's last win came at UCLA in 2007, 1-0.
Recapping Last Weekend -- The Bruins extended their winning streak to four games after a 2-1 win at San Diego and a 3-0 home win over UNLV last weekend. The win at San Diego was UCLA's first at Torero Stadium since 2001. Ryan Hollingshead and Kyle Nakazawa scored the goals for the Bruins. In the UNLV game, Nakazawa scored twice, and Chandler Hoffman added another as sophomore goalkeeper Brian Rowe earned his first career shutout.
Nakazawa Named National, Pac-10 Player Of The Week -- Senior Kyle Nakazawa was named the National Player of the Week by College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer, as well as the Pac-10 Player of the Week, after recording three goals and one assist in wins over San Diego and UNLV. Nakazawa had a hand in four of UCLA's five goals over the weekend, including the game-winning goals in victories at San Diego and vs. UNLV. Against San Diego, he assisted on the game's first goal and then scored the game-winner on a penalty kick early in the second half. In the UNLV game, he broke a scoreless tie with his first goal of the contest in the 53rd minute and then scored a second goal in the 62nd minute. Nakazawa now leads the team in goals scored (four), game-winning goals (three) and points scored (10). He has recorded a goal or assist in each of the last four games.
Estrada Continues To Lead Nation In Assists -- For the second consecutive week, senior David Estrada ranks first in the nation in assists per game (1.0). He has provided assists on six of UCLA's 13 goals this season and has already eclipsed his previous season-high total for assists (four in 2006). Although he has yet to score a goal this season, Estrada ranks third on the team in scoring with six points.
Newcomers Contributing 62% Of Bruins' Goal Scoring -- Freshmen Chandler Hoffman, Evan Raynr and Ryan Hollingshead and newcomer Shawn Singh have scored 62% of the Bruins' goals this season. Hoffman ranks second on the squad with three goals, and Raynr and Hollingshead each have two, while Singh has one. The only other Bruins with goals are seniors Kyle Nakazawa (4) and Sean Alvarado (1).
Oregon Native Rowe Gets Spotlight -- With Brian Perk in Egypt with the U.S. National team for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, redshirt sophomore Brian Rowe has gone 3-0 in his absence, allowing just two goals and recording one shutout. Rowe's goals against average of 0.64 leads the Pac-10 and ranks 28th nationally. Rowe made five saves in his first start, a 2-1 win over Cal State Fullerton, and then set a new career high with eight saves at San Diego. He earned his first career solo shutout in the 3-0 win over UNLV last Sunday. Rowe returns to his home state of Oregon this week to face Oregon State. Rowe is from Eugene and graduated from South Eugene HS.
U.S. In Second Place In Group C After Two Games At FIFA U-20 World Cup -- Seniors Brian Perk and Michael Stephens, who have missed UCLA's last three games while playing with the U.S. National Team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, have the U.S. in good position to advance to the elimination round of the tournament. The U.S. is in second place in Group C after two games, with one game remaining in group play on Friday against Korea Republic. The U.S. lost its first game against Germany, 3-0, but won big against Cameroon, 4-1, to move into second in the group on goal differential. Perk started in goal in both games and allowed just a penalty kick goal in the Cameroon win. Stephens did not play in either game.
This is 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. Prior to the World Cup, he 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 squad who did not participate in CONCACAF qualifying, but 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 (Stephens, Perk, Nakazawa, Estrada, Suits, Serrano and Alvarado) have started for the Bruins in at least three games, and four (Nakazawa, Estrada, Suits and Alvarado) have started in all six.
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. U-20 and U-18 National Teams. Also joining the Bruins are U.S. U-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.
Seven of UCLA's 13 goals this season have come from freshmen - Hoffman with three, and Raynr and Hollingshead with two each. Okugo has started in all six games, while Raynr, Hollingshead and Collins have played in all six.
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.