Los Angeles Soccer: David Paul
UC Irvine's Amani Walker and local products Hector Jimenez and Davis Paul from Pac-10 champion Cal are among 54 college seniors who have been invited to Major League Soccer's annual pre-draft combine Jan. 7-11 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Walker led the Anteaters (14-3-3) with 11 goals, scoring 48 in four years at Irvine. He led the USL Premier Development League's Southwest Division with 12 goals for Orange County Blue Star last summer.
Paul, from Upland, led Cal with eight goals and 14 assists, and Jimenez, from Bell Gardens, contributed two goals and six assists and totaled 28 assists in four seasons.
In all, five players with local ties were invited. Here's a full list (with hometown, local high school or previous college and with youth club affiliation in parentheses):
D Michael Boxall (UC Santa Barbara), Auckland, New Zealand
M Michael Farfan (North Carolina), Wildomar/Cal State Fullerton (La Jolla Nomads)
M Hector Jimenez (California), Bell Gardens/Bell Gardens HS (Arsenal FC
F Davis Paul (California), Upland/Damien HS (Arsenal FC)
F Amani Walker (UC Irvine), San Diego (San Diego Surf)
The junior midfielder with extensive U.S. youth national team experience, tapped home from close range after a long throw-in just eight seconds before the end of overtime to lift UCLA past visiting Dartmouth, 2-1, and into the NCAA Division I men's quarterfinals.
The Bruins (15-4-1) will play Saturday at top-ranked Louisville (18-0-3), with the winner advancing to the College Cup final four Dec. 10 and 12 at UC Santa Barbara.
Arreola (Chino Hills/Chino Hills HS), whose blast to the upper-right corner gave the Bruins (16-4-1) a 26th-minute lead, had scored only once in the first 19 games of the season.
“It's unreal,” Arreola told UCLA's athletics website after a throw-in into the Dartmouth box by freshman Joe Sofia (Dove Canyon/Mission Viejo HS) was headed onto his path by a Big Green defender. “Words cannot describe this feeling right now. It's a dream come true. I've been waiting for this day when I could score at Drake Stadium, and today I was able to score for the team and help us get to the next round.”
Eight more seconds, and the game would have been decided on penalty kicks.