#2 UCLA Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

UCLA Bruins

Overall Rank: #2
#1 Pac-12
#2 UCLA Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
UCLA Team Page


Three ties in Pac-12 play put the Bruins in second place behind Washington in the conference standings. However, the Bruins earned the number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. After beating up on Elon 4-0 in the second round, UCLA fell in a shootout to Connecticut in the third round. In that thrilling 3-3 tie, the Bruins blew a couple leads and those defensive lapses are what could hurt this team again in 2014.

2013 Record: 12-3-5, 6-1-3
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jorge Salcedo

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Leo Stolz, Senior, M, 11
Assists: Leo Stolz, Senior, M, 8
Shots: Leo Stolz, Senior, M, 40
Saves: Earl Edwards, Senior, GK, 73

Other Key Returnees: M Jordan Vale, M Felix Vobejda, M/D Grady Howe, D Aaron Simmons, D Nathan Smith, D Michael Amick, D Javan Torre

Key Losses: F Victor Chavez, F Reed Williams, M Victor Munoz, M Ryan Lee, D Joe Sofia

The expectations are high for Leo Stolz. After a junior campaign in which he netted 11 goals and dished out eight assists, Stolz is poised for another great season. The addition of Larry Ndjock will help take some of the pressure off of Stolz. Ndjock had two great seasons at Loyola (MD) in which he netted 25 goals. That massive production may not continue at UCLA, but he is capable of being this team’s most efficient scorer. Other newcomers from Coach Jorge Salcedo’s stellar recruiting class who could contribute up top are Seyi Adekoya, Christian Chavez and Abu Danladi. Danladi is the one who has the talent to see the most minutes right away, but he will have competition from returnees like Gage Zerboni and Andrew Tusaazemajja. Midfielders Jordan Vale and Felix Vobejda should see bigger roles this season. The back line features Aaron Simmons, Nathan Smith, Michael Amick and Javan Torre. Earl Edwards enters his third season as the starter in goal. In UCLA’s 20 games, Edwards allowed 24 goals and recorded seven shutouts.

Despite all of the talent on the roster, UCLA will miss the seven seniors on last year’s squad. Victor Chavez is a massive loss. He scored eight goals and added seven assists. Victor Munoz was a regular starter too and tied with Stolz for a team high eight assists. Somebody has to step up and take over for Chavez and there is not a proven midfielder on the roster outside of Stolz who can setup the goal scorers as well as Munoz. Perhaps the biggest departure of them all is Joe Sofia. The center back was a four year starter. Munoz and Sofia were both drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLS Draft. Chavez was taken in the fourth round.

Final Projection:
UCLA has plenty of talent once again. However, leadership and experience could be a problem and that may be the thing that keeps this team from reaching the College Cup. But by tournament time the young Bruins will be more experienced. If they are playing well by then, this could be the team to beat. This team will be well tested by then too. The non-conference slate includes games against Wake Forest, North Carolina, New Mexico and Cal State Northridge.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.90 (15th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.13 (72, 4)
Shutout Percentage: 0.35 (55, 2)
Save Percentage:  0.778 (77, 3)

Madness 2015 MLS Draft Rankings:
#1 Leo Stolz

Madness 2014 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#17 Adu Danladi


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