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Four Bruins Named to MLS's "The 25 Greatest"

Dec 9, 2020

MLS Release

Four alumni of the UCLA men's soccer program – Carlos Bocanegra, Kevin Hartman, Cobi Jones, and Nick Rimando – were honored on Wednesday morning as Major League Soccer unveiled The 25 Greatest, a list of the brightest stars in league history as part of MLS's celebration of its 25th season.

With four, UCLA had twice as many honorees as any other collegiate men's soccer program in the country. Only six Division I programs were represented in The 25 Greatest (UCLA, FIU, Furman, North Carolina, Stanford, Virginia).

The list was selected by a panel of nearly 200 MLS experts from across North America, who pared the list from an original group of 137 nominees that included the most decorated and impactful players in MLS history. The 25 Greatest were ultimately selected on criteria including league honors, team trophies, off-field contributions or impact, and rankings in key statistical areas.

Bocanegra (Chicago Fire: 2000-2003; Chivas USA 2013-2014) was a two-time MLS Defender of the Year (2002, 2003) as well as a two-time MLS Best XI member. He started his pro career by winning MLS Rookie of the Year honors in 2000 and was a mainstay on the U.S. Men's National Team from 2001-12. A UCLA Athletics Hall of Famer, Bocanegra played 57 games with the Bruins from 1997-99, earning All-America honors as a sophomore and junior.

Hartman (LA Galaxy: 1997-2006; Kansas City Wizards: 2007-2009; FC Dallas: 2010-2012; New York Red Bulls: 2013) was the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999 and ranks second all-time in a number of goalkeeping statistics including wins (180), shutouts (112), and appearances (416). He was named an MLS All-Star five times during his pro career. Hartman posted a 0.68 career GAA at UCLA from 1995-96, third-best in program history.

One of the early stars of the fledgling MLS, Jones (LA Galaxy: 1996-2007) was a nine-time MLS All-Star and two-time MLS Cup Champion with the Galaxy. He scored a career-high 19 goals in 1998, securing MLS Best XI honors. With 164, Jones is the all-time leader in USMNT caps. Inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002, he was a three-time All-Region pick and two-time Team Offensive MVP during a four-year career in Westwood from 1998-91.

The most prolific keeper in MLS history, Rimando (Miami Fusion: 2000-2001; D.C. United: 2002-2006; Real Salt Lake: 2007-2019) is the all-time league leader in appearances (514), wins (223), shutouts (154), and saves (1701). He was the MLS Cup MVP with RSL in 2009 and was named an MLS All-Star on eight occasions. An All-American at UCLA in 1998, Rimando's career 0.68 GAA is second-best in school lore.