Los Angeles Soccer: Cal State Northridge
Sporting Kansas City on Monday signed supplemental draft pick Shawn Singh, boosting UCLA's presence in Major League Soccer and adding to the 53 local players already on rosters.
Singh, a left back from Bakersfield, is the fourth Bruin rookie in MLS this season, joining Philadelphia's Chandler Hoffman, Seattle's Andy Rose and New England's Kelyn Rowe.
Other local rookies: Cal State Northridge midfielder Rafael Garcia with the Galaxy, UC Riverside forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro with San Jose, UC Santa Barbara midfielders Luis Silva with Toronto FC and Sam Garza with San Jose.
Two new local signings -- Galaxy midfielder Jose Villarreal and Chivas USA midfielder Marvin Iraheta -- started the season sidelined by injury.
Here is a list of local players in MLS (with hometown/local high school in parentheses, with local college following):
The Galaxy went after local talent with three of their five selections in Tuesday's MLS Supplemental Draft, including a Cal State Northridge midfielder who impressed at the pre-draft combine.
Rafael Garcia (Canoga Park/Canoga Park HS) was taken at the end of the second round, 38th in the draft (and 76th overall, factoring in last week's SuperDraft), bolstering depth in the middle. Well, at least for the future.
“I think the challenge for these players is to make our roster,” said Galaxy head coach/general manager Bruce Arena, who nabbed San Diego forward/midfielder Stephen Posa and San Diego State right back Justin Davies in the fourth round. “I can't even look that far ahead to see if [any of them] are going to step on the field with our first team. The initial challenge is to make the roster.”
Arena took Bradley's Bryan Gaul, a 6-foot-5 forward-turned-defender, with his first pick, 19th overall, and Brazilian attacker Yuri Gorentzvaig, 21, who arrives from Flamengo system after spending the previous season with Corinthians.
Gaul, whose little sister, Alexa, is a U.S. youth international, scored 23 goals the past two seasons at Bradley, but he was used primarily in the back at the combine. That's where the Galaxy, in need of defensive cover, see his future.
“He's left-footed, can play center back or left back, and we're going to look at him in that position,” Arena said. “Hopefully he'll be able to adapt. He's a kid we think has a chance. That's why we drafted him.”
Garcia, just 5-6, is a defensive-oriented central midfielder who grew up a Galaxy fan. He was a four-year starter for the Matadors and a first-team All-Big West Conference selection in 2011.
They're the big names, but hardly the only ones, among local players aiming for an opportunity with a Major League Soccer team. There are nearly two dozen players who grew up or went to school in Greater Los Angeles hoping to hear their names called in Kansas City.
Some of them, let's be honest, don't have a shot, not with just two rounds of picks -- 38 in all. Next week's supplemental draft will provide possibilities, and players will be looking to participate in team combines and in trials during preseason training.
Some might look abroad -- there are leagues everywhere on the planet -- and there are two professional minor leagues (NASL, USL Pro) and several pro clubs in the Premier Development League and its rival NPSL.
Here's a quick rundown of 22 players who might find a job in MLS, if the right situation develops:
UCLA's Chandler Hoffman scored goals by the bunches on a quest to go home. Nadia Link netted nearly as many to take Long Beach State to unprecedented heights. Christian Ramirez dazzled for Concordia. And Fabiola da Silva prodded Cal Baptist to a national championship.
They're ESPN Los Angeles College Players of the Year after superb fall campaigns on local fields.
We selected men's and women's teams, one for players from 10 local NCAA Division I institutions and another for players from 24 NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA and unaffiliated schools.
Our coaches of the year in Division I are Junior Gonzalez, who led the remarkable turnaround by UC Riverside's men, and Tim Ward, whose Pepperdine women were a top-five team during the regular season. In the lower divisions, it's Ralph Perez, who took Redlands' men to 20 wins and NCAA Division III third-round berth, and Kristen St. Clair, who presided over a superb transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, with the Pacific West Conference title and National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association Division I national crown.
The freshmen of the year: Cal State Northridge's Edwin Rivas and UCLA's Abby Dahlkemper in D1, Cal Baptist's Michael Salazar and Cal Lutheran's Taylor Will in D2/D3/NAIA.
Here are our inaugural postseason all-star teams:
Four players looking to take UCLA to the NCAA men's soccer title next weekend have plans for next month. They're among 52 Division I college seniors invited to Major League Soccer's annual pre-draft Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The chosen Bruins are midfielders Eder Arreola and Andy Rose, defender Shawn Singh and goalkeeper Brian Rowe. Players from UC Irvine (forward Miguel Ibarra), Cal State Northridge (midfielder Rafael Garcia) and UC Santa Barbara (Luis Silva and James Kiffe) also are on the list announced Wednesday.
Two more UCLA players -- junior forward Chandler Hoffman and sophomore midfielder Kelyn Rowe -- would join the list if they sign Generation adidas contracts.
The Bruins meet North Carolina in an NCAA College Cup semifinal Friday night in Hoover, Ala. Three Tar Heels are on the combine list: defender Matt Hedges, midfielder Kirk Urso and forward Billy Schuler.
Creighton, which meets Charlotte in the other semifinal, received three invitations, for defender Andrew Duran, midfielder Greg Jordan and forward Ethan Finlay. No Charlotte player was invited.
The NCAA final is Sunday.
College all-conference teams are starting to show up, and several local players (and one coach) are winning awards.
All four players of the year in the Big West Conference are with local schools. Long Beach State's Nadia Link (Rowland Heights/Walnut HS) is the Offensive Player of the Year and Shawna Gordon (Rancho Cucamonga/Los Osos HS) is Midfielder of the Year.
All-American CoCo Goodson of UC Irvine is the Defensive Player of the Year, and Cal State Northridge's Cynthia Jacobo (Arleta/Granada Hills HS) is Goalkeeper of the Year.
West Coast Conference co-champion Pepperdine was honored with the conference's Coach of the Year, for Tim Ward, and Freshman of the Year, for Lynn Williams.
The Most Valuable Offensive Player in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, for NCAA Division II programs, is Cal State Dominguez Hills' Jessica Murphy (Torrance/West Torrance HS). Cal Poly Pomona's Christina Carriaga (Walnut/Walnut HS and Mt. San Antonio College) is the Newcomer of the Year.
In the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, for NCAA Division III schools, Cal Lutheran swept the top awards, with Sinead Vaughn (Simi Valley/Royal HS, Moorpark College and Cal State Northridge) voted Athlete of the Year and Taylor Will selected Newcomer of the Year.
Here are full lists from the Big West, WCC, CCAA and SCIAC:
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps did it again, prevailing at the finish against Redlands to claim the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III men's tournament.
The Stags (13-5-2), guided by original Galaxy captain Dan Calichman, outfired regular-season champion Redlands (18-3-1) in a penalty-kick shootout following a 1-1 draw on the road. It's the third straight year Claremont has beaten the Bulldogs in the SCIAC title game.
The teams traded goals 85 seconds apart midway through the second half, and Claremont stayed alive when goalkeeper Ricky Doar saved a penalty kick by Cody Carlson (Burbank/Burbank HS), after Daniel Price (Quartz Hill/Quartz Hill HS) was red-carded, with 2:40 remaining in overtime.
Matej Kustura scored for Redlands, which is No. 14 in the D3 rankings, in the 63rd minute. Eric Bean's header pulled the Stags even in the 64th.
Claremont had a 4-2 edge in the shootout, clinching when Jaison Kimura converted in the fourth couplet.
In other men's action:
- Cal Baptist (13-5-0) won a share of the Pacific West Conference title in its first season at the NCAA Division II level, clinching as Osvaldo Bastida (Anaheim/Katella HS) and Marc Hope scored second-half goals in a 3-1 victory over Dixie State (8-8-2). The Lancers, who went 10-2 to finish even with Hawaii Pacific in PacWest play, are still in their transition period and not eligible for the NCAA tournament, but they will play in the National Christian College Athletic Association tournament.
- Edgar Orozco (Santa Ana/Santa Ana HS, Corona HS and Golden West College) struck twice in the first 16 minutes and No. 13 Concordia (14-3-1) built a three-goal lead in the second half en route to a 4-2 romp over No. 10 Azusa Pacific (12-3-3) in a Golden State Athletic Conference tournament semifinal. UC Santa Barbara transfer Christian Ramirez (Garden Grove/La Quinta HS) had an assist hat trick for the Eagles, who will be home against Biola in the title game next Saturday.
- Cameroonian freshman Collins Egbe scored in the 84th minute and fifth-seeded Biola (12-5-2) topped No. 21 Fresno Pacific (12-6-0), the GSAC regular-season champ, in the tournament semifinals.
Miguel Ibarra's second-half goal Tuesday night carried UC Irvine past Cal Poly. Now the Anteaters must play a waiting game.
Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS) finished a feed from his former Taft College teammate Christian Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) in the 56th minute to give No. 14 UCI (14-5-1) a 1-0 victory in San Luis Obispo -- and a home assignment for next week's Big West Conference men's soccer tournament semifinals.
The Anteaters, who wrapped up their Big West campaign at 6-3-1, are four points above UC Davis (5-3) and No. 17 UC Santa Barbara (5-4) in the conference standings. The Gauchos can't catch UCI, but Davis has two games left -- and one victory and one tie Wednesday against last-place Cal State Fullerton and Saturday at UC Riverside -- would be enough to catch up.
Davis beat Irvine and would be the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament if they shared the regular-season title.
All four tournament berths were clinched Tuesday, thanks to Irvine's victory and UC Santa Barbara's 3-2 triumph at Cal State Northridge. The Gauchos and UC Riverside will join Irvine and Davis in Wednesday's semifinals.
CSUN and Cal Poly were eliminated from contention.
Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) scored twice, including a deflected shot that found the net with 19 seconds to go in overtime, to lift UC Santa Barbara.
Kopf scored in the 46th, 54th and 90th minutes to lead the 24th-ranked Anteaters (13-3-2), who went 6-1-1 in Big West play to edge Long Beach State by a point. UC Irvine will be home Wednesday against UC Davis in a conference tournament semifinal.
UCLA transfer Natalia Ledezma added a goal and two assists for UCI, which scored three goals in the first 8˝ minutes of the second half to turn a tight match into a rout.
Kopf's trio gives her 11 goals this season; Ledezma leads the Anteaters with 12.
UC Riverside closes its season at 8-9-2.
In other women's action:
- Nadia Link (Rowland Heights/Walnut HS) scored the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, then sent in a cross for Jazz Strozier (Ventura/Buena HS and Ventura College) to finish just 39 seconds later as Long Beach State pulled out a 4-2 victory over visiting Pacific. Link scored twice, her 13th and 14th goals of the season, as the 49ers (13-5-1) finished second in the Big West; they will meet Cal State Northridge in a conference tournament opener Wednesday.
- Sydney Leroux's 14th goal of the season arrived nearly eight minutes into overtime, lifting No. 6 UCLA (14-1-2) to a 1-0 Pacific 12 Conference victory at Utah.
- Ashley Freyer tallied in the 59th minute as USC (7-12-0) toppled host Colorado in a Pac-12 game, the Women of Troy's fourth win in their last five games.
- Lynn Williams and Laura Cole (Whittier/La Habra HS) scored 4˝ minutes apart late in the first half as No. 3 Pepperdine (14-1-4) bounced back from Friday's loss to Santa Clara with a 2-1 victory over Portland.
Cesar Diaz Pizarro struck with 2˝ minutes to play Friday night, and UC Riverside completed a comeback for a 3-2 men's soccer triumph at UC Irvine, its third victory this season over a nationally ranked opponent.
The triumph leaves the Highlanders (9-5-2), who have twice beaten UC Santa Barbara this season, in position to qualify for the Big West Conference tournament and took command of the league's title race from ninth-ranked Irvine (13-5-1) and gave it to second-place UC Davis.
UCR twice rallied from deficits, with Jose Diaz (Corona/Santiago HS) answering Cameron Iwasa's early goal and Humberto Santiago scoring in the 79th minute to pull the Highlanders even after Christian Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) provided a 2-1 edge to the Anteaters in the 68th.
Pizarro (Chino/Ayala HS) scored his team-best ninth goal -- and school-record eighth career winning goal -- in the 88th minute.
UCI remains atop the standings with 16 points from a 5-3-1 conference record, but UC Davis (5-3), one point behind, has two games remaining, one more than the Anteaters. UCR (4-3-2) and UC Santa Barbara (4-4) also are in the race.
In other men's action:
- Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) scored twice and assisted two more goals as UC Santa Barbara (11-5-1) held on for a 4-3 victory at Cal State Fullerton (7-6-4) to climb into fourth place, putting the Gauchos into position to qualify for the Big West tournament. UCSB finishes its regular season with games against Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly, its closest pursuers.
- Cal State Northridge (7-7-3) settled for its second successive scoreless draw, against visiting Cal Poly, and sits fifth, one spot outside a Big West tournament berth, with two games to go.
- Paul Islas tallied twice and Fresno Pacific held on for a 4-3 victory over Concordia (12-3-1), No. 8 in the NAIA rankings, in a showdown for the Golden State Athletic Conference title. Edgar Orozco (Santa Ana/Santa Ana HS, Corona HS and Golden West College) scored twice and added an assist for the Eagles.
Pepperdine's dream of an unbeaten season ended Friday night to a goal scored with just eight seconds to go in the first half.
No. 10 Santa Clara pulled out a 1-0 triumph over the third-ranked Waves, vaulting into the top spot in the West Coast Conference when Bridgett Miller (Los Angeles/Archer School for Girls) put away a deflected free kick in the Bay Area showdown.
Roxanne Barker (Irvine/Woodbridge HS) made two big saves to keep Pepperdine (13-1-4) level, but there were no answers for Miller's goal.
“[Santa Clara is] a good team, and, to their credit, they came out firing, and we came out flat,” Waves head coach Tim Ward told his school's athletics web site. “As poorly as we were playing in the first half, I thought we were going to come out with a 0-0 score at half, but, unfortunately,
it didn't happen.
“The second half, we played much better and had some excellent scoring opportunties.”
The best was a Myriah Stockman try off a corner kick in the 52nd minute that Broncos goalkeeper Bianca Henninger saved.
Santa Clara (12-1-5) is 5-0-1 in the WCC. The Waves, who are home Sunday against Portland, and San Diego are 5-1; BYU is 4-1-1.
The loss ended a program-record 18-game unbeaten streak for Pepperdine,
In other women´s action:
- Taylor Nelson (Garden Grove/Pacifica HS) and Nicole Sweetman (Oxnard/Oaks Christian HS and UCLA) scored goals three minutes apart early in the second half as Long Beach State (12-5-1) clinched a Big West Conference tournament berth and climbed within a point of first-place UC Irvine with one game to go with a 2-0 victory over visiting UC Davis.
- Sydney Leroux netted her second first-half hat trick in as many weeks and Jenna Richmond added two goals as sixth-ranked UCLA (13-1-2) romped to an 8-0 Pacific 12 Conference victory at Colorado.
- Lauren Mellano (Fullerton/Troy HS) scored 105 seconds into overtime as Cal State Fullerton (8-8-3) edged Pacific, 1-0, in Big West play. The Titans tied an NCAA record (set in 2005 by William & Mary) with their 11th overtime game of the season and are 4-4-3 in games with the extra period.
- USC (6-12-0) saw its three-game winning streak halted in a 3-0 Pac-12 loss at Utah.
A scoreless draw was enough to give UC Irvine command of the Big West Conference race.
The ninth-ranked Anteaters (13-4-1) held off a late Cal State Northridge push in the Valley to notch their seventh shutout of the season and improve to 5-2-1 in the Big West, giving them a one-point lead over UC Davis (5-3), which lost at UC Santa Barbara. The Matadors are 7-7-2.
UC Irvine has two games remaining -- Saturday at home against UC Riverside and Tuesday at Cal Poly -- and likely will need victories in both to claim the conference crown.
In other men´s action:
- Tim Pontius (Yorba Linda/Servite HS) scored twice to lead UC Santa Barbara (10-5-1) to a 3-1 win over UC Davis, knocking the Aggies to second place in the Big West.
- Cesar Diaz Pizarro (Chino/Ayala HS) scored in the 65th minute to give UC Riverside (8-5-3) a 1-1 Big West draw with visiting Cal State Fullerton (7-5-4). Oscar Aguero (Anaheim/Katella HS) tallied in the first half for the Titans.
- Gabe Ramirez (Pasadena/Crescenta Valley HS) set up goals by Evan Keny-Guyer and Richie Marquez (Pomona/Bloomington HS) as Redlands (16-3-0), the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, romped to a 3-1 victory at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (8-4-1).
Natalia Ledezma netted a hat trick and UC Irvine took a huge step toward successive Big West Conference regular-season titles Sunday afternoon, romping to a 4-0 victory in a first-place showdown at Cal State Northridge.
Ledezma (La Mirada/La Mirada HS), a sophomore transfer from UCLA, followed a third-minute own goal with strikes in the 11th, 66th and 77th minutes as the Anteaters (12-3-2) improved to 5-1-1 in the Big West. Ledezma, who netted the first hat trick for UCI in 15 years, has 11 goals this season.
Northridge (6-8-2), a surprise contender for the conference title, fell to 4-2-1 in conference play. UC Davis (4-1-1) and Long Beach State (4-2) also are in the battle for the conference title.
Irvine and Northridge each have one conference match remaining.
In other women's action:
- Laura Cole (Whittier/La Habra HS) and Amanda LeCave scored first-half goals as No. 4 Pepperdine (13-0-4) extended its unbeaten streak to 18 games with a 2-1 West Coast Conference victory at St. Mary's. The Waves are 5-0 in WCC play and stand two points in front of Santa Clara, which it faces Friday in the Bay Area.
- Chelsea Stewart scored in the 28th minute and fed Jenna Richmond for a goal in the 35th, and No. 7 UCLA (12-1-2) toppled visiting Arizona State, 2-0, in a Pacific 12 Conference clash.
- Elizabeth Eddy scored on a 60th-minute breakaway as USC (6-11-0) claimed its third straight Pac-12 victory, beating visiting Arizona, 1-0.
Big West Conference rivals Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside pulled off stunning upsets Saturday night, winning on the road against Southern California's most storied programs.
The Matadors rallied for a 3-2 nonconference triumph at eighth-ranked UCLA, and Riverside beat No. 16 UC Santa Barbara -- also by a 3-2 scoreline -- for the second time this season.
Northridge (7-7-1) halted the Bruins' second five-game winning streak of the campaign. Riverside (8-5-2) handed the Gauchos their second successive Big West loss, leaving the national power in danger of missing the conference and NCAA tournaments.
In Westwood, Jose Luis Garcia (Sun Valley/Poly HS) set up goals by Brian Behrad (Woodland Hills/Taft HS) in the 83rd minute and Edwin Rivas (Los Angeles/Santee Educational Complex) in the 87th as Northridge rallied from a late deficit.
Freshman Christian Gonzalez Diaz (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS) gave the Matadors a 34th-minute lead, but Chandler Hoffman netted his 12th and 13th goals of the season in the next 10 minutes to push UCLA (10-4-1) ahead.
In Santa Barbara, Cesar Diaz Pizzarro (Chino/Ayala HS) scored in the 72nd minute to lift Riverside (8-5-2), which climbed to third place in the Big West.
UC Santa Barbara (9-5-1) rallied twice from deficits, with Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) scoring his 10th goal of the year and setting up Sam Garza for another, but couldn't hold off the Highlanders.
Richie Osborne provided the first lead, about midway through the first half, and Jon-Paul Medina made it 2-1 in the 63rd.
In other men's action:
- Freshman Cameron Iwasa tallied three minutes into overtime to send Big West co-leader UC Irvine (13-4-0) to a 1-0 victory over Orange County rival Cal State Fullerton (7-5-3). Jimmy Turner (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS) played his 76th career game for the seventh-ranked Anteaters, fifth-most in program history.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cynthia Jacobo was Goalkeeper of the Year in the USL W-League last summer, anchoring the defense for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat, who might have soared to the championship had injuries not decimated their lineup. She's following up with a superb junior season at Cal State Northridge, and her exceptional play led the surprising Matadors -- Big West Conference co-leaders with UC Irvine -- to 1-0 victories over Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton.