Three-Game Pac-10 Road Swing Concludes Sunday At San Diego State
Oct. 6, 2009
This Week -- No. 4/2 UCLA (6-1-1, 1-0-1 in the Pac-10) will finish off a three-game road swing to start Pac-10 Conference play with a Sunday, Oct. 11 game at San Diego State (3-3-3, 0-1-1). The game will take place at SDSU Sports Deck at 2 pm.
Live Coverage -- Gametracker live stats will be available for the game courtesy goaztecs.com.
In The Rankings -- UCLA remained No. 2 in the Soccer America poll and No. 4 in the NSCAA/adidas coaches poll. The Bruins moved up to No. 3 in the College Soccer News poll and No. 7 in Top Drawer Soccer's Tournament rankings.
Scouting The Aztecs -- San Diego State had a six-game unbeaten streak snapped on Sunday at Oregon State when it lost 2-1 in overtime. Second-team All-Pac-10 midfielder Evan Toft leads the Aztecs in scoring with 10 points (4g, 2a). Raymundo Reza is close behind with eight points (3g, 2a). Goalkeeper Brad Byrns holds a 1.27 goals against average with two shutouts.
The Series With San Diego State -- UCLA holds a 28-4-9 advantage over San Diego State and won big in the last matchup, 6-1, in San Diego. Michael Stephens tied a school record in that game with four assists, David Estrada added two goals and one assist, and Eder Arreola had a goal and two assists. In the 2008 matchup at UCLA, the two teams tied, 3-3. San Diego State's last win in the series was a 1-0 win in 2007 at San Diego after an 85th minute goal by Khadim Diouf.
Recapping Last Weekend -- The Bruins' unbeaten streak improved to six games after a 3-1 win at Oregon State and a 1-1 tie at Washington. At Oregon State, UCLA rallied from a 1-0 deficit to claim the victory. Kyle Nakazawa scored the tying goal, assisted on the game-winner by Ryan Hollingshead and scored the team's third goal on a free kick. In the Washington game, Nakazawa again had a free kick goal to put UCLA ahead 1-0 after seven minutes, but the Bruins were unlucky in the game, giving up an own goal in the second half to account for the final score and the tie. Goalkeeper Brian Rowe made six saves in the game.
Bend It Like Naka -- Senior Kyle Nakazawa has been Beckham-esque in the Bruins' last two games, scoring on a pair of free kicks, and using an indirect free kick to set up another goal. Nakazawa, who also had a memorable bending free kick go in for the game-winning goal in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, has had a hand in nine of UCLA's last 10 goals, scoring seven goals and assisting on three others during a six-game scoring streak. He leads UCLA in scoring with career-highs of seven goals and 17 points and ranks seventh in the nation in points per game (2.13) and 10th in goals per game (0.88).
Nakazawa Stockpiling The Honors -- A week after being named the National Player of the Week by College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer, Nakazawa was selected the National Player of the Week by Soccer America after his 3 goal, 1 assist weekend at Oregon State and Washington. Nakazawa also earned Pac-10 Player of the Week acclaim for the second consecutive week, becoming only the third player in Pac-10 history to do so. The other two were also Bruins - McKinley Tennyson Jr. (Sept. 12 and Sept. 19, 2000) and Maxwell Griffin (Sept. 12 and 19, 2006). He was also named to the College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer's Teams of the Week.
Estrada Amongst Nation's Assist Leaders -- Senior David Estrada ranks fifth in the nation in assists per game after leading the past two weeks. He has six assists in eight games for an average of 0.75 per game. Estrada 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 fourth on the team in scoring with six points.
Perk, Stephens Back With UCLA After U-20 World Cup -- Seniors Brian Perk and Michael Stephens are back on campus after missing five games while playing with the U.S. National Team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. The U.S. finished in 17th place in the tournament after going 1-2-0 with a 4-1 win over Cameroon and 3-0 losses to Germany and Korea Republic. Perk started in all three games. Stephens did not play.
Newcomers Contributing 53% Of Bruins' Goal Scoring -- Freshmen Chandler Hoffman, Evan Raynr and Ryan Hollingshead and newcomer Shawn Singh have scored 53% of the Bruins' goals this season. Hoffman and Hollingshead each have three goals to rank second on the squad, while Raynr has two and Singh one. The only other Bruins with goals are seniors Kyle Nakazawa (7 goals and 41% of the Bruins' goal scoring) and Sean Alvarado (1).
Rowe Shines In Spotlight -- With Brian Perk in Egypt with the U.S. National team for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, redshirt sophomore Brian Rowe went 4-0-1 in his absence, allowing just four goals and recording one shutout. Rowe's goals against average of 0.75 ranks third in the Pac-10. 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. Rowe currently ranks 23rd in the nation in save percentage (0.852).
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 eight.
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.
Eight of UCLA's 17 goals this season have come from freshmen - Hoffman and Hollingshead with three each, and Raynr with two. Okugo has started in all eight games, while Raynr, Hollingshead and Collins have played in all eight, with Hollingshead starting in five games.
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 was 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 prior to the World Cup. Stephens saw 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 -- UCLA will play its first Pac-10 home game on Friday, Oct. 16 with a big matchup against Cal at 7 pm, followed by a Sunday, Oct. 18 game against Stanford at 2:30 pm.