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Men's Soccer Begins Pac-12 Play by Hosting SDSU

Feb 18, 2021
Ahmed Longmire (photo: Jesus Ramirez)

Game Notes (PDF) | Stats (PDF) | Listen | Live Stats

UCLA (1-1-0) vs. San Diego State (0-0-0)
Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 20 - 6:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)
Audio Broadcast
Live Stats

Bruins Commence Pac-12 Play, Host San Diego State 
After splitting a pair of games to open the season last week, UCLA begins the Pac-12 portion of its schedule this weekend, hosting San Diego State on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The contest is slated for a 6:00 p.m. start. A live audio broadcast and live stats for the game can be found on the men's soccer schedule page on 

Week In Review 
The Bruins went 1-1 in their first week of the season, topping San Francisco 3-0 on Monday afternoon before falling 1-0 on the road at No. 15 Loyola Marymount on Friday night. In the game against USF, UCLA went ahead early on a 10th minute goal by Ben Reveno, then put the game away with second-half scores from Pablo Greenlee and Riley Ferch. Justin Garces logged two saves to earn his seventh career shutout. Reveno's goal came off a corner kick - Tommy Silva took the corner, Grayson Doody headed it at the far post back to the near post, and Reveno tapped in a volley. Greenlee finished off a cross from the right side via Kevin Diaz at the 71:59 mark, and Ferch put the game on ice in the 88th minute with his second career goal. The Bruins struggled to get much going offensively against the Lions on Friday, but came close to equalizing late in the contest on a sharp-angle shot from Doody and a direct free kick by Kevin Diaz. 

Outstanding On Opening Day
The victory over the Dons last Monday improved UCLA's all-time record in season-opening games to 40-8-6, and extended the team's unbeaten streak in season-openers to eight consecutive games, last falling to New Mexico to begin the 2012 campaign. The Bruins have recorded clean sheets on Opening Day in each of the last two seasons under head coach Ryan Jorden, outscoring opponents by an aggregate of 4-0.

The Series Against San Diego State
The Bruins own a 44-7-13 all-time record against San Diego State, including a 19-4-7 mark since the Aztecs joined the Pac-12 Conference as an affiliate for men's soccer in 2005. UCLA has won or split the series with SDSU in all but one year (2007) since 2005. UCLA won both ends of the matchup last year, taking down San Diego State 5-2 at home on Oct. 6, then ending the season with a 1-0 triumph at the SDSU Sports Deck on Nov. 16, 2019. The home matchup against SDSU last year produced a school-record five goals from Milan Iloski, while current Bruin midfielder Cody Sundquist notched the lone goal in the road contest. 

Plenty Of Firsts
Last week's contests brought about plenty of notable firsts for UCLA:

  • First career goals: Ben Reveno (Sr.), Pablo Greenlee (Fr.)
  • First collegiate points: Greenlee, Grayson Doody (Fr.), Tommy Silva (Fr.) 
  • First points at UCLA: Kevin Diaz (Cerritos College transfer), Jose Sosa (Pacific transfer)
  • First Division I starts: Diaz, Doody, Silva, Ollie de Visser (So.)
  • First Division I appearances: Andrew Valverde (Fr.)

Ferch Takes Over the No. 10 Shirt
Sophomore midfielder Riley Ferch is UCLA's top returning scorer on points (1-9-11 in 2019), headlining a lineup that features nine returning starters. Ferch was one of the top playmakers in the west last season, pacing the Pac-12 in helpers and notching the most single-season assists by a Bruin since Jackson Yueill had 11 in 2016. In addition, his nine assists were just one off the program freshman record, and the most by a UCLA frosh since Kelyn Rowe in 2010. 

Garces Impresses Between The Sticks
Junior goalkeeper Justin Garces has surrendered just one goal to this point of the season over 180 minutes. His 7 saves on the year pace all Pac-12 keepers, and he is one of just two league goalies with a shutout on his resume this season. The Miami, Fla. native has seven shutouts in a UCLA uniform, and his next save will be the 100th of his college career. He was a nominee for the UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week on Monday. 

Trio Named to TopDrawerSoccer Preseason Top-100 Player Rankings
A trio of Bruins were named to TopDrawerSoccer's preseason Top-100 player rankings. Eric Iloski checked in at No. 75, Riley Ferch was No. 84, and Ahmed Longmire landed at No. 90. With three players in the rankings, UCLA had the second-most of all Pac-12 teams, trailing only Cal (4). 

Eric Iloski Selected in 2021 MLS SuperDraft by Vancouver
UCLA senior midfielder Eric Iloski was selected in the second round (No. 46 overall) of the 2021 MLS SuperDraft by Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Iloski becomes UCLA's 80th MLS draft pick all-time, and the first since Frankie Amaya went No. 1 overall in 2019 to FC Cincinnati. Iloski also becomes the first Bruin ever to be drafted by Vancouver. The Escondido, Calif. native will complete his senior season at UCLA before beginning his pro career. When he enters the pro ranks, he will join both of his brothers, Milan (Real Salt Lake, MLS) and Brian (Orange County SC, USL). 

Bruins Welcome Back Nine Starters
UCLA will enjoy a large amount of continuity from its 2019 lineup, with all but two starters returning to this year's team. In addition, the Bruins welcome back defender AJ Vasquez, who started every game as a freshman in 2018 but missed all of 2019 with an injury. In all, the returners on the 2021 squad accounted for 74.7% of UCLA's minutes played in 2019. 

Bruins on the U.S. Men's National Team
Former UCLA standouts Reggie Cannon and Jackson Yueill have been frequent contributors to the U.S. Men's National Team during the program's latest cycle. Yueill, a midfielder, has been in the Starting XI for each of the last two games for the USMNT, bringing his career cap total to nine. Cannon, a right back, has 13 caps with the USMNT. 

Reinforcements on the Way
UCLA's latest recruiting class, which arrives on campus in fall 2021, has been ranked the No. 4 class in the country by TopDrawerSoccer. The five-player class (two forwards, two midfielders, one goalie) is the highest-ranked in the west, with Stanford (No. 7) the only other Pac-12 team to crack the rankings. The 2021 UCLA men's soccer recruiting class consists of MF Charlie Crockford (Northfield, Ill. / Chicago Fire Academy), GK Nathan Crockford (Northfield, Ill. / Chicago Fire Academy), F Aaron Edwards (San Jose, Calif. / SJ Earthquakes Academy), MF Mauricio Gutierrez (Lawndale, Calif. / LAFC Academy), and F Brandon Zelaya (Redwood City, Calif. / SJ Earthquakes Academy).

Ochoa, Cervantes Join Staff in 2020-21
UCLA head coach Ryan Jorden welcomed a pair of new coaches in 2020-21, with assistant coach Andres Ochoa and volunteer assistant coach Juan Cervantes joining the staff. Ochoa played four seasons under Jorden at Pacific (2014-17), then spent two seasons on the coaching staff in Stockton. Since the conclusion of the 2019 season, he completed his master's degree in sport management and coaching and played professionally in Italy and Mexico. Cervantes, a Bruin goalie from 2012-15, coaches the team's goalkeepers. He made coaching stops at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Santa Monica College, Loyola High School, Santa Monica High School, and Beach Futbol Club before returning to UCLA in September 2020. 

2019 in Review
UCLA posted a 6-9-3 overall record in 2019, finishing fifth in the Pac-12. The Bruins returned just three starters from the previous season, integrating promising newcomers such as Riley Ferch, Marcony Pimentel, and Ben Reveno. Forward Milan Iloski had a breakout offensive campaign, scoring 17 goals and leading the country in goals per game (1.06) before signing a homegrown deal with Real Salt Lake. Ferch also had a stellar debut, leading the Pac-12 with nine assists. Highlights for UCLA during the 2019 campaign included a 3-2 win over then-top-ranked Maryland on Sept. 6, and a program-record five-goal game from Iloski on Oct. 6.