Jan. 27, 2007
Carson, Calif. - The UCLA men's soccer kicked off the first official day of spring practice with a respectable 3-2 exhibition loss to the U.S. National Team on Saturday morning at The Home Depot Center. Mike Zaher and Kyle Nakazawa scored for the Bruins.
The U.S. took a 2-0 lead in the first half behind goals from Landon Donovan and Sascha Kljestan. UCLA cut the lead in half on a penalty kick by Zaher after Sal Zizzo was taken down in the box. A few minutes later, the U.S. regained its two-goal advantage when former Bruin Jimmy Conrad headed in a goal after a corner kick.
Both teams buckled down defensively in the second half, but UCLA was able to get on the board again late in the game when Zizzo again was fouled while making a run just outside the box. Nakazawa slotted in the ensuing free kick for the final tally. Freshman goalkeeper Brian Perk shut out the U.S. team in the second half of play.
The Bruins, who have been practicing as a team for just two hours a week the last two weeks, lose just two players from the 2006 squad that advanced to the NCAA Championship game.