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No. 1 Ranked Bruins Set to Take on a Pair of Instate Opponents

Sep 24, 2014

#1 UCLA at San Diego
Torrero Stadium
Friday, Sept. 26 - 7:00 pm PT
TV - The W TV (Ben Pearson)
Live Stats - www.usdtoreros.com
Twitter - @UCLAMsoccer | #UCLAvsUSD

#1 UCLA vs. Cal State Northridge
Marshall Field at Drake Stadium
Sunday, Sept. 28 - 5:00 pm PT
TV - Pac-12 Networks (Christian Miles, Cobi Jones)
Audio/Live Stats - www.uclabruins.com
Twitter - @UCLAMsoccer | #CSUNvsUCLA
Tickets: $8 adults/$5 youth (ages 3-16)

UCLA Battles Two In-State Opponents
The UCLA Bruins (4-1-2) continue their regular season schedule this week with two match-ups against in-state opponents. The top-ranked Bruins will first travel to play the San Diego Toreros on Friday, Sept. 26 at Torero Stadium. Kick-off is set for 7:00pm PT and the game will be broadcast live on The W TV. UCLA will then return home to take on the Cal State Northridge Matadors on Sunday, Sept. 28 at Drake Stadium. Kick-off for that match is scheduled for 5:00pm PT and can be seen live on the Pac-12 Networks and heard live on UCLABruins.com.

Admission for Sunday’s home contest is $8 for adults and $5 for youth.

In the Rankings
The UCLA Bruins are currently ranked No. 1 in both the NSCAA and Soccer America polls. This is the Bruins ‘ third week at the top-spot in both rankings. San Diego and Cal State Northridge are unranked in both polls.

Scouting the Toreros
San Diego enters Friday’s matchup with an overall record of 2-2-4 after going winless in their two road games last weekend. The Toreros faced UC Riverside in their first match of the weekend, on Sept. 18, which saw the two sides play to a double-overtime scoreless tie. San Diego goalkeeper Thomas Olsen stopped six shots en route to earning his second shutout of the year. The Toreros then proceeded to fall to then No. 6 UC Irvine in overtime, 1-0, in the second game of the weekend on Sept. 21. Despite playing the Anteaters to a draw in regulation, San Diego conceded a goal less than two minutes into extra time resulting in the overtime loss.

UCLA is 22-6-4 all-time against the San Diego Toreros, claiming the last match-up between the two sides on Sept. 15, 2013, with a 3-2 overtime victory. San Diego conceded an own goal in the 97th minute to give the Bruins the win. The Bruins and Toreros have one common opponent this season, No. 5 New Mexico. While San Diego fell to the Lobos at home, 2-0, the Bruins defeated New Mexico, 2-1, on the road.

Scouting the Matadors
Cal State Northridge enters the week with a record of 3-3-1 after posting a 0-0 double overtime tie against Nebraska-Omaha last weekend. The Matadors defense did not allow a shot on goal in the game and moved to a record of 3-1-1 in the month of September. Northridge’s only loss of the month came against No. 5 New Mexico, who the Bruins beat earlier this season. The Matadors are led by forward Sagi Lev-Ari who has netted five goals in seven games this season. CSUN will play one game on Thursday night against Bakersfield before traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Bruins this Sunday.

UCLA is 14-2-3 all-time against CSUN, beating the Matadors in their last matchup on Sept. 22, 2013, 4-2, on the road. Victor Chavez and Leo Stolz both tallied two goals each in the victory. The Bruins’ four-goal performance tied the team’s most goals scored in a game during the 2013 season.

UCLA at Home on the Road
UCLA continued their dominance on the road with a 1-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara last weekend. The victory moves the Bruins to a record of 4-0-0 away from home this season. Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, Leo Stolz, delivered the game’s only goal with a shot from the top of the penalty box for his third on the season. In addition, Earl Edwards Jr. made four saves to earn his second shutout on the road this year.

Playing on the road has been no disadvantage for the Bruins in recent years. UCLA is 24-2-6 in its last 32 road or neutral site matches. The Bruins went unbeaten on the road in 2012, going 8-0-2, and went 5-1-3 in road and neutral site contests in 2013. Prior to UCLA’s loss at UC Irvine on Sept. 19, 2013, the Bruins had not lost a road or neutral site match since 2011. Since the loss, the Bruins have not lost a road game, going unbeaten in their last ten matches. UCLA is also unbeaten in its last 19 Pac-12 road matches dating back to 2010.

Edwards Jr. Keeping the Door Shut
UCLA redshirt senior goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. has been shutting the door on opponents all season long. With his third consecutive shutout over the weekend, Edwards Jr. has now posted four clean sheets this year. The San Diego native has not allowed a goal since the 30:54 mark in the first half against New Mexico, giving him just over 369 minutes of consecutive shutout play. His goals against average, which has improved each of his four years at UCLA, now sits at 0.53 on the season. That average is currently 0.01 percentage points behind Zach Wells who set the UCLA all-time single season record in 2003 with a goals against average of 0.52.

Contreras and Amick the Iron Men
Redshirt junior Edgar Contreras and sophomore Michael Amick have been the ‘Iron Men’ of the defense for the Bruins this season. The two centerbacks have started every game for UCLA, with Contreras playing all but 23 minutes and Amick playing all but 45 minutes this year. Their strong play in the back has been a major reason why Earl Edwards Jr. has recorded four shutouts. Although Amick played in 18 matches last year, this is Contreras’ first year playing for the program after redshirting last year following a transfer from Taft College.

International Flare
Six Bruins hail from countries outside of the United States. Pepe Barroso Silva (Spain), Jordan Vale (New Zealand), Abu Danladi (Ghana), Felix Vobejda (Germany), Leo Stolz (Germany) and Larry Ndjock (Germany) make up the international contingent. All but Barroso Silva have appeared this season for the Bruins, with Stolz heading the group in points with six.

UCLA Unphased by Ranked Opponents
UCLA has defeated three-straight top-12 opponents to open the season (No. 11 Wake Forest, No. 10 North Carolina & No. 6 New Mexico). All three victories over top-12 opponents have come on the road with UCLA outscoring their opponents 6-2 in those games. The Bruins went 5-1-2 against ranked opponents last season, including two vicories over No. 1 ranked teams.

Bruins Notch Back-to-Back Scoreless Ties
The Bruins notched consecutive 0-0 double-overtime ties against Santa Clara and Cal Poly two weekends ago. In the first game versus Santa Clara on Sept. 12, UCLA out-shot the Broncos 17-7. Leo Stolz, Brian Iloski and Jordan Vale all had notable chances, but were unable to beat Santa Clara goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. The second game of the weekend on Sept. 14 against Cal Poly proved to be much of the same for the Bruins. UCLA had a few chances early on, including a would-be goal off the foot of Larry Ndjock that was swept away at the last moment by a Mustang defender. Despite the lack of scoring, the UCLA Bruin defense was strong in both games. The back-line in conjunction with goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. combined to keep both opponents from scoring in either game.

Five Bruins Ranked in Top 100
Five Bruins, the most in the nation, are ranked in Top Drawer Soccer’s Top 100 list - No. 1 Leo Stolz, No. 13 Michael Amick, No. 71 Larry Ndjock, No. 78 Aaron Simmons, and No. 95 Earl Edwards Jr.

Looking Ahead
UCLA will open their Pac-12 conference schedule next weekend when they travel to play San Diego State. In their only match of the weekend, the Bruins will face the Aztecs on Oct. 4 at 7:00pm PT.

UCLA Head Coach Jorge Salcedo
Former UCLA All-American Jorge Salcedo is in his 11th season as head coach for the Bruins, making him the second-longest tenured men’s soccer head coach in UCLA’s NCAA history.

A product of UCLA’s strong soccer tradition, Salcedo has maintained the Bruins’ standard for success, winning six conference titles and guiding his teams to NCAA Tournament appearances each year. He signed the No. 1 recruiting classes in the nation in 2010, 2006 and 2004, and those players produced results, advancing all the way to the NCAA Championship game in the 2006 season, to the quarterfinals in 2009 and 2010, and to the College Cup Semifinals in 2011. Salcedo then repeated the feat, signing the top-ranked recruiting classes in both 2013 and 2014.

Over the last six seasons, Salcedo’s teams have earned four Pac-12 titles and lost just six conference games (44-6-10 record). Salcedo’s teams have also lost only one game on the road in the last three+ seasons, going 22-1-6 in their last 29 road or neutral site matches and winning 19 straight conference road games.