Aug. 22, 2012
This Week -- In what will be the first live UCLA event televised by the Pac-12 Networks, the No. 2 ranked UCLA men's soccer team will open their 2012 season at home against No. 6 New Mexico on Fri., Aug. 24 at 7 pm out at Drake Stadium.
Live Coverage -- The match will be broadcast nationally live on the Pac-12 Networks (National and Los Angeles). Mark Rogondino will provide the play-by-play and Cobi Jones will provide the analysis. Fans can also follow the match on the internet via a live audio broadcast at uclabruins.com. John Ramey and Matias Friz will have the call. In addition, fans can follow the match via gametracker. Links are available at uclabruins.com on the events calendar on the front page. Fans can find out if they get Pac-12 Networks by visiting Pac-12.com or by contacting their television provider.
In The Rankings -- In the preseason rankings, UCLA is ranked No. 2 by the NSCAA, No. 8 by Soccer America, No. 7 by College Soccer News and No. 15 by Top Drawer Soccer. New Mexico is ranked No. 6 by the NSCAA and Top Drawer Soccer, No. 7 by Soccer America and No. 2 by College Soccer News.
Scouting The Lobos -- New Mexico is coming off an undefeated 2011 season in which they went 18-0-4 and won their first MPSF conference title since 2008. The Lobos also are riding a 22-match unbeaten streak and return nine starters off of last year's team that made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. They are led by senior forward Devon Sandoval and junior defender Kyle Venter, who were both named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List last week. Sandoval was second on the team with 24 points and eight goals in 2011 while also recording a team-high eight assists. Venter had five goals and one assist in 2011 and was named an NSCAA All-American. Senior midfielder Blake Smith, who led the Lobos with 10 goals and 25 points last season, also returns, as does senior goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez, who was fourth in the nation with a 0.50 GAA in 2011. Head coach Jeremy Fishbein is entering his 11th season at the helm of New Mexico and owns a record of 137-44-25 at the school.
The Series With New Mexico -- The Bruins lead the all-time series with New Mexico 9-1-1. The two teams last met back in 2007 at Drake Stadium, where UCLA defeated the Lobos 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have won the last seven matches against New Mexico.
Bruins In Season Openers -- UCLA is 34-7-4 all-time in season openers since beginning NCAA play in 1967. Last year the Bruins fell to top-ranked Louisville 2-0 in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the opener. Jorge Salcedo is 3-4-1 in season openers since taking over as UCLA head coach back in 2004.
UCLA Picked To Win Pac-12 -- In a polling of the Conference's men's soccer head coaches, UCLA has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 in 2012. The Bruins, searching for their fourth conference title in five years and eighth title overall, received 24 total points with four first-place votes. In the last four seasons, the Bruins have compiled a 30-4-6 conference mark, the best amongst the Pac-12 teams. UCLA also enters the season having won their last 13 Pac-12 matches.
A Look At The Bruins -- UCLA returns five starters and numerous other key contributors from last year's team as they look to return to the College Cup for the second year in a row. Below is a position-by-position breakdown of how the Bruins will look heading into the 2012 season.
Midfielders -- Leading the way for the Bruins is senior Ryan Hollingshead, who is UCLA's top returning point scorer after recording 13 points (3 g, 7 a) in 2011. Hollingshead was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection last season and also earned NCAA All-Tournament Team honors after scoring one goal and recording four assists in the NCAA Tournament. Junior Victor Munoz will look to move into a starting role after finishing second in the Pac-12 a year ago with eight assists in 22 matches. Senior Fernando Monge is also back after starting in 22 of UCLA's 24 matches in 2011, as is senior Evan Raynr, who like Munoz will look to earn a starting role after playing in 23 matches last year.
Forwards -- After losing All-American Chandler Hoffman to the MLS, juniors Victor Chavez and Reed Williams will look to fill the scoring void in 2012. Chavez led the Pac-12 with 10 goals in 2010 and ranked second in the conference with 25 points. In 2011, Chavez earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 acclaim after notching 11 points (4 g, 3 a) and playing in all 24 matches. Williams scored five goals and registered 14 points in 2010, ranking fourth on the team. He only scored one goal in 2011, but made it count by sending UCLA to the College Cup with his double-overtime golden goal in the NCAA Quarterfinals against Louisville. Sophomore Reed McKenna will also look to make a contribution up front after playing in six matches as a freshman in 2011.
Defenders -- Three of the four starters from last year's group return to the team in 2012 as this unit looks poised to be the strength of the team. Senior preseason All-American Matt Wiet leads this group after earning All-Pac-12 honors and NSCAA All-West Region honors in 2011. Juniors Patrick Matchett and Joe Sofia also return after helping the 2011 squad earn 12 shutouts, including a school record tying eight in a row. Matchett recorded seven assists in 2011, which tied for third in the conference while Sofia started every single match last season. Senior Chris Cummings will also look to earn playing time in this group after playing in eight matches and earning one assist last year.
Goalkeepers -- All-American Brian Rowe is gone after graduating and going to the MLS, and in comes redshirt sophomore Earl Edwards, who made two starts in 2011. Edwards was the No. 1 recruit in the country according to Top Drawer Soccer back in 2010 and was the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. at the 2009 U-17 World Cup. He has also seen time with the U.S. U-20 National Team and will look to continue UCLA's tradition of great goalkeepers this season. Edwards went 1-1 with a 1.42 GAA in 2011.
Fresh Faces -- The Bruins welcome 10 new faces to the team, led by sophomore transfer Leo Stolz. Stolz comes over from George Mason where he started all 18 matches as a freshman and collected second-team All-CAA honors with 11 points (4 g, 3 a). UCLA brought in another outstanding freshman class in 2012, a group that was ranked No. 5 in the country according to College Soccer News. Freshmen that will look to contribute immediately are defenders Javan Torre and Holden Fender, and midfielders Cole Nagy and Grady Howe. Torre trained with the U.S. U-20 National Team this past winter and was a member of the L.A. Galaxy U-18 Youth Academy Team. Howe helped lead the U-16 Galaxy Team to the 2011 U-15/16 National Championship and MLS Generation Adidas Cup. Fender captained George Walton High School to a Georgia State Championship in 2011 while also earning All-State honors and NSCAA Youth All-American honors. Nagy hails from Scottsdale, Arizona and was a member of both the U.S. and Canada U-17 National Teams. Like Fender, he was named a 2011 NSCAA Youth All-American.
Head Coach Jorge Salcedo -- UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo enters his ninth season at the helm of program with an all-time record of 105-42-25. He has coached UCLA to seven Pac-12 Titles as an assistant coach or head coach and is a three-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year (2008, 2011, co-coach in 2004). Salcedo has also led UCLA to two College Cup appearances and is the second-longest tenured men's soccer head coach in UCLA's NCAA history.
Bruins on TV -- The UCLA men's soccer team will enjoy increased national exposure in 2012 with the launch of the new Pac-12 Networks. A total of 12 of UCLA's matches will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks including every single UCLA home match. The Bruins will also have two of their non-conference matches nationally televised live by other outlets, with their match against Maryland on Aug. 31 being shown on ESPN3.com and their Sept. 21 match at UC Santa Barbara being televised by Fox Soccer Channel.
Coming Up -- The Bruins head to the east coast to take on ACC powers Maryland and Virginia. UCLA will face the Terrapins on Fri., Aug. 31 at 4:30 pm PT and the Cavaliers on Sun., Sept. 2 at 4 pm PT.