Eddie Soto, David Comfort Hired As UCLA Men's Soccer Assistant Coaches

July 12, 2006

UCLA men's soccer head coach Jorge Salcedo has announced the hiring of Eddie Soto and David Comfort as assistant coaches.

Soto, a former All-American at Cal State Fullerton in 1992 and 1993, is beginning his sixth years as a NCAA Division I coach, having served as the lead assistant coach for the men's team at his alma mater from 2001-03 and for the women's team at Long Beach State from 2004-05. He was also the head assistant at Long Beach City College when the women's team won its first state championship. In addition, Soto has vast experience coaching at the club level, totaling 13 years as a coach in the prestigious Coast Soccer League. He coached former UCLA All-Americans Zach Wells and Matt Taylor at the Irvine Strikers Soccer Club and also coached the NHB futbol club for five years.

Soto remains the No. 2 scorer in Cal State Fullerton history, totaling 96 points and 38 goals from 1992-94 and still holds the single-season record for goals in a season with 18 in 1994. In 1993, he led the Titans to the NCAA semifinals for the first time in school history. He was selected in the initial MLS Draft in 1996 by the New York/New Jersey MetroStars and again in the supplemental draft in 1998 by the San Jose Clash. He also played for the Orange County Zodiac of the A-League, the Los Angeles Cobras of the USISL and ended his career with the USA Pro Beach Soccer Team. Soto and Salcedo were teammates at Cerritos HS and on the U.S. Under-20 National Team.

Comfort was an all-state performer at the University of Virginia and still ranks third in school history with 193 career saves and 19 solo shutouts from 1999-2002. He also ranks seventh all-time with a 0.98 career goals against average and second amongst all Virginia goalkeepers in minutes played (5,442) and games played (60). He earned honorable mention All-America honors from College Soccer News in 2001 after posting nine shutouts with a 14-2-1 record. With Comfort in goal that season, the Cavaliers became the first team in conference history to win the ACC by going undefeated without allowing a goal. After his senior season, Comfort was selected in the third round of the 2003 MLS Draft by the Dallas Burn as the 21st overall pick and later played with the MetroStars that season. The Richmond, Va. native was an all-state, all-region and all-district honoree at Monacan HS.

Comfort began his coaching career with the Richmond Kickers club team and was the club's goalkeeper trainer and the U-15 coach in 2003. From 2003-06, he was the head boys and girls coach at Aspen HS in Colorado, and he also served as the goalkeeper coach for the Aspen United Soccer Club from 2004-06.

'With the departure of Peter van de Ven and Paul Bravo, I am happy to announce the hiring of two outstanding individuals,' Salcedo said. 'Eddie Soto comes to us after a great playing career and, more recently, several years in the coaching ranks. Eddie has a valuable knowledge of the soccer landscape here in Southern California and has a great feel for what it will take to recruit not only here but nationally and ultimately bring top-level soccer players to UCLA. David Comfort will be joining our staff in the capacity of goalkeeper coach and assistant coach. He was a top goalkeeper at the University of Virginia, and that success led him to being drafted by Major League Soccer. The combination of his college and professional experience will benefit our four outstanding goalkeepers this year. As a player, David showed a tremendous work ethic, and I'm positive as a coach that he will bring that same mentality to our staff.'

'Both Eddie and David are great fits for our program, and the athletic department, alumni and current players will benefit from them joining the staff,' Salcedo concluded.

Soto takes over for Paul Bravo, who took an assistant coaching job with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Comfort succeeds Peter van de Ven, who is moving into a business career.

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