Feb. 20, 2002
Los Angeles, Calif. - Five top youth soccer players have signed national letters of intent with UCLA. The five signees are U.S. U-20 National Team defender Jordan Harvey (Mission Viejo, CA/Capistrano Valley HS), forward Evan Corey (Van Nuys, CA/LA Baptist HS), midfielder Michael Gardner (Alta Loma, CA/Damien HS) and goalkeepers Eric Reed (Mission Viejo, CA/Laguna Hills HS) of the U.S. U-18 National team and Nate Pe?a (Yorba Linda, CA/Mater Dei HS).
Headlining the class is Harvey, who amassed 23 caps and 93 overall appearances in two years as co-captain of the U-17s. Harvey led the U.S. with 52 starts in 2000 and 37 in 2001. A left fullback, Harvey has been a fixture with the U.S. Youth National Teams, playing at the U-14, U-16, U-17 and U-20 levels. At Capistrano Valley HS, he was selected a Parade All-American as a junior and is this year's Gatorade State Player of the Year.
Corey did not play high school soccer his freshman-junior years but earned a name for himself by playing club soccer for West Valley Samba and American Global Soccer. Corey was the top goal-scorer for West Valley Samba, helping the team advance to the Western Regional Final. He is also a member of the ODP Region IV and State teams.
Gardner was a first-team All-CIF selection in 2001 and has earned first-team all-league honors each year he has played at Damien HS. In his first three seasons, he recorded 81 assists. Gardner is also a member of the ODP Region IV and State teams and plays club soccer for the Premier State Champion Irvine Strikers, along with fellow Bruin signees Harvey and Reed.
In addition to playing with the U.S. U-18s, Reed led his regional team to the 2001 ODP National Championships, where he was named the Golden Glove Award winner. At Laguna Hills HS, he has earned all-league honors three times and was selected the school's Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2000.
Pe?a was recently selected the 2002 Serra League MVP and earned CIF Division II Defensive Player of the Year acclaim in 2001 after posting 14 shutouts and leading Mater Dei HS to its second consecutive CIF title and national No. 1 ranking. He is a member of the ODP State team and plays club soccer for JUSA Select, which won the Nomads Tournament in November.
"I'm very excited about working with Nate and Eric next year," said UCLA goalkeeper coach Peter van de Ven. "They are two of the best goalkeepers in the nation and are both very athletic and hard-working. Eric has a wealth of experience at the top levels of his age group. He is a good shot stopper, has great hands and is a natural leader. Nate is absolutely fearless and has the ability to make the 'big save'. He is a young keeper with great range, quickness and excellent reactions. We are very proud of our goalkeeping tradition here at UCLA and are confident that both Eric and Nate will add to the long list of great goalkeepers."
"We are very happy to have the recruits who have signed for next year," added assistant coach Jorge Salcedo. "It's a very balanced incoming freshman class. The goalkeepers are definitely two of the top goalkeepers in Southern California and in the country. In Jordan Harvey, we have a national team player who has represented the U.S. in the Youth World Cup and whose experience as captain is invaluable. Mike Gardner is a very consistent, steady player who has always been on successful teams. Evan Corey is an extremely explosive athlete with a knack for scoring goals. In each of these recruits, they all share common characteristics - they are all good individuals and very motivated soccer players."