Sept. 5, 2006
This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team (0-2-1) will wrap up a difficult road stretch with a pair of games in the New Mexico Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational. The Bruins will first face 2005 NCAA finalist New Mexico (1-1-1) on Friday, Sept. 8 at approximately 7 pm MT and Oakland (1-2-0) on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 12:30 pm MT. All games will take place at the UNM Soccer Complex.
Live Coverage -- New Mexico will be providing live streaming video and live stats for all four games of the Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational at golobos.com.
In The Rankings -- UCLA is ranked No. 10 in Soccer America's weekly poll, No. 12 in the College Soccer News rankings and No. 24 in the Soccer Times rankings. The Bruins have dropped out of the NSCAA rankings. New Mexico is 15th in the College Soccer News and Soccer Times polls and unranked in the Soccer America and the NSCAA polls.
Scouting The Lobos -- New Mexico made its first-ever NCAA title game appearance last season, falling to Maryland, 1-0. The Lobos lost nine seniors from that squad and return just five starters. Amongst New Mexico's returning starters is All-American defender and M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidate Andrew Boyens. Last weekend, New Mexico split at the Michigan State Fall Classic, falling 1-0 to Michigan State before defeating Michigan, 3-0. Goalkeeper Mike Graczyk holds a 0.31 goals against average with two shutouts.
Prior Matchups -- UCLA is 7-1-1 all-time against New Mexico and has won the last five consecutive matchups. The teams have not met since 2003, when the Bruins won at home by a 1-0 margin. New Mexico's only victory in the series came in Albuquerque in 1992, 1-0.
Scouting The Grizzlies -- Oakland enters Friday's game against Cal State Northridge with a 1-2 record, with all three decisions being of a 1-0 margin. Oakland won its opener against Coastal Carolina but dropped its next two games to No. 17 St. John's and at Drake. Ian Daniel has the Grizzlies' lone goal so far this season.
Prior Matchups -- UCLA won the only previous game against Oakland, 2-1 in overtime, in the 2004 season opener at Cal State Fullerton.
Perk Earns Two Caps With U-20s -- Freshman goalkeeper Brian Perk was called up to play with the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the Busan International Tournament in Korea from Aug. 25-Sept. 2 and earned two caps when he got the start against both Korea and Argentina. Perk earned the victory against Argentina, allowing just one late goal while making five saves. Perk now has 19 career caps with the U-17s, U-18s and U-20s.
Bruins Drop Two To Pair Of Top 5 Teams -- UCLA dropped a pair of road games to teams that are currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation. The Bruins fell to top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Maryland, 4-1, in a game that was delayed a day due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Ernesto. The teams played in soggy conditions the next morning, and sophomore forward Maxwell Griffin scored the Bruins' lone goal. Two days later, the Bruins traveled to Charlottesville, VA to play then-No. 3 Virginia. The Bruins played its best soccer of the young season but dropped a heartbreaker, 1-0, when Virginia scored the game's only goal with less than two minutes to play. The Cavaliers are now ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Newcomers Seeing Significant Playing Time -- UCLA's newcomers are getting their feet wet early, with eight seeing action so far this season. Midfielder Kyle Nakazawa and Tony Beltran have started all three games. Nakazawa leads the Bruin squad with five shots on goal. Freshmen midfielders Michael Stephens and Andrew Sinderhoff both earned their first starts on Monday at Virginia, and defender Chance Myers made his first start on Saturday at Maryland. Other freshmen seeing minutes are David Estrada and James Jaramillo in all three games and Ryan White in one game.
Zizzo Selected To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List -- Sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo has been selected as one of 25 student-athletes named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Zizzo is a member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team that advanced to the finals of the 2006 Milk Cup in August. Last season, he earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors after leading all conference rookies with five assists and seven points. Zizzo, who is one of just three underclassmen on the menfs watch list, earned All-Freshman national honors and second-team All-Pac-10 acclaim in 2005.
Reed Named To Pre-Season All-America Team -- Senior goalkeeper Eric Reed has been selected to the College Soccer News pre-season All-America third team. Reed had a successful 2005 season, recording a 0.60 goals against average, which ranked sixth in the nation, and earning 12 shutouts, the third-most in school history. He flirted with the NCAA record for lowest goals against average late in the season, posting as low as a 0.21 GAA in the first week of November. He also earned first-team All-Pac-10, third-team All-Far West and first-team Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Season honors. Reed continued that high level of play in the Premier Developmental League (PDL) this summer, earning PDL Goalkeeper of the Year honors after posting a league-low 0.62 goals against average.
About The Bruins -- UCLA brings a new-look squad to the field in 2006, with 13 newcomers amongst its 26-man roster. Leading the returning players are all-conference stand-outs Eric Reed (first-team All-Pac-10), Sal Zizzo (second-team All-Pac-10 and 2005 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year), Brandon Owens (second-team All-Pac-10) and Brad Rusin (honorable mention All-Pac-10), as well as top returning scorer Maxwell Griffin (4 goals, 2 assists in 2005). UCLA's incoming class is rated No. 1 in the nation thanks to the addition of seven current or former U.S. Youth National Team players. Leading the newcomers are Under-17 National Team starter Kyle Nakazawa and Under-20 National Team starter Tony Beltran, who each earned a spot in the starting lineup for UCLA's season opener. These players will need to fill in the shoes of departed players Marvell Wynne, Patrick Ianni, Jonathan Bornstein, Jordan Harvey (MLS) and Kamani Hill (not enrolled Fall Quarter; plans to re-enroll in the Winter Quarter). Owens is also out of commission to start the season after tearing his ACL in the spring season, and junior defender Edwige Ligonde and freshman defender Chance Myers suffered injuries early in pre-season training. Ligonde is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left leg, while Myers has seen limited action (Played 17 minutes against Cal State Northridge, started and played 72 minutes at Maryland, played 30 minutes at Virginia). Freshman Robert Georgiefski tore his left ACL and medial meniscus on Aug. 20 in an exhibition game and is out for the season.
Bruins-Gauchos Selected For FSC Match Of The Week -- UCLA's Oct. 5 game at UC Santa Barbara has been selected as the NSCAA College Match of the Week and will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel at 8 pm. This is the second consecutive year a UCLA game has been selected as the Match of the Week; the Bruins' game at Penn State last season was also televised live by Fox Soccer Channel.
Coming Up -- The schedule does not get any easier for the Bruins, who return home next week for a pair of games against strong West Coast Conference foes. First up is a Friday, Sept. 15 matchup at 8 pm against Santa Clara, who is currently ranked No. 14 in the NSCAA/adidas poll and No. 15 in the Soccer America poll. On Sunday, Sept. 17, the Bruins will host San Francisco at 1 pm. The Dons are ranked No. 13 in the latest NSCAA/adidas poll and No. 9 in the Soccer America poll.