In his third season as head coach of the UCLA men’s soccer program, Todd Saldana has continued a winning tradition that he helped to establish in his prior tenures in Westwood.
This past season, Saldana led a young UCLA team to its 18th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. The Bruins began the season with an upset win over defending champion and top-ranked Indiana and went on to hold the No. 1 national ranking for five consecutive weeks.
In 1999, Saldana led his veteran team to the MPSF Pacific Division title with a perfect 7-0 league record and to the NCAA semifinals before losing in quadruple overtime to eventual national champion Indiana. Saldana also coached Sasha Victorine to the Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year award, the first ever awarded to a UCLA player.
In his previous tenure as an assistant coach from 1989-1994, Saldana’s teams made six appearances in the NCAA Tournament, won the 1990 National Championship, reached the 1994 Final Four and made quarterfinal appearances in 1989, 1991 and 1992.
During his time at UCLA, Saldana has coached current U.S. National Team members Brad Friedel, Frankie Hejduk, Cobi Jones, Eddie Lewis, Joe-Max Moore, Ante Razov and Greg Vanney, as well as 18 Major League Soccer players.
In 1998, Saldana coached the UCLA women’s soccer team to its second consecutive Pac-10 title and third NCAA tournament bid, as well as to the second-best record in school history (17-4-1).
Prior to his stint with the UCLA women’s team, Saldana coached the Loyola Marymount men’s team to a 6-9-1 record and a school-record for conference wins in 1997. In 1995 and 1996, he was the head men’s and women’s coach at Cal Poly Pomona, where he was named California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Coach of the Year in 1995 and Men’s Coach of the Year in 1996.
Saldana, who holds a USSF “A” Coaching License, was the Under-16 State head coach for the Olympic Development Program. He has assisted on the Under-17 and Under-18 Boys’ National teams.
In addition to his coaching accomplishments, Saldana had an excellent playing career. As a high school senior in 1980, he was the 11th player drafted overall by the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League. He played professionally in the NASL from 1980 to 1984, winning the 1983 NASL Championship as well as the 1985 ASL Championship. After playing for the Aztecs from 1980-81, Saldana played for San Jose in ’82, Tulsa from ’82-84 and in the American Soccer League for Ft. Lauderdale from ’84-86.
Saldana played on various national teams starting at age 15. He was a member of the Under-20 National team which in 1981 became the first U.S. team to qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
Saldana was a two-time All-American midfielder at South Torrance HS. He is a native of Redondo Beach and was born on January 15, 1962. He and his wife Denise currently live in El Segundo with their four daughters Adeline, 7, Grace, 5, and three-year old twins Dominique and Antoinette.