UCLA Men's Soccer Team Opens 2000 Season At Indiana Classic

Aug. 28, 2000

This Week -- The pre-season No. 3 UCLA men's soccer team (19-3-0 in 1999) will officially open the 2000 season on Friday, Sept. 1 vs. Butler at the Indiana adidas Classic in Bloomington, IN. The Bruins, coached by 1999 NSCAA Far West Coach of the Year Todd Salda?a, will take on two-time defending NCAA champion and pre-season No. 1 Indiana on Saturday, Sept. 2 in a rematch of last year's epic NCAA semifinal game, which the Hoosiers won 3-2 in four overtimes. Game times are 5:00 pm Central Time on Friday and 7:30 pm (CT) on Saturday.

UCLA-IU Game To Be Broadcast Live -- The highly-anticipated matchup between three-time NCAA Champions UCLA and five-time NCAA Champions Indiana will be broadcast live on the internet at internetsoccer.com as part of the website's College Showcase Series. Listeners to the broadcast will be able to communicate with the broadcast team via e-mail at broadcasts@internetsoccer.com. Questions and comments will be answered on the air or through e-mail responses.

A Look at Butler -- Butler is coached by first-year head coach Todd Bramble. The Bulldogs, 7-12 a year ago, are looking to replace player of the year candidate Stephen Armstrong. Up to that task are returning starters Giancarlo Barraza (5g, 7a in 1999) and David Beck (7g, 3a).

A Look at Indiana -- Five-time NCAA Champion Indiana is coached by 1999 NSCAA National Coach of the Year Jerry Yeagley. The Hoosiers, which recorded a 21-3 record a year ago, are led by Hermann Trophy candidates T.J. Hannig (goalkeeper) and Ryan Mack (midfielder). Hannig boasts a career record of 56-5 and ranks second on Indiana's all-time list for career shutouts with 37. Mack had 19 points a year ago and has started 49 career games.

The Series -- UCLA leads the series against Butler, 1-0. In the only matchup a year ago, McKinley Tennyson Jr. scored two goals and had one assist, and Shaun Tsakiris recorded two assists for the Bruins. Butler's David Beck had a goal and an assist, and goalkeeper Jason Richarz made six saves. The series between UCLA and Indiana is all tied up at 6-6. In the last game, at the NCAA Semifinals, UCLA's Scot Thompson scored the tying goal which sent the game into overtime before Indiana's Ryan Mack ended the game in the 142nd minute with the game-winning goal.

Tennyson Returns Home To Torment Hoosiers -- Indianapolis native (North Central HS) and 2000 Hermann Trophy candidate McKinley Tennyson Jr. returns to his home state for the final time in his collegiate career. Tennyson, a senior forward for the Bruins, has had some of his biggest games against Indiana. In 1997 as a freshman, he scored the game's only goal in sudden-death overtime as UCLA defeated Indiana, 1-0, at the 1999 NCAA Semifinals. When the teams met again in the regular season in 1998, Tennyson scored the game's first goal to lead the Bruins to a 2-1 win.

Tennyson will have to wait a day to show off for his hometown crowd. He accumulated two yellow yards during the Bruins' exhibition game against Loyola Marymount and must sit out the Butler game on Friday.

Bruins Split Exhibition Games -- UCLA had mixed success in its two exhibition games last week, defeating Westmont, 3-0, and losing to Loyola Marymount, 2-1. In the Westmont contest, Shaun Tsakiris had a hand in all three goals, assisting on two and scoring the other. Freshman Adolfo Gregorio and senior McKinley Tennyson Jr. also scored. Another freshman provided the only scoring for the Bruins in the Loyola Marymount game, as Matt Taylor found net off a Gregorio cross. Rookie goalkeeper DJ Countess made seven saves.

Two Bruins Selected Pre-Season All-American -- Seniors Shaun Tsakiris (Saratoga, CA) and McKinley Tennyson Jr. (Indianapolis, IN) earned pre-season All-America honors from College Soccer Online. Tsakiris, who led the Bruins with 13 assists last year (sixth-most in school history), was a second-team selection. Tennyson, who tied for the team lead in scoring with 12 goals in 1999, was named to the honorable mention team. Tennyson was also named as one of 15 finalists for the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the nation's top collegiate player.

Tsakiris Nearing Bruin Top 10 For Assists -- Senior midfielder Shaun Tsakiris is closing in on UCLA's all-time Top 10 list for career assists. Entering the 2000 campaign, Tsakiris has totaled 22 assists, including 13 a year ago. He is six assists away from ninth-place Robbie LaBelle and Eddie Lewis, who are tied with 28 apiece.

Freshmen to Make UCLA Debut -- UCLA's highly-touted freshman class will make their official Bruin debuts this week. Headlining the rookies are U.S. National Team members Nelson Akwari (Houston, TX), DJ Countess (Fair Oaks, CA), Adolfo Gregorio (Hilmar, CA), Cliff McKinley (Fountain Valley, CA) and Alex Yi (Easton, MD). In addition, UCLA welcomes national team pool players Leonard Griffin (Palmdale, CA), Tony Lawson (Palmdale, CA) and Matt Taylor (Irvine, CA), as well as Ty Maurin (Chino, CA) and John Carson (Bakersfield, CA). Akwari, Countess, Gregorio and Yi were members of the historic U.S. U-17 National Team which placed fourth at the 1999 World Championships.

Several freshmen have already seen extensive playing time in the pre-season, with Countess, Akwari, Yi, Gregorio and Griffin starting both exhibition matches and Taylor starting one.

Bruins Bursting With National Team Experience -- At some point in the year, UCLA could field a team of all national team players or national team pool players. In addition to the aforementioned freshmen, veterans Tsakiris, Tennyson and Ryan Futagaki (Fountain Valley, CA) have earned national team caps, while Ryan Lee (Alta Loma, CA), Scot Thompson (Ranch Santa Margarita, CA), Kyle Julian (Sacramento, CA), Sean Walker (Sacramento, CA) and Zach Wells (Costa Mesa, CA) have been part of national team pools.

UCLA Begins Pac-10 Play in 2000 -- The 2000 season will mark the beginning of Pac-10 Conference play for the Bruins. UCLA, along with Washington, Stanford, California and Oregon State, left the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) after eight seasons to compete in the Pac-10. Leaving the MPSF freed all five teams to play tougher schedules, which should strengthen its position once tournament bids are handed out. Last season, the MPSF was not deemed strong enough as a conference to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins, despite holding the No. 3 national ranking and a 16-2 record entering the tournament, were not only unseeded in the tournament, but also had to play on the road in the second and third rounds.

Frank W. Marshall Field Opens In 2000 -- Frank W. Marshall Field at Drake Stadium opens permanently for the UCLA soccer teams in 2000. Drake Stadium, which has housed the track and field teams since 1969, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art soccer/track and field facility which provides seating for 11,700 spectators. UCLA's first official soccer game at Frank W. Marshall Field is Sept. 17 vs. San Francisco at 2:00 pm.

Head Coach Todd Salda?a -- Todd Salda?a enters his second season as head coach of the Bruins. In his first season in 1999, he took UCLA all the way to the NCAA semifinals and ended the year with an impressive 19-3-0 record. For his efforts, he was named the NSCAA Far West Coach of the Year. Salda?a previously headed the UCLA women's soccer team in 1998 and was the head men's coach at Loyola Marymount in 1997.

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