Former UCLA soccer players Joe Sofia and Victor Munoz signed MLS contracts prior to the 2014 season and found themselves on the opening day rosters for the San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City respectively. Sofia and Munoz are two of 22 former UCLA men's soccer players that began the 2014 MLS season on MLS opening day rosters. UCLA continues to lead all schools in the country with a total of 70 all-time MLS players.
Sofia, who hails from Dove Canyon, Calif. played in 19 of UCLA’s 20 matches during the 2013 season while serving as the anchor of the back line. He captained the Bruins to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003, all while helping the team earn seven shutouts on the season. Additionally, Sofia led all of UCLA’s position players in minutes with 1,714 and scored one goal in his 19 matches. In his four-year UCLA career, Sofia played in 82 matches, making 80 starts, and was a three-time All-Pac-12 selection. He scored five goals and logged eight assists while helping the Bruins reach the NCAA College Cup semifinals in 2011.
Munoz, a native of Madrid, Spain, appeared in 55 games in three seasons in Westwood after transferring from Iona after his freshman year. He scored three goals and notched 21 assists in his UCLA career, earning All-Pac-12 honors twice. Munoz finished tied for third on the team in points (1 g, 8 a) in 2013 while tying for the team lead in assists, also good for a tie for third in the Pac-12.
15 of the 22 UCLA alums have seen action in the 2014 MLS season thus far while three (Chad Barrett, Benny Feilhaber, Jordan Harvey) have scored goals. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) and Brian Perk (Los Angeles Galaxy) have seen time in goal for their respective clubs as well. Additionally, Sporting Kansas City has the most UCLA alums on its squad with four players while Seattle has three UCLA alums on its club.
UCLA also has four former players currently playing overseas in Jonathan Bornstein (Atlante/Mexico), Brad Friedel (Tottenham Hotspur/England), Michael Stephens (Stabæk/Norway) and Matt Taylor (SC Preußen Münster/Germany). Stephens currently plays under former U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley at Stabæk. Finally, the Bruins have produced at least three players on every U.S. World Cup team since 1990.
Bruins on 2014 MLS Opening Day Rosters
Chad Barrett - Seattle Sounders FC
Tony Beltran - Real Salt Lake
Carlos Bocanegra - Chivas USA
David Estrada - Seattle Sounders FC
Benny Feilhaber - Sporting Kansas City
Jordan Harvey - Vancouver Whitecaps
Kamani Hill - Colorado Rapids
Chandler Hoffman - Los Angeles Galaxy
Ryan Hollingshead - FC Dallas
Patrick Ianni - Chicago Fire
Victor Munoz - Sporting Kansas City
Chance Myers - Sporting Kansas City
Amobi Okugo - Philadelphia Union
Brian Perk - Los Angeles Galaxy
Nick Rimando - Real Salt Lake
Andy Rose - Seattle Sounders FC
Brian Rowe - Los Angeles Galaxy
Kelyn Rowe - New England Revolution
Joe Sofia - San Jose Earthquakes
Matt Wiet - Columbus Crew
Marvell Wynne - Colorado Rapids
Sal Zizzo - Sporting Kansas City