#3 UCLA Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

UCLA Bruins

Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
UCLA Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
UCLA Team Page


UCLA finished last season as Pac-12 champions, going undefeated in the conference then went on to the College Cup semifinals before falling to eventual champs, North Carolina. Head Coach Jorge Salcedo is a product of UCLA.  He graduated in 2002 then took the helm in 2004 and started winning right from the beginning. In the past four seasons alone, Coach Salcedo has only lost four conference matches and earned three Pac-12 titles. He has also taken his team to the NCAA tournament every year, making it to the championship game in 2006, the quarter finals in 2009 and 2010, and the College Cup semifinals last year. Coach Salcedo has built a consistent program and proves it with wins year after year. Not only does he win in the regular season but also during the off season when he recruits. Salcedo has put together the number one recruiting class in the nation three times in 2004, 2006, and 2010. Coach Salcedo and his players keep the wins coming each year and they plan to do it again this season.

2011 Record: 18-4-2, 10-0-0
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jorge Salcedo

The Bruin offense will be led by a pair of Victors this season, Victor Chavez and Victor Munoz. Chavez finished last season with four goals and three assists in the forward position and Munoz, a midfielder, recorded eight assists and netted one goal. Ryan Lee and Leo Stolz, a transfer from George Mason University, will be helping out in the midfield while Reed Williams, Andrew Tusaazemajja, and Reed McKenna will be looking to log some minutes at the forward position again this season. The back line didn’t see much change either welcoming back Patrick Matchett, Joe Sofia, Chris Cummings, and Matt Wiet. Coach Salcedo has brought in three new keepers that will compete for the starting position, along with returning keeper, Earl Edwards, who only saw two games on the pitch last season but was still able to log four saves.

Top ranked teams usually have very few weaknesses, especially in the preseason, and UCLA is no exception. Other than the keeper position, there won’t be many changes on the field. Some of the new players may step up and take a starting position from a returning player but with Coach Salcedo’s recruiting ability, that won’t affect the Bruins’ performance. Injuries are always a concern so UCLA will need to stay healthy. The schedule for UCLA pits them against a few powerhouses early on but no major threat in conference play. Washington, San Diego State, and Oregon State will be their toughest matches when they go for that Pac-12 title.

Final Projection:
A conference crown and an NCAA appearance are certainly possible for the Bruins this season but will they be able to pull off another undefeated conference record or a College Cup appearance? Coach Salcedo has done another good job bringing in talented players in the recruiting class and he will team them with the upperclassmen so that UCLA will capture a top ten position and a high placed seed in the NCAA tournament. There aren’t one or two outstanding players on the squad, but a whole team of them. As long as the consistency stays level or increases, then the Bruins will have no trouble this season.  

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Victor Chavez, Junior, F, 4
Assists: Victor Munoz, Junior, M, 8
Shots: Victor Chavez, Junior, F, 28
Saves: Earl Edwards, Sophomore, GK, 4

Madness 2012 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#11 Javan Torre
#27 Cole Nagy
#35 Holden Fender
#44 Juan Cervantes
#84 Grady Howe