Aug. 23, 1999
This Week - The UCLA men's soccer team (17-4-0 in 1998, ranked pre-season No. 3 by Soccer America and No. 9 by the NSCAA) will play two exhibition games this week before opening the 1999 season Friday, Sept. 3 vs. Denver at the Cal State Fullerton FILA Classic. The Bruins' first exhibition game will take place Wednesday, Aug. 25 against Westmont College at UCLA's North Athletic Field. Kickoff time is at 4:00 pm, and admission is free. The Bruins' last exhibition game will be Sunday, Aug. 29 at Portland (10-5-3 in 1998) at 2:00 pm.
New UCLA Head Coach Makes Debut - Todd Salda?a will make his UCLA head coaching debut Wednesday. Salda?a is no stranger to the UCLA sideline, he served as an assistant coach for the Bruin men from 1989-1995 and was the head coach of the UCLA women's team last season. While an assistant with the men's team, Salda?a's team advanced to the NCAA Tournament six times, winning the title in 1990 and reaching the semifinals in 1994.
Pan Am Medalists to Face Former Coach - When UCLA faces Portland Sunday, five Bruins will attempt to defeat the coach who led them to a bronze medal at the recent Pan American Games. UCLA's Carlos Bocanegra, Ryan Futagaki, Steve Shak, Pete Vagenas and Sasha Victorine were key players for Portland head coach Clive Charles, who coached the U.S. U-23 National Team to a 3-2-1 record and just its third medal ever at the Games.
Four Bruins Selected Pre-Season All-American - Junior defender Carlos Bocanegra and senior midfielders Pete Vagenas and Sasha Victorine were selected by Soccer America and College Soccer Online as pre-season first-team All-Americans. Junior goalkeeper Nick Rimando was chosen by College Soccer Online to the second-team.
Three 1998 All-Americans Highlight Roster - Headlining the 1999 returners are 1998 All-Americans Carlos Bocanegra (junior defender, Alta Loma, CA), Nick Rimando (junior goalkeeper, Montclair, CA) and Sasha Victorine (senior midfielder, Corona, CA). Bocanegra was selected by Soccer America as one of their Collegiate MVPs. Rimando was an NSCAA second-team All-American, while Victorine was an NSCAA third-team All- American. Also returning are 1998 All-MPSF selections Steve Shak (senior defender, Cerritos, CA) and Pete Vagenas (senior midfielder, Pasadena, CA).
U.S. National Team Experience - UCLA's 1999 roster is loaded with players who participated in international tournaments with various U.S. youth national teams during the off-season . Four Bruins (Carlos Bocanegra, Ryan Futagaki, Nick Rimando and Shaun Tsakiris) were part of the U.S. U-20 National Team squad that advanced to the second round of the FIFA World Youth Championships this past April in Nigeria. McKinley Tennyson, Jr. also participated in the qualifying tournament for the Championships. This summer, Bocanegra, Futagaki, Steve Shak, Pete Vagenas and Sasha Victorine earned bronze medals with the U.S. U-23 National Team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. Senior defender Ryan Lee has also seen time with the U-23 National Team as a member of the U-23 pool.
Road Warriors - After Wednesday's exhibition game, UCLA won't return home until Sept. 26 in its home opener against Oregon State. The Bruins will have already played six games by that time. The good news for the Bruins is that they will close out their regular season schedule with five straight home games, including the last two against pre-season No. 6 Virginia and No. 13 Cal State Fullerton.