Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
Now that I got your attention, UCLA's other "futbol" team (Men's Soccer) is 3-0-0 in conference play heading into two key conference match-ups this weekend that may ultimately determine this team's 2010 conference destiny. The Bruins face a Stanford team that is in a must win situation if the Cardinal is to remain in the hunt for a Conference title Friday, and a red hot Berkeley Bear team on Sunday afternoon. A number of interesting themes developing in each of these match-ups:
Friday Night Lights w/Stanford:
- There has to be plenty of impetus for the Cardinal to "get after it" in this particular match with the Bruins. With a PAC 10 record of 1-2-0 going into the match with the Bruins (and a low NCAA tournament RPI), the Cardinal must win this match if it has any reasonable hope to contend for the 2010 PAC 10 title and hope for an outside chance at a tournament bid. However Stanford, a team laden with upperclassmen as well as a 2009 NCAA tournament participant, curiously has been anything but consistent this year with a 5-6-0 overall record. Opening the season with four losses, the Cardinal has rebounded somewhat by going 5 - 2 since their slow start, with a conference win over Oregon State and two losses vs. CAL and Washington.
- Which Stanford defense will show up? In the Cardinal's five wins, the defense has allowed only one goal. In their six losses, they have given up 12. Bruins need to put up a few goals on Stanford early.
- Key to the game is to effectively neutralize D. Yahyavi and Lowe's Senior Class Award finalist Bobby Warshaw each with 2 game winning goals.
- Cagan Field hasn't been kind to the Bruins in recent years with the last Bruin win at Stanford in 2005.
- Stanford could potentially improve and/or make up some ground in their current dismal RPI rating of 76 with a win over the Bruin's (who currently possess a RPI of 20)
- Slippery Slope - Bruins get caught looking ahead to their game on Sunday vs. CAL
More after the jump.
Sunday's "Mother of All Matches" Game Vs. CAL:
I know it's only one game. But IMHO, whoever wins this game is the front runner to win the PAC 10. Make no mistake....this is clearly a momentum match. Both team's are playing well and clearly this match is a clash of the league front runners. In a number of polls, if anyone lends any credence to those, both teams are of a similar rank with Cal ranked 10 and the Bruins 13(NSCAA)
- Cal has been red hot with a very prolific offense (9 goals scored last weekend in the Pacific NW!) with a stingy defense and a conference leading keeper in Bingham (GAA = .65)
- Cal put 5 up on Washington last weekend in a 5 - 1 beat-down and conceded only a PK late in the game. They are averaging 4 goals in each of it's conference games. Cal leads the conference in goals (23) with a 2.3 goal per game average vs. UCLA at 1.64 goals a game (4th),
- UCLA's defense has only allowed a single goal in conference play and has been very effective in slowing, Washington's (and PDL POY) B. Richards, SDSU's Reza and OSU's Sanchez but Cal is very formidable going forward. Key will be to shut down Cal's Davis Paul (5g on the year) AND Fitzpatrick (also w/5g) and hope Salciccia or Omphroy don't bust loose besides! The Bruin defense has been effective neutralizing previous PAC 10 team forwards thus far but where these teams had but a single stud to worry about, Cal's strength is in it's numbers. Huge challenge for the young Bruin backline and midfield.
- Cal is a senior laden team that beside Paul, also includes highly regarded defender A.J Soares, Midfielders Hector Jimenez/Servando Carrasco and forward Demitrus Omphroy.
- UCLA Bright Spot - The developing chemistry between Chavez and Arreola. The first goal of Chavez's hat-trick vs. Oregon State was all Arreola. I look forward to this pairing on the field the last half of conference play!
- UCLA's Slippery Slope: Recall last year Cal's swoon that began October 16th where the Bears went 1-5-1 to finish conference play enroute to an overall 3-6-1 record which effectively eliminated the Bears from the NCAA tournament. Whatever occurs this weekend, this young Bruin squad needs to finish the season strong and garner one of the coveted invitations to the post season.
One for the Perceptive Quote Book (Source - Daily Bruin/Oct. 14th):
“Once you get halfway through the season, it’s no longer a freshman thing,” coach Jorge Salcedo said. “These guys have 10 games of experience and we can’t keep hanging on the fact that we’re young. We are halfway through the season now, and we’ve grown as a group.”
Collins (strained abs), Hoffman (released - may play this weekend), Morales (chronic ankle), Matchett (strained knee)