How good is UCLA

Discussion in 'College & Amateur Soccer' started by Sandon Mibut, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Folks, UCLA is really good.

    We may be witnessing one of the better college soccer teams of all time. Consider all this...

    *They've only lost once, and that was on the road to the No. 2 team in the country on a questionable PK.

    *They have a 15-game winning streak.

    *They haven't been to OT all season.

    *They have only given up six goals all season and only been scored on in four different games and haven't given up more than two goals all season.

    *Two of those goals came against PSU in a 5-2 win on opening day. Since allowing the Maryland PK, they have only been scored on in two games!

    *They are working on six-straight shoutouts and a goalless streak of 570 minutes and counting.

    *Thave proven they can win the close, low-scoring games, going 6-1 in one-goal games.

    *But they have also scored four or more goals six times, they are averaging 2.56 goals per game but only giving up 0.33, one of the best goal-differentials ever.

    *Their schedule isn't the toughest but it does include eight games against likely NCAA Tournament teams: Maryland, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, Rutgers and two each with Washington and Oregon State.

    *They have good depth as 14 players have started at least six games and four more play regularly.

    *They have myriad professional prospects led by Leonard Griffin and Adolfo Gregorio but including Aaron Lopez, Matt Taylor, Zach Wells and a bunch of freshmen (Brandon Owens, Chad Barrett) and sophomores (Jordan Harvey) who could still have good pro careers if they continue to develop.

    *They have a head coach who has won NCAA titles at the division I and II levels and who has six seasons worth of pro experience.

    *And here's the scarey thing - this is all despite losing Alex Yi, Nelson Akwari and DJ Countess after their sophomore or freshmen years. Had they stayed, those guys would be seniors this year.

    Now, all these stats don't mean fu(k all if UCLA doesn't lift the hardware in Columbus, but, if they do, and obviously they are favored, this will have to be considered one of the greatest college soccer teams ever.
  2. KinleyDog

    KinleyDog New Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    i'm impressed by the goal differential and the scoreless minutes as that does indicate dominance.....but, they do start the clock and stop it 90 minutes later for a reason - cause very crazy things can happen. besides, if your prediction about ucla is as good as your yeags prediction, then we have our national champion already. did you ever get your watch whittled?
  3. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    IU still have seven games to win till I get my whittled watch... I'm not gonna get excited about that until, and if, they get to the second round of the NCAAs.

    As for UCLA, I know they can be upset. Upsets happen in every sport, especially with college kids. So, by no means am I penciling them in for the NCAA title yet.

    My point was that A) they are extremely dominant and deep this year and B) if they do win it all, they should be considered one of the greatest NCAA soccer teams ever.

    BTW, IU-UCLA in the final with historic overtones and played in the town where UCLA's coach got fired - even though he had a lot of the IU coaches former players, including his kid - would be GREAT drama for a a final.
  4. Bumptious Rex

    Bumptious Rex New Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    What impresses me most about UCLA is their roster depth. They can keep throwing out guys the whole 90 minutes that would start at most other programs. Next year's crop of recruits is also first-class. I have heard that, earlier in the year, the roster actually had to be trimmed down. I think they will miss Zach Wells next year, but, then again, he has the lowest saves per game average in the Conference...GK may not be the most critical position with the quality of the other 10 players on the pitch.
  5. Femfa

    Femfa New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Yar, UCLA looks good this year - soccer studs tanned by all that California sunshine.

    Oh yeah, impressive record, too.

    Frankly, the championship is almost expected. They can't ease up on the work involved, but I also don't think they're going to lose focus.

    Some of their most impressive players now are freshmen - if they don't jump pro or abroad, it makes reloading for next year even easier.
  6. uniteo

    uniteo Member+

    Sep 2, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Almost as good as Maryland

    (speaking of penalty kick controversies...)
  7. davide

    davide Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Yeah, the depth at UCLA is sick.

    They have quite a few players that were once in the National pool that don't get much action. Unfortunately, those players seem to be content with the little PT they receive.

    I'm not really sure how Fitz keeps all the players happy, but he's done a good job so far. They did lose their best freshmen from last year (not Jordan Harvey) before the season.

    And, I'm not sure Jordan Harvey should be considered a pro prospect. There is a chance he will NEVER be a full-time starter at UCLA.

    IIRC, Fitz is quite high on the backup keepers, so I don't think that will be an issue next season.

    Finally, I'd like to see the college game switch to the three sub rule. It might even the playing field a bit.
  8. melvin

    melvin New Member

    Aug 30, 2003
    How Good?

    Columbus connections: I am sure that Fitz will want some redemption upon returning to Columbus. I saw an article earlier in the year talking about Taylor being from Columbus and has a lot of family there. It may be destiny, however, I agree that the Bruins, especially since they are the favorites, and have not had a real challenging season so far, will need some good fortune to make it to the CUP.
  9. lastword

    lastword New Member

    Sep 20, 2003
    College Park, MD
    Columbus connection

    Now I know it will not be UCLA in the College CUP. I am not whittling any more watches, but streaks are mean't to be broken and UCLA is ripe, no matter how sick their depth.
  10. soccers14me

    soccers14me New Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    -First off i want to start with the players being happy about their little playing time- thats crap- I know for a fact that the players who are not playing much at UCLA are not content with their playing time. Many of the players on ucla who were in the national team pools are very frusterated with not playing in games against teams with starters who are from national pools who used to start under them. So, to say the least, I wouldnt say Fitz has kept his whole team happy.

    -second -Jordan Harvey should still be concidered a pro prospect... the only place that Jordan has been playing for UCLA is in the midfield- and he is not a midfielder- Jordan had played deffense ever since he started playing soccer, and then at ucla he gets stuck at midfield for where he has minimal experience, and we go off saying he isnt a pro prospect anymore- thats crap too... Jordan is a very talented deffender with a bright future ahead of him.

    -third- I do agree with you on the depth of the backup keepers- Both Pena and Reid are very talented and will be battling for the goal next year.

    -fourth- I dont like the three sub rule- soccer isnt designed to leave 8 men on the field without coming off- that would take a big part of the strategy of the game away.
  11. davide

    davide Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Well, if the players that don't receive playing time at UCLA were really unhappy with the program they would transfer to another school. I don't see any of them leaving (except one), so I'll conclude they aren't really upset yet. UCLA will sign another great class of players this season. I would guess the incoming recruits aren't informed about the competition or don't care that there is a strong chance they might not see the field for a few years. They probably all think Fitz wil make them an immediate starter.

    I'll disagree about your assessment of Harvey. BTW, he played forward on his High School team. Defense isn't the strong point of his game and his lack of speed doesn't help either. That's why he doesn't start at UCLA. He played leftback for the U-20 and U-17 National teams where his main strength was pushing up the field and supporting the attackers. The strength of his game is composure on the ball. If he NEVER starts as a college player, I'm not sure how much of a future he'll have in professional soccer. It's disturbing that a potential starter for the U-20 team in UAE next month can't start for his college team.

    Finally, soccer is designed to leave 8 men on the field the entire game and such a rule would put strategy back in the game.
  12. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    Soccers14me, the game used to have ZERO subs at the international and club levels.

    If you read The Game of Their Lives, they talk about how a US player made a crunching, hard tackle on an English player and England had to play down a man for a while because there were no subs. That was 1950.

    Either in the late 50s or early 60s, soccer added the three-sub rule. That's the rule used everywhere around the world, where the game is king and played at exceptionally high levels, in part, because of the strategy such a sub rule requires.

    Even MLS, which uses a slightly altered version of that rule, has its strategy impacted. Witness the game the other night between LA and San Jose. Under the college sub rule, that game is much different because Sigi could put in all the fresh legs he wants in both halves and doesn't have to worry about not having players available later if he takes them out.

    Your new here and we appreciate your opinions and passion. But statements like the one you made about the subs make you look ignorant and take away from the rest of the points you make.

    Also, Jordan Harve's lack of pace and size are why he isn't starting in the back at UCLA while a 17-year old freshmen does start. He's at midfield because it's the only place that Fitz can get him on the field. It's either that or not play - which do you think Jordan would prefer?

    To his credit, Harvey has done well in this role but his lack of pace will leave him exposed at wide MF at the next level in wing back or wing mid is where he plans on playing.
  13. soccers14me

    soccers14me New Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    When I first said that it was a fact that some of the players on ucla were unhappy with their playing time- i meant it was a fact... my brother plays for ucla, and I know about half of the guys personally and know that some of them are very frusterated with their playing time and are not happy with Fitz. Now I know that in NCAA pac-10 games, you are required to turn in a list before the match of 18 players, and only 18 players, who can play in the game- which would explain why some of the players who do not play that often still do not get a chance to play in total blowouts- ex Oregon St last Sun., which is another reason some of the guys on ucla feel that they have not been givin a chance to prove themselves- especially if they were already recruited and signed before Fitz was even hired last year. Now as far as the recruits for this coming up year, of course they know about the competition- if you and I know about the competition, I guarantee you the recruits do too. As far as Jordan goes- we can both have our opinion on wether or not we think he is a quality player, but I have grown up watching him, [club (Irvine Strikers), hs, and now college] and know that he is a natural deffender. I agree with you that a U20 player shouldnt be going to the UAE if he cant start for his college team, but this is another prime example of a player who was recruited before Fitz got here, who hasnt been givin a fair chance to shine at his natural position. Whether or not he will help us in the U20 world championships- only time will tell.
  14. Jabo

    Jabo Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Washington, DC
    Just as a point of clarification, the third sub was introduced very recently. At USA 1994 teams were still allowed only 2 subs and it was sometime before France 1998 that FIFA changed its rules to permit a third sub.
  15. jscott23

    jscott23 Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jan 24, 2003
    Poway, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just how good...

    I'll let you know after tonight. I'm going to see them play at USD and it should be a great game. Torero Stadium has been a tough place for the Bruins, who have lost two NCAA matches there in the past decade, and have seen countless close matches vs. USD. The wider field (courtesy of the WUSA's SD Spirit) should actually make things easier for UCLA. The student section is tremendous at USD, and if you've never gone tonight is the night to go. The Toreros need a victory much more than the Bruins, having lost at Portland and Santa Clara the past two weeks. The man to watch for USD is Matt McCausland, although the Griffin/Reeves matchup is most intriguing.
  16. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Just how good...

    i'll be there too jscott. maybe we'll bump into each other. i'll probably have a long sleeve yellow galaxy shirt on and i'm quite tall and going bald!!

    usd is 48-7-2 at home over the last 5 seasons but they usually don't play teams with anywhere near ucla's skill and depth.

    should be a great one.
  17. KinleyDog

    KinleyDog New Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    it snowed in LA today. did San Diego get any weather that would affect play tonite?
  18. jscott23

    jscott23 Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jan 24, 2003
    Poway, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Final score tonight 2-2. Good game for the Toreros. UCLA, one of the all-time great teams. You're kidding right? USD's best player went down 20 minutes into the game and they still outplayed the Bruins for large stretches of the game. Late in the 2nd half USD pushed seven players forward continuously, and UCLA held on. Yes UCLA had a shot go off the post in overtime. USD had a ball go off the crossbar late in regulation that would have won it as well. Neither team I saw tonight is capable of winning a national championship. Some thoughts:

    -Zach Wells isn't DJ Countess, or even Anton Nistl for that matter

    -Gregorio doesn't defend and can't beat players 1v.1

    -Taylor couldn't finish any of the four good chances he had

    -Jordan Harvey is a fraud and didn't get his sweats off after half-time (rightfully so!)

    There were gaping holes in the midfield and at the back all night and USD should have done better at exploiting those opportunities. I've seen a lot of great UCLA teams over the years. This is not one of them. The Dale Ervine led national championship team of 1985 is my favorite, but that's just my take.
  19. wonderbred

    wonderbred New Member

    Nov 14, 2003
    how can you judge the ucla team on that game jscott23. that was not a soccer game more like a kickball game on a horrible field. I do think the reason behind usd being so good at home is because they are a bunch of bruisers who battle and get breaks. if these two teams played on a good field ucla would have taken it to them.
  20. soccers14me

    soccers14me New Member

    Nov 9, 2003
    I totally agree with you wonderbread... and jscott-if the #1 team is not capable of winning a national championship- then who is?... this IS deffinately one of the best ucla teams ever,- everone has off nights, this just happened to be ucla's- but they fought back and got a draw out of it... any team who can come back from down 2-0 shows a lot of heart... as for your comment on Zack Wells- thats why he holds the record for goals against average right now in the pac 10 huh?...
  21. nikefan

    nikefan New Member

    Jul 14, 2003
    yes they have a good team but they do not have the toughest schedule.
  22. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    it's the only time i've seen zach wells, but he definitely had an off night. no way he should have allowed the first goal from such a tight angle.

    admittledly the 2nd goal by Burcar was a beautiful left-footed strike.

    count me in as another who was not overly imprssed by the bruins, bad field or no. usd gave every bit as they got, and at times the bruins almost looked overmatched.

    having said that, they clearly have a lot of talent and if they're finishing had been better, they might have pulled out a great comeback win.

    in any case, i had a great time as i think did most in the overflow crowd. it was a great night of college soccer action.
  23. Timbers_Roberto

    Timbers_Roberto New Member

    Jul 27, 2002
    Portland, Oregon
    I saw UCLA play at Oregon State earlier this year. They are certainly an elite team but I think they can be beaten in the tournament. Against a Beavers team that is decent, but not great, UCLA had trouble creating scoring chances. Their defense, however, was very solid. Maybe I caught them on an off day but without the aid of a questionable PK call late in the game they would have tied an slightly better than average OSU team.
  24. soccergrly14

    soccergrly14 New Member

    Nov 7, 2003

    but then ucla creamed them 5-0 the next time they met
  25. coramdeo_10036

    Sep 15, 2003
    New York
    Umm, this team is good, but they're not even in the same time zone as the last NCAA soccer dynasty- Claudio Reyna's UVA teams. UVA won the title every year from '91 to '94 (the last w/out Reyna). There are a handful of guys (AJ Wood, Clint Peay, etc.) who won the title every year of their college careers. UCLA's got quite a ways to go to match that kind of consistent greatness

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