#1 UCLA Heads on the Road to Face Pair of Top-15 Opponents
Soccer News: Everything you need to know about the 2015 UCLA Bruins including the roster, schedule, rankings, connections, recruits and looking ahead.
UCLA to Face Two Top-15 Opponents
After a season-opening victory on their home turf, the top-ranked UCLA Bruins head on the road to face a pair of top-15 ranked opponents this weekend. The Bruins open with No. 6 Maryland on Friday, September 4 at 4:00pm PT, live on the Big Ten Network. UCLA then travels to Washington DC to take on the No. 12 ranked Georgetown Hoyas on Monday, September 7 at 10:00am PT.
In The Rankings
UCLA enters the weekend ranked among the nation’s elite, ranking No. 1 in the NSCAA Coaches’ Poll, No. 1 in the Soccer America Poll and No. 2 in the Top Drawer Soccer Poll. Maryland enters the weekend ranked No. 4 by Soccer America, No. 6 by NSCAA and No. 7 by TDS. Georgetown enters the weekend ranked No. 4 by TDS, No. 10 by Soccer America and No. 12 by NSCAA.
Malcolm Jones Pushes UCLA Past UNM
The top-ranked Bruins opened the 2015 season with a 1-0 victory over the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday, August 29 at Drake Stadium. A second half strike from freshman defender Malcolm Jones pushed UCLA over the top for the one-goal victory. Despite struggling to find consistency in the first half, the Bruins pushed hard for an opening goal in the second half, out-shooting the Lobos, 11-2, in the period. The freshman, Jones, came on in the 55th minute as a substitute and wasted no time making and impact, scoring his first career goal just seven minutes later. After corralling his own rebound off a blocked shot inside the six-yard box, Jones volleyed his second chance home for the eventual game-winning tally. UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes recorded three saves in the contest on his way to his first shutout of the season.
Scouting the Terps
The No. 6 ranked Maryland Terrapins enter Friday’s match with an overall record of 1-0-1. Maryland returns home to face the Bruins after playing in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic last weekend in Bloomington, Indiana. The Terps opened the season with a 0-0 tie against the No. 5 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on August 28 before blowing out St. John’s, 4-0, on August 30. Freshman Amar Sejdic leads the team in points through two games, netting two goals (four points), while fellow freshman Sebastian Elney and sophomore Jake Areman have a goal and an assist each. In net, Dayne St. Clair and Cody Niedermeier, each with one start, have combined to make seven saves without allowing a goal. UCLA is 3-4-1 all-time against Maryland. In the last match-up, the Bruins and Terps played to a 2-2 tie in the second game of the 2012 season in College Park, Maryland. The Bruins last win over the Terps came in 2009 when UCLA took the season-opener, 2-0, on the road at Maryland.
Bruin – Terp Connections
UCLA sophomore right back Chase Gasper and Maryland freshman midfielder Eryk Williamson both hail from Alexandria, Virginia.
Scouting the Hoyas
The No. 12 ranked Georgetown Hoyas enter the weekend with an overall record of 0-1-1. Georgetown returns home to face UCLA after traveling to the state of Florida to take on Florida Gulf Coast and USF last weekend. The Hoyas played to a 0-0 tie with Florida Gulf Coast on August 28 before falling, 2-0, to USF on August 31. Before taking on the Bruins on Monday, Georgetown will host Akron on September 4. Georgetown has yet to score a goal this season, but feature a pair of MAC Hermann Trophy watch list members in senior forward Brandon Allen and junior defender Joshua Yaro. In net, JT Marcinkowski has allowed two goals, while tallying six saves.
UCLA is 0-1-0 all-time against Georgetown. In the two school’s only match-up in 2009, the Hoyas defeated the Bruins by a count of 2-0 in Washington DC.
Bruin – Hoya Connections
UCLA sophomore forward Abu Danladi and Georgetown junior defender Yaro both hail from Ghana and came to America via the Right to Dream Academy. UCLA sophomore right back Gasper and Georgetown sophomore midfielder Matthew Ledder both attended Gonzaga College HS in Virginia.
UCLA Voted Pac-12 Preseason Favorite
For the sixth-straight season, the Pac-12 Conference’s men’s soccer coaches voted UCLA as the preseason favorite to win the 2015 regular season. The Bruins received four first place votes and a total of 24 points. In descending order after UCLA are Stanford (21 points) and Washington (18 points), who each received a first place vote, followed by California (13 points), Oregon State (nine points) and San Diego State (five points). The Bruins, who finished second in the conference last season, have claimed seven Pac-12 titles since men’s soccer became a conference sanctioned sport in 2000. The last conference crown for UCLA came in 2011 and Head Coach Jorge Salcedo has led the Bruins to five Pac-12 titles since taking over in 2004.
Adekoya, Amick & Danladi Earn All-Pac-12
UCLA sophomores Seyi Adekoya and Danladi, along with junior Michael Amick, were each named to the inaugural Preseason All-Pac-12 team this season. UCLA’s three representatives ties Stanford for a conference high, followed by Washington and Oregon State with two and California with one. Danladi and Adekoya return to Westwood after finishing second and third respectively in points on the team last season, while Amick comes back to anchor a strong Bruin backline. Amick earned first team All-Pac-12 a season ago, while Adekoya was named second team All-Pac-12.
Amick Named to MAC Hermann Watch List
UCLA junior Amick was recently named to the 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy watch list. Amick is one of 30 men and 28 women from Division I soccer programs to be named to their respective watch lists. Last season, the MAC Hermann Trophy was awarded to UCLA midfielder Leo Stolz, marking the first Bruin to win the award since the MAC Player of the Year and the Hermann Trophy merged in 2002. Amick, a third team NSCAA All-American last season, is one of 13 players on the watch list who received NSCAA All-American nods in 2014.
UCLA Welcomes #1 Recruiting Class
UCLA welcomes the program’s third consecutive top ranked recruiting class this season. The 14 freshmen and one junior transfer will join the returning Bruins to create a formidable roster for the 2015 campaign. Overall, seven players from the incoming class have taken part in the USA National Team program at the U-17 or U-18 level, highlighted by Jones and Jackson Yueill who have each been consistent starters on the U-18 team. On the club side, Jose Hernandez was named the U-18 Development League Player of the Year after netting 25 goals last season for the Real Salt Lake Academy. Joining the freshmen is transfer Abullah Adam who set the school record for goals in a season (13) at Lyon College last year.
Tough Schedule Ahead
The Bruins sport one of the nation’s most difficult schedules in 2015. UCLA will square off with seven teams that were ranked within the NSCAA Preseason Top-25, including three teams preseason ranked in the Top-10. The Bruins schedule features non-conference matches against preseason No. 3 Georgetown, No. 13 Maryland, No. 20 UC Irvine and No. 25 Akron. In the Pac-12, UCLA will play a pair of matches against preseason No. 8 Stanford, No. 10 Washington and No. 16 California.
UCLA on the Pac-12 Networks
UCLA will be featured on the Pac-12 Networks often in 2015. In total, 13 of the Bruins’ 19 regular season games are set to be televised on the conference’s network. Furthermore, the Pac-12 Network, in its’ fourth year, will provide live telecasts of all but two of the Bruins’ conference matches.
Following a tough road weekend at Maryland and Georgetown this weekend, the Bruins return home to kick off a five-game homestand. The first of the five games will feature the UC Riverside Highlanders on Sunday, September 13 at 5:00pm PT. The Bruins then follow with matches against Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, VCU and No. 13 UC Irvine to close out the non-conference slate.
Article Source: Evan Kaplan/UCLA Athletics