UCLA Men's Soccer Kicks Off New Era Saturday
Aug. 23, 2004
This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team will launch a new era under first-year coach Jorge Salcedo, who will coach his first game on Saturday, Aug. 28 against San Diego State. The exhibition game will take place at Irvine Valley College at 1:00 pm.
Scouting the Aztecs -- San Diego State posted a 9-8-3 record in 2003 and placed fourth in the MPSF. Among the top returners for head coach Lev Kirshner are honorable mention All-MPSF honorees Heath Creager (7g, 2a in 2003) and Kenny Fechner (10 assists). UCLA is 25-3-5 all-time against San Diego and has won the last 10 meetings, including a 7-0 win in the last matchup in 2002.
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 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. Also joining UCLA in 2004 are McDonald's All-Americans Richard Flores and Greg Folk and former Cal Poly Pomona standout Jonathan Bornstein.
Bruins Picked To Win Pac-10 -- Defending Pac-10 champion UCLA ranks atop the pre-season coaches poll for the third consecutive season. The Bruins received 14 points, edging out California, which received 13 points. UCLA collected three first-place votes, while Cal and Washington each received one. A 19-game unbeaten streak highlighted UCLA's Conference title run in 2003, as the Bruins became the first team ever to run the table in Pac-10 play.
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.
Looking Ahead -- The Bruins will officially kick off the 2004 season next week at the Cal State Fullerton Classic. UCLA will face the University of Oakland at Titan Stadium on Friday, Sept. 3rd at 5:00 pm and will host UC Riverside at Drake Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 3:30 pm. 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.
2003 Season Recap -- The 2002 NCAA champions put together another championship run in 2003 but ran into destiny in the NCAA quarterfinals, falling to eventual NCAA champion Indiana and its retiring coach, legend Jerry Yeagley. Despite the 2-1 quarterfinal loss to the Hoosiers, UCLA still had a record-breaking season, recording an undefeated Pac-10 record, an all-time low team goals against average (0.52), a school record for most shutouts in a season (16) and a 15-game win streak, second-most in school history. Three Bruins earned NSCAA All-America honors - first-team honoree Leonard Griffin and second-team selections Matt Taylor and Zach Wells. The Bruins also swept the Pac-10 awards, with Taylor earning Player of the Year acclaim, Chad Barrett receiving co-Freshman of the Year honors, and head coach Tom Fitzgerald being named the Coach of the Year.
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.