Oct. 22, 2001
The 16th Annual UCLA Pacific Soccer Classic, presented by Big 5 Sporting Goods - The UCLA men's soccer team will host the premiere West Coast tournament Oct. 26 and 28 at Frank W. Marshall Field at Drake Stadium. The tournament field includes three-time NCAA champion UCLA (6-6-2), 1993 NCAA finalist and 12th-ranked South Carolina (8-3-1), Cal State Fullerton (5-6-1) and St. Mary's (5-5-1).
Tournament Schedule - The tournament kicks off Friday, Oct. 26. Cal State Fullerton will take on South Carolina at 12:00 pm, followed by UCLA versus St. Mary's at 3:00 pm. On Sunday, Oct. 28, Fullerton will face St. Mary's at 11:00 am. Following that game at approximately 2:00 pm will be the Classic's marquee matchup between UCLA and South Carolina.
Tournament Format - With tournament pairings set in advance, a point system will be used to determine the champion. Three points will be awarded for each win, and one point for each tie. Head-to-head competition, goal differential, goals scored and goals allowed will be used as tie-breakers, if necessary.
Tournament History - UCLA has won the Classic a record 11 times, including the last four times. Cal State Fullerton has won one Classic title in 1994. In St. Mary's only appearance, in 1998, the Gaels went 1-1 with a 3-1 win over Loyola Marymount and a 2-0 loss to UCLA. In South Carolina's only appearance, in 1988, the Gamecocks shut out both San Diego State and UCLA but failed to score themselves, placing third in the tournament.
The Classic has been an accurate indicator of NCAA success for the participating teams. During its 15-year run, the Classic has produced five NCAA Champions (UCLA in 1985, 1990 and 1997, Indiana in 1998 and Duke in 1986), three second-place finishers and five other NCAA semifinalists. The three-time NCAA champion Bruins annually use the tournament as a springboard into post-season competition.
Some of the biggest names in U.S. Soccer and the MLS have played in the Classic, including Paul Caligiuri, Cobi Jones, Brad Friedel, Ante Razov, Frankie Hejduk, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Joe-Max Moore and Marcelo Balboa.
Teams to Visit Pediatric Ward - Players and coaches from the participating Classic teams are scheduled to visit patients in the pediatric ward of the UCLA Children's Hospital Saturday, October 30 at 2 pm.
A Look at the Bruins - UCLA, the 11-time Classic champions and winners of three NCAA Championships, enters the tournament with a 6-6-2 overall record. The Bruins, coached by Todd Salda?a, are led by junior forward Tim Pierce, who leads the team with six goals and 12 points. Sophomore goalkeeper Zach Wells holds a goals against average of 1.07 and has shut out four opponents on the year. Team co-captain Ryan Futagaki will have to sit out Friday's game against St. Mary's due to yellow card accumulation.
A Look at the Gamecocks - South Carolina is the highest-ranked team in the Classic, checking in at No. 12 in the Soccer America poll and No. 17 in the NSCAA rankings and . The Gamecocks, coached by Mark Berson, have played arguably the toughest schedule in the nation this year, opening the season with four consecutive games (two exhibitions) against ranked teams. The Gamecocks have three players in double-digits for points scored - Ryan Daley (7 goals, 19 points), Jordan Quinn (6 goals, 15 points) and Joey Worthen (5 goals, 13 points).
A Look at the Gaels - Former UCLA assistant coach Steve Rammel returns to Westwood in his first season as head coach of St. Mary's. Rammel has led his team to a 5-5-1 record. The Gaels are led offensively by Los Angeles native Juan Lopez, who has scored four goals at the forward position. Goalkeeper Kellan Wilson holds a 1.24 GAA. The Falcons are the top scoring team in the MPSF Mountain Division with 36 goals.
A Look at the Titans - Coached by Al Mistri in his 21st season, the Cal State Fullerton Titans have posted a 5-6-1 record in 2001. Hector Orellana leads the team in scoring with seven goals and 17 points. Brent Whitfield has scored four goals. The Titans are looking to rebound from Sunday's 7-2 blowout at the hands of UC Irvine.
The Series vs. St. Mary's - UCLA leads the overall series with St. Mary's, 6-0-0 and came from behind to beat the Gaels, 3-2 last year at home. Defender Scot Thompson scored a goal in the second half to tie the game at two before Shaun Tsakiris scored the game-winner.
The Series vs. South Carolina - South Carolina holds a 0-2-1 advantage in the series and won the last two games, 2-1 in 1998 and 3-2 in 1989. Both of those games were in South Carolina. The Gamecocks and Bruins tied 0-0 in the 1988 Pacific Soccer Classic (then called the MetLife Classic) at UCLA.
Homecoming for Rammel, Cooper - Former UCLA assistant coach Steve Rammel and former Bruin midfielder Adam Cooper will return to familiar territory in Westwood, this time as coaches for St. Mary's. Gaels head coach Rammel, who was an assistant from 1998-2000, helped lead UCLA to three NCAA tournament appearances, including a semifinal berth in 1999. St. Mary's assistant coach Cooper lettered at UCLA from 1995-99 and was a member of the Bruins' 1997 NCAA Championship team.
Hermann Watch - Defender Alex Yi (Easton, Md./Bradenton Academy) is a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, college soccer's longest-standing player of the year award. Yi was the 2000 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-Pac-10 selection a year ago. He was one of just three players to start all 19 of UCLA's games in 2000. This year, he has started 13 games and has contributed to four shutouts. With Yi leading the way, the Bruin defense has held three of its last five opponents to single-digit shot totals.
Recapping Last Week - Cold, rainy conditions and losses to Washington and Oregon State made for an unpleasant weekend for the Bruins. Against Washington, UCLA used a Tim Pierce goal to tie the Huskies in the second half but allowed two more goals later in the game to go down in defeat, 3-1. Oregon State scored the only goal it needed late in the first half after a loose ball scramble and handed UCLA its second consecutive loss in Corvallis, 1-0, despite UCLA outshooting the Beavers, 25-12. Beaver keeper Peter Billmeyer made a career-high 11 saves. The Bruins were forced to play without second-leading scorer Cliff McKinley, who had to sit out due to yellow card accumulation.
The Super Subs - UCLA has received ample scoring from the bench this year, as eight of UCLA's 19 goals have come from substitutes. The biggest goal production from the bench has come from Tim Pierce, who has scored half of his six goals while coming in as a substitute, and Adolfo Gregorio, who has scored two goals off the bench.
Bruin Soccer A Big Draw - The Bruins have remained a large draw at home and on the road in 2001. This year, UCLA is averaging 1,163 fans at home. That number was bolstered by a crowd of 3,466 that witnessed UCLA's 2-1 win over Stanford Oct. 14. On the road, the numbers are even better, as the Bruins are drawing 1,427 fans to road contests. Five of UCLA's nine road games have been attended by over 1,000 fans, including two 2,000+ crowds at Virginia and UC Santa Barbara. UCLA averages 1,098 at neutral sites.