UCLA Hosts UC Davis Thursday Night For Home Opener

Sept. 8, 2009

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This Week -- No. 15/9 UCLA (1-1) will host unranked UC Davis (2-1) on Thursday, Sept. 10 in the Bruins' home opener at Drake Stadium. The game will begin at 7 pm. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $5 for youth (16 and under). UCLA students are free with ID.

Live Coverage -- The UCLA-UC Davis game will be audio broadcast at uclabruins.com, with Ralph Irvin and Courteney Cosso calling the action. In addition, Gametracker live stats will be available for the game.

In The Rankings -- UCLA moved up to No. 15 in the NSCAA/adidas coaches poll and stayed pat at No. 9 in the Soccer America poll. The Bruins moved up to 10th in the College Soccer News poll and are 21st in the Top Drawer Soccer rankings. UC Davis is unranked but was ranked No. 24 in the preseason by Soccer Times.

Scouting The Aggies -- UC Davis opened the season with a 4-1 loss at San Jose State but rebounded with a pair of big victories the following weekend at the UNLV Nike Invitational - 3-0 over Robert Morris and 3-1 over Central Arkansas. Senior Paul Marcoux (2g) and junior Jason Santos (1g, 2a) share the team lead in scoring. The Aggies went 13-5-4 last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Michigan, 2-1. UC Davis returns four starters from the 2008 squad.

The Series With UC Davis -- UCLA has never lost to UC Davis in 13 games. The two teams last played in 2004, with the Bruins winning, 3-1, in Los Angeles.

Weekend Wrapup - Bruins Upset #1 Maryland, Upset At Georgetown -- UCLA split its weekend series on the East Coast, upsetting No. 1 Maryland, 2-0, on Friday and then being upset by Georgetown by the same score on Sunday. In the win over the Terrapins, senior defender Sean Alvarado scored the game-winning goal in the 77th minute, and freshman midfielder Ryan Hollingshead scored an insurance goal in the 83rd minute. The goals were each player's first of their careers. Senior goalkeeper Brian Perk earned the shutout by making a career-high 10 saves. UCLA was stymied in the Georgetown game, allowing two second-half goals, including one on a penalty kick. The Bruins outshot the Hoyas, 10-7, and had an 11-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Perk Honored As Pac-10 Player Of The Week -- Senior goalkeeper Brian Perk was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the third time in his career after shutting out top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Maryland on Friday. Perk helped snap the Terrapins' 16-match winning streak by making a career-high 10 saves, one short of the school's single-game record of 11. He withstood 19 shot attempts by Maryland to preserve the shutout, making five saves in each half. Against Georgetown, Perk blocked one shot in the Hoyas 2-0 victory over the Bruins. With the 11 saves this weekend, Perk moved up to fifth on UCLA's career saves list with 199.

Milestone Approaching For Perk -- With his next save, Brian Perk will become only the fifth goalkeeper in UCLA history to record 200 career saves. The others are Zach Wells (269), Anton Nistl (261), Tim Harris (259) and David Vanole (204).

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 started in both of UCLA's exhibition games - Stephens, Perk, Nakazawa, Estrada, Suits, Serrano and Alvarado.

Perk, Stephens To Join U.S. Team At FIFA U-20 World Cup -- Seniors Brian Perk and Michael Stephens were selected to the final 21-man roster that will represent the U.S. at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt from Sept. 24-Oct. 16. UCLA ranks first (tied with Notre Dame) amongst collegiate squads with two players on the team. 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. The U.S. team leaves for training on Sept. 14. 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.

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.

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.

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 -- UCLA will host Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 7 pm.

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