Blushing Rose: UCLA midfielder Andy Rose missed UCLA’s first penalty kick in a shootout Friday and North Carolina marched into the College Cup final Sunday (AP Photo).
*It was a noble effort, but after twice taking the lead against top-ranked North Carolina Friday UCLA lost their nerve and the semifinal, yielding to the Tar Heels in the crap shoot of penalty kicks and denying them the chance to meet similar underdogs Charlotte Sunday in the championship game.
UCLA never really gave themselves a chance in the shootout, missing their first two PK’s and sealing their fate.
I watched the game in my local watering hole with a couple of fellow soccer fans (there’s something to be said for sitting there watching a game with an excellent porter in your hand rather than a laptop in a press box) and I’ll say this much: I agree with UCLA Coach Jorge Salcedo that it was an fun game to see, even if the result wasn’t what he wanted.
And I very much doubt we’ve seen the last of UCLA goalkeeper Brian Rowe who kept the Bruins in the game on several occasions with supurb stops. He was credited with nine saves.
*The other must-see game this weekend is the biggest one of the European season so far: Real Madrid-Barcelona at 1 p.m. on ESPND, ESPN Deportes and GolTV. There’s a nasty subtext to this game.