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Men's Soccer Signs Ten Top Recruits
By: UCLA Athletics

Feb. 16, 2000

UCLA men's soccer head coach Todd Salda?a signed 10 top players during the national letter of intent signing period, including four members of the historic U.S. Under-17 National Team.

The Bruins signed U.S. Under-17 National Team members Delvin Countess (goalkeeper/Bella Vista HS/Sacramento, CA), Nelson Akwari (defender/Strake Jesuits College Prep/Houston, TX), Alexander Yi (defender/Bolletieri SA/Easton, MD) and Adolfo Gregorio (midfielder/Hilmar HS/Hilmar, CA). Also signing with the Bruins were Anthony Lawson (defender/Quartz Hill HS/Palmdale, CA), Leonard Griffin (defender/Littlerock HS/Littlerock, CA), John Carson (forward/East Bakersfield HS/Bakersfield, CA), Matt Taylor (forward/Irvine HS/Irvine, CA), Ty Maurin (midfielder/Don Lugo HS/Chino, CA) and Cliff McKinley (forward/Fountain Valley HS/Fountain Valley, CA).

Current U.S. U-20 National Team members Countess, Akwari, Yi and Gregorio were a part of the U.S. U-17 National Team that finished fourth at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, the highest finish ever for an American team. That team also held the longest unbeaten streak in the history of U.S. Soccer's Men's National Team program - 25 games that spanned 15 months.

Countess, a 1999 Parade All-American, posted three shutouts and a 0.60 GAA at the '99 FC Qualifying Tournament. In 1998, he started 25 matches for the U-17s, posting 10 shutouts and a 1.16 GAA. Akwari, the co-captain of the U-17 squad and a Parade All-American, has been with the National Team program since 1997 and was a bronze medalist with the U-23 National Team at the 1999 Pan American Games. He was named the 1999 NSCAA Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Yi, a two-time NSCAA Youth All-American, was the USA's starting sweeper at the U-17 World Championships. Gregorio, another two-time NSCAA Youth All-America selection, tallied two assists in the USA's historic 4-3 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1999.

In addition to the four from the U-17 team, Griffin is a member of the U.S. U-18 National Team and part of the U.S. U-20 National Team pool, and Lawson was a member of the U-17 pool. Both are considered the top players in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The Bruins also signed two Orange County standouts in Taylor, considered the top all-around player in the county, and McKinley, Orange County's top scorer and Fountain Valley's all-time scoring leader. They also picked up Bakersfield County's No. 1 player in Carson and a gifted left-footed midfielder in Maurin.

Said Salda?a about next year's freshman class, "In terms of experience and accomplishments, this has to be one of the top recruiting classes in UCLA history. With the loss of eight seniors and two Project-40 signees, we felt we had a big void, and we feel confident that we've filled that. We will be a young but very talented team next year."

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Tuesday, Aug 18
vs. Mexican U-17 ...
Los Angeles, CA
T, 1 - 1
Saturday, Aug 22
vs. San Francisco
Los Angeles, CA
W, 2 - 1
Saturday, Aug 29
vs. New Mexico
Los Angeles, CA
W, 1 - 0
Friday, Sep 04 - 4:00 PM PST
at Maryland
College Park, MD
Monday, Sep 07 - 10:00 AM PST
at Georgetown
Washington, DC
Sunday, Sep 13 - 5:00 PM PST
vs. UC Riverside
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Sep 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
Monday, Sep 21 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. UC Santa Barbara
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Sep 25 - 4:30 PM PST
vs. VCU
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Sep 27 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. UC Irvine
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Oct 02 - 1:30 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Sunday, Oct 04 - 7:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Monday, Oct 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. San Diego State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Oct 16 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
Monday, Oct 19 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. California
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Oct 23 - 8:00 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Sunday, Oct 25 - 3:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Sunday, Nov 01 - 10:00 AM PST
at Akron
Akron, OH
Friday, Nov 06 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Nov 08 - 5:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Nov 14 - 7:00 PM PST
at San Diego State
San Diego, CA
Thursday, Nov 19 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA First Round
Sunday, Nov 22 - TBA PST
vs. NCAA Second Round