College Soccer: Great Soccer Action in San Diego as USD Takes on #1 Ranked UCLA
FINAL REPORT ON MATCH: College Soccer News: USD Defense Shuts Down #1 UCLA
The USD Toreros’ goal is to take down their rival #1 UCLA and UCLA Bruin’s aim is to keep the #1 spot on the college rankings. Who will win? Regardless of which team is victorious, sports fans win with live soccer action in San Diego. Come out and help the University of San Diego (USD) Men’s Soccer break its all-time attendance record in Torrero Stadium.
Calling all soccer lovers in driving distance, these college soccer players need their fans! While players from both teams are saying, “It is going to be a tight game but I am sure we can win,” all the players want is the fans to turn out. “Knowing there are a lot of people there gives you additional motivation to do well and can give you an extra boost of energy that can make the difference.”
Great soccer action comes to San Diego this Friday night, September 26th as University of San Diego (USD) Toreros take on the #1 ranked University of California (UCLA) Bruins in USD’s Torrero Stadium @ 7pm.
Soccer fans are needed – USD is attempting to break its all-time men’s soccer attendance record this Friday at 7:00 p.m. The San Diego record of 3,143 soccer fans watching a game was set in 2010 when USD took on San Diego State. Now, as USD Toreros take on UCLA Bruins, sports fans can enjoy an amazing night of great soccer action for the whole family and help set a new record.
This will be a tough match for USD a they meet UCLA which is ranked by NCAA as #1 going into this weekend. UCLA has won numerous championships in its prestigious history and is well known for great players. During the season last year, USD set a record of defeating the NCAA #1 ranked team and wants to do it again.
Many UCLA’s soccer players are on the road to becoming professionals and often are the top picks at the MLS Super Draft. Carlos Bocanegra, Nick Rimando, Jonathan Bornstein, Jimmy Conrad, Kevin Hartman, and Brad Friedel are all UCLA Alumni who become professional soccer players. Since 2010, nearly twenty players from UCLA were drafted by the MLS.
Long time USD Head Coach Seamus McFadden is also well known in college soccer for building strong teams and helping members of his squad become professional players. Last year, San Jose Earthquakes drafted Dan Delgado and Sporting Kansas City drafted Christian Duke. Other familiar names from the USD Alumni include Eric Wunderle, Stephen Posa, Ryan Guy, Kevin Legg and Scott Garlick.
Mike Nicholson, who is in his tenth year as Assistant Coach for USD Men’s Soccer said, “We are playing the top ranked, #1 team in the country, so we are playing against a team that is loaded in talent with the best college soccer players from CA and all over the country. USD has beaten top-ranked teams before. Strategically, we are going to go play them hard and get fired up and take the game to UCLA.”
Although San Diego enters Friday’s matchup with an overall record of 2-2-4 after going winless in their two road games last weekend, the Toreros have a storied history of success and have reasons to be confident having won tough matches before.
“We are looking forward to having this chance to step up,” said Nicholson or ‘Nico‘ as his colleagues and players call him. While both teams play a similar style of soccer, historically UCLA is able to recruit the top players. “UCLA may get the best players, but they have to learn how to play together as a team,” said Nico. “The beauty of soccer is that it is eleven guys on a field and it is a collective group. Soccer is the most difficult sport to predict. As you know, anything can happen on the field. Our team knows how to work well together well.”
Soccer is the world’s favorite sport and there is an international flair to the USD v UCLA match up. With multiple players calling 2014 World Cup winner Germany home, (USD has three Germans on the team and UCLA’s best player Leo Stolz is also German) American college soccer obviously attracts great talent from around the world. While soccer is a global sport, this match really reflects some of California’s best homegrown talent with many players on both teams having played for Cal South Clubs. San Diego Surf SC, Nomads, SDSC, Albion SC, Carlsbad United, Notts Forest FC, and Arsenal FC in Temecula all trained players who could be in the action this Friday.
“USD’s men’s soccer team has fourteen homegrown players who played competitive youth soccer at local clubs. It will be inspirational for kids to see players who are only a few years older than they are and realize that if they keep working hard at their clubs, they might make D1 college rosters,” said Nico.
“These are all young kids; USD is not taking on a professional soccer team like Barcelona. Soccer is an emotional game. I think if we can come out strong, and if the crowd is behind us, it is going to make a big difference. We are not fully fit as a squad yet, but our players have the caliber and quality to win the game,” said Nico. “All these college players from both teams share the same dream of going pro and USD has the chance to send a message. We beat the #1 ranked team last year and we know we can do it again.”
If that is not enough reasons to come out to see the USD v UCLA men’s soccer match this Friday, the chance to see soccer in real life instead of in the digital world should get fans to buy tickets. The pleasure of being an armchair referee looking at a screen pales in comparison to witnessing the speed of play in real life watching a live game.
“This will be one of the biggest soccer events in San Diego this year,” said Nico. “Everyone who likes soccer should come out to the game.”
USD Assistant Coach and long time San Diego Sockers’ star player Brian Quinn will do a pre-game preview for the folks who show up early and want to enjoy a tailgate BBQ. BBQ tickets are $10 and include food as well as sodas and alcohol. The BBQ area is just left of the stadium entrance behind the goal.
Ticket info: Fans can call 619-260-7550 or go online at USD to buy tickets. Tickets are also available for purchase on Fans game day at the stadium. All tickets are 2 for 1 if readers mention the 2 for 1 deal.
If you miss the action but want to catch it online – UCLA offers a live link.