This afternoon, the UCLA men’s soccer team begins play in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament when the Bruins travel to Portland to face the Portland Pilots.
The Bruins come into this year’s tournament limping. That’s because they’ve lost four of their last five games. That includes losses to Washington and Oregon State on the road and Stanford and San Diego State at home. Their only win in that span was the middle game where UCLA beat UC Berkeley in Westwood by a score of 1-0. Over the last five games, UCLA has been outscored 8-4 and they’ve been shutout in three of those five games. The Bruins just aren’t generating enough offense or getting enough defense. That’s a deadly combination and it may just keep UCLA from advancing in the tournament if that trend continues this afternoon.
The Pilots finished the regular season with a 13-3-3 record overall. The Pilots only three losses of the season came against San Francisco (who also beat UCLA), Pacific and St. Mary’s. As a result, the Pilots are also limping into the NCAA Tournament because those three losses have all come during the last four games of the regular season.
This game looks to be pretty evenly matched based on how these two teams have faired against common opponents and they shared a lot of common opponents.
Overall, I think Portland probably gets the edge in this one due to the home field advantage. I think the Pilots will win this one, 2-1, possibly going to penalty kicks.
This is your UCLA men’s soccer at Portland Pilots NCAA game thread.