We will have an open thread going up late this afternoon (prolly around 2:00 pm EST) to track the US Soccer team's final match against Brazil. As we have written before the reason we are following that action closely not just because we have a lot of soccer fans here on BN but more importantly the team is being led by a former Bruin - Carlos Bocanegra - and three other Bruins from UCLA's powerhouse soccer program. So we will do a quick little round up before the game with news and notes on other Bruins also representing the red, white and blue.
Three UCLA alums are among twenty-five top rising NBA players have accepted invitations from USA Basketball to participate in the 2009 USA Basketball Men's National Team mini-camp that will be conducted July 22-25 in Las Vegas, Nev. The selections were announced by USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo.
Ariza started on coach Ben Howland's first UCLA team (2003-04) before leaving after his freshman year for the NBA. Love earned consensus All-America honors in 2007-08 as a freshman and was the No. 5 selection in the 2008 NBA Draft. Westbrook played two years for the Bruins, enjoying a stellar sophomore season in 2007-08. He was the No. 4 selection in the 2008 NBA Draft.
More details on the camp over at the official site. Also the official site reports three former UCLA women's water polo player have been named to the US national team:
Former UCLA women's water polo standouts Tanya Gandy, Jaime (Hipp) Komer and Kelly Rulon have been named to the USA Women's Water Polo Senior National Team, as announced this week by USA National Team Head Coach Adam Krikorian.
Gandy, Komer and Rulon have been selected to the 14-woman roster for the 2009 FINA World Championships, scheduled to begin July 19 in Rome, Italy.
Both Komer and Rulon have represented Team USA in Olympic competition - Rulon in 2004 at the Olympic Games in Athens, and Komer in 2008 at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Gandy made her international debut on the U.S. National Team earlier this month at the FINA World League Super Finals in Russia.
Lastly, we will end the roundup zeroing on Carlos Bocanegra, the US team captain who will be leadingt the Yanks as an heavy underdog against Brazil in South Africa. He was in the middle of the Yank's history 2-0 upset over the Spaniards earlier this week. As Luke Cyphers from ESPN wrote it was Carlos who was anchoring the backline and essentially serving as the heart and soul of the American defense:
[I]t was nice to have one particular old friend back there manning the back line. "Carlos is our captain," Howard [U.S. goalie Tim Howard. - BN Ed.] said. "He's our heartbeat, he's our leader."
And when Bocanegra's head clears, he'll realize he helped lead the U.S. into the history books.
Here is to another glorious chapter for the Bruin captain this afternoon. See you in the open thread.