Men’s soccer opens 2022 season against UCI and Virginia Tech

UCLA (0-0-0) vs. UC Irvine (0-0-0)

Date/Time: Thursday, August 25 – 7:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Los Angeles, California (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Christian Miles
Audio: UCLABruins.com
Audio talent: Nick Koup

Stream: Pac-12.com app / Pac-12 Now
Live statistics

UCLA (0-0-0) vs. Virginia Tech (0-0-0)
Date/Time: Sunday, August 28 – 6:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Los Angeles, California (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)
Television: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Christian Miles
Audio: UCLABruins.com
Audio talent: Nick Koup
Stream: Pac-12.com app / Pac-12 Now
Live statistics

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets: uclabruins.com/tickets (all tickets are digital)
Free UCLA Students with BruinCard
Parking: purchase in advance on the Park Mobile application

UCLA OPENS 2022 CAMPAIGN WITH HOME CONTEST AGAINST UC IRVINE, VIRGINIA TECH
The UCLA men’s soccer team officially opens the 2022 season this week, hosting a pair of non-conference opponents at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. First, the Bruins host UC Irvine at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25 in a doubleheader with the UCLA women’s soccer team, followed by a 6:00 p.m. showdown with Virginia Tech on Sunday, August 28. . The Pac-12 Networks will televise both contests. Fans can also follow a live audio broadcast (with Nick Koup on the call) as well as live stats and updates via the team’s Twitter account, @UCLAMfootball.

PRESEASON RECAP
UCLA went 1-0-1 undefeated in preseason this summer, beating NAIA member Westmont 2-0 on August 15 before battling to a draw against UNLV on August 20. Andre Ochoa and senior winger Constantinos Michaelides both found the back of the net in the first half against the Warriors, with a junior left-back Tommy Silva providing primary assistance on both counts. A total of 43 players saw the pitch in this contest. Mid senior red shirt Jose Sosa and senior redshirt striker Kevin Diaz both had Grade A scoring chances against UNLV, as the Bruins outscored the visitors 17-1 for the game (including 17 uncontested shot attempts to close the game).

2021 IN REVIEW

  • UCLA went 11-7-1, clinching a berth in the NCAA Tournament as a whole and eventually reaching the second round of the tournament
  • UCLA’s 11 wins, +8-goal differential, third place in the league, NCAA second round were all best since 2015
  • The Bruins went 6-2-0 to start the year, the program‘s best eight-game start since 2009
  • UCLA led the Pac-12 in assists per game (2.2), fewest fouls per game (9.3) and shot accuracy (48%)
  • The Bruins finished the year ranked 24th (TopDrawerSoccer) and 25th (United Soccer Coaches) in final polls
  • Signature wins included a 3-2 win over then-No. 1 Oregon State on Nov. 7 and a golden goal against UCSB in the first round of the NCAA Tournament
  • UCLA had three separate three-game winning streaks and posted a 9-3-0 overall record at home
  • The Bruins had four picks across all regions, their most since 2015, highlighted by the first teammate Pierre Grassi

IN POLLS

UCLA appeared in every major national preseason poll before Thursday’s season opener, reaching No. 20 (TopDrawerSoccer). The Bruins were also ranked No. 23 in the nation by United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News.

LOTS OF CONTINUITY
UCLA returns the vast majority of its offensive production from a season ago, including:

  • 31 out of 33 goals (94%)
  • 36 of 42 assists (86%)
  • 98 points out of 108 (91%)
  • 10 of 11 winning goals (91%)
  • Seven of 10 away starters
  • Top six and nine of the top 10 scorers from a year ago (by points)

UCLA SEASON OPENER

The Bruins are 40-9-6 all-time in opening games of the season (for years when game-by-game results are available). This year marks the third straight time that UCLA has opened the season at home. The Bruins are 2-1-0 in the first games of the season under ryan jordanwith an unlucky loss last year to Lipscomb marking the program’s first opening day loss since 2012.

COOKING AT HOME
The Bruins were tough to beat on home court last year, posting a 9-3-0 (.750) record at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. It was the first time UCLA had posted a home winning percentage north of 60% since 2015 (also 9-3-0).

PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCLA had three players named to the United Soccer Coaches Players to Watch lists prior to the 2022 season:

  • Tucker Lepley (M) – Led the team in scoring last year, earning Second-Team All-Region and First-Team All-Freshman honors
  • Pierre Grassi (D) – Was a first-team all-region pick as a true freshman after playing a team-high 1,708 minutes in 2021
  • Nicolas Blasou (D) – In each of the last two seasons, led the American in minutes played and earned All-Patriot League honors
  • UCLA was the only school in the country with multiple defenders selected on the players to watch list

LIGHTS, CAMERA, BRUINS

UCLA is currently scheduled to air all but two of its home games this season on Pac-12 networks. The Bruins’ 11-game P12N schedule opens this week, with both games appearing on the network.

DIFFICULT ROAD
UCLA has consistently played one of the toughest schedules in the country under the head coach ryan jordan, finishing each of the last three seasons in the national top 20 in terms of schedule strength. The Bruins ranked No. 14 in the nation in SOS last fall (.610), No. 20 in the spring of 2021 (.588, and they were top-10 at the end of the regular season) and No. 12 in 2019 (.609).

UCLA CHOSEN THIRD IN PAC-12 PRESEASON COACHES POLL
UCLA was ranked third in the league’s annual preseason coaches survey. The Bruins collected a pair of first-place votes, tied for most of any team in the conference. UCLA totaled 18 points in the poll, just behind co-favorites OSU and Washington.

  1. Oregon State (2) – 21 points
  2. Washington (1) – 21 points
  3. UCLA (2) – 18 points
  4. Stanford – 14 points
  5. San Diego State – 10 points
  6. California – 6 points

THE ALL-TIME SERIES AGAINST UC IRVINE

The Bruins are 17-3-1 all-time against UC Irvine, including a 9-1-0 record in home games. UCLA is 1-0-1 against UCI under ryan jordanthe Bruins picking up a road win in the fall of 2021 after a 2019 clash provided the first-ever tie between the two schools.

LAST DEATH AGAINST UCI
UCLA recorded a 1-0 win over the Anteaters on September 3, 2021. It was the road opener for the Bruins. A 20th-minute Irvine own goal proved to be the difference, as a UCI defender accidentally swept a Pierre Grassi redirect the attempt to its own network. UCLA limited the hosts to just two shots on goal for the contest, both of which were ruled out by Justin Garces.

2021 BRUINS TRIO RISE TO MLS RANK
UCLA saw three members of its 2021 team join MLS organizations this winter, as Ahmed Longmire and Ben Reveno were both selected in the MLS SuperDraft while Justin Garces was signed to a homegrown contract by Atlanta United FC in the days leading up to the draft. Longmire was selected No. 10 overall in the SuperDraft by Nashville SC, making him the 21st Bruin of all time to be selected in the first round. Reveno went No. 52 overall, in the second round, in New England. Reveno has already made his MLS debut, and all three are now seeing regular time in the USL Championship with their respective organizations.

BRUINS AT THE PROS
At the start of the 2022 college season, UCLA has eight alumni on MLS club rosters alongside former defender Reggie Cannon, who plays for Boavista FC in the Portuguese top flight. UCLA alumni in MLS include former SuperDraft No. 1 overall Frankie Amaya (NY Red Bulls) and Abu Danladi (Minnesota United FC), league veterans Ryan Hollingshead (LAFC), Kelyn Rowe (Seattle Sounders), Jonathan Bornstein (Chicago Fire), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes) and Earl Edwards Jr. (New England Revolution), as well as 2019 rookie Erik Holt (Real Salt Lake).

SIX SUCCESSFUL
In 2022, UCLA returns each of its top six scorers from a year ago, including:

  • Tucker Lepley: Led UCLA and all Pac-12 freshmen in points (17) … Voted team MVP … First-team freshman pick
  • Jose Contell: 5G, 6A, 16P … Led the team in shots (30) … Had a goal or an assist in nine of 18 games last year
  • Kevin Diaz: 6G, 4A, 16P … Co-led team in goal … Team named Offensive MVP … Honorable Mention All-Pac-12
  • Tommy Silva: 6G, 4A, 16P … Led the team in GWG (4) … All-Pac-12 2nd Team … Had a pair of 5-point games last year
  • Riley Ferch: 2G, 4A, 8P … Had 3+ assists, 8+ points each season at UCLA … Co-led Pac-12 with 9 assists in 2019
  • Aaron Edwards: 2G, 3A, 7P … Honorable Mention All-Pac … Nat. Player of the week after the 2-goal game against LMU (14/10/21)

NICE TO MEET YOU

The Bruins have increased their roster with nine new players this season, including seven freshmen and a pair of Division I transfers. Junior F Andre Ochoa (San Diego State) and Graduated D Nicolas Blasou (American) have both been acclaimed by all conferences in their previous stops and should be immediate contributors to UCLA. The Bruins freshman class was ranked the 17th group in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer, highlighted by nationally ranked rookies in D JC CortezFM Cam WilkersonFM Tarun Karumanchiand MF Amjot Narang. Karumanchi was also named in TopDrawerSoccer’s Preseason Freshman Best XI.

FOLLOW ON SOCIAL
Stay up to date on all things UCLA men’s soccer by following @UCLAMSoccer on Instagram and Twitter. The Bruins rank second in the nation among men’s soccer programs among Instagram followers.

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