UCLA’s Ellis, Leroux Lead U.S. Women’s Under-20 Team in Guatemala

UCLA and U.S. Under-20 Coach Jill Ellis and Bruin striker Sydney Leroux, named the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Golden Shoe and Golden Ball winner, lead a 20-player squad in an eight-team regional qualifying tournament in Guatemala for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup set for Germany.

The opening U.S. game against Jamaica can be seen live at 2:30 p.m. Thursday on Fox Soccer Channel or streaming (free) here (registration required). It’s the first time CONCACAF or any regional confederation has offered free live coverage of a youth tournament online.

Leroux, who had 23 goals for the Bruins last season, scored five goals in the U-20 World Cup, earning her the Golden Ball as tournament MVP and the Golden Shoe as top scorer. Leroux is the most capped player at the U-20 level on the qualifying roster, with a dozen goals in 16 games.

Also on the squad is Bruin midfielder Zakiya Bywaters.

More on the team and tournament here.

The U.S. also plays Trinidad & Tobago Saturday and Mexico Monday at the same time.

Three nations will qualify for the World Cup.

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Chivas USA Selects Akron’s Blair Gavin with Top Pick in MLS SuperDraft

i-e58ae092f84d991113351d246acd4777-gavingarber0002.jpgGavin, meet (MLS Commish Don) Garber. (Photo by Jose Argueta/MLS).

The midfielder from Kentucky had five goals and three assists for the Zips last season.

He was the 10th overall pick in today’s draft.

More info on Gavin is here.

In addition, the Philadelphia Union took UCLA freshman midfielder Amobi Okugo with the sixth pick overall and former UCLA Coach Sigi Schmid plucked Bruin forward David Estrada for his Seattle Sounders with the 11th overall pick.

The No. 1 pick: 6-foot-2 Danny Mwanga, 18, who scored 14 goals and had two assists in 18 games for Oregon State last season and was named Pac-10 Player of the Year.

Tweeted Galaxy striker Alecko Eskandarian: “Congrats and welcome to the #1 Pick Club, Mr. Danny Mwanga. U will love playing for Peter Nowak.”

Updated: In addition, Chivas USA defender Ante Jazic was among 17 players selected for a Canadian National team camp that begins Monday and ends Feb. 1 in Florida. Canada plays Jamaica in a friendly Jan. 31.

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Palos Verdes Estates’ Press Propels Stanford to College Cup Final Over UCLA

i-351350fba595b16a15675a3468121498-pressstanford.jpgStanford’s Christen Press celebrates her game-winning goal Friday in overtime against UCLA. (AP Photo)

Christen Press scored in overtime Friday to send unbeaten Stanford through to the College Cup final Sunday after beating UCLA, 2-1.

The Cardinal and Press will face North Carolina and Rolling Hills Estates’ Whitney Engen. The Tar Heels disposed of Notre Dame Friday

The game kicks off at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.

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Palos Verdes Estates’ Nakazawa Creates UCLA Winner Over UCSB, Sends Bruins Through to NCAA Quarterfinals

Goalkeeper Brian Perk also made two big second half saves in the 2-1 come from behind win Sunday at Drake Stadium.

Notable: The game was a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Championship – won by UC Santa Barbara.

Quotable:

“We have a pretty big core of seniors on our team, and it was in the back of our heads tonight,” said playmaker Kyle Nakazawa. “It is a bit of redemption … with a way better ending.”

Next: No. 6 seed UCLA (12-3-4) faces No. 3 seed Wake Forest (16-3-3) Saturday in Winston-Salem.

Game story.

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Loyola Marymount Crashes Out of NCAA Tournament at First Hurdle

The 2-1 overtime loss this afternoon means victor Sacramento State, making their first tournament appearance, plays UCLA at 5 p.m. Sunday at Drake Stadium (in a game masterfully scheduled against the Galaxy’s MLS Cup appearance).

In a good omen for next season, however, LMU will return 14 of the 19 players who suited up in the NCAA Tournament game.

Game details here.

From the Sac State press release:

Sacramento State heads into the match with the Bruins, who are 10-3-4 and ranked No. 8 in the latest NSCAA/Adidas coaches poll, riding a 10 match unbeaten streak. Sacramento State is 8-0-2 since a 2-1 loss at San Jose State on October 8. In the last NSCAA Far West region poll, published Nov. 10, UCLA was ranked third, while the Hornets were ranked eighth.

Winners of the Pac-10 title for the second straight year, UCLA is making its 27th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, having won the national title four times (1985, 1990, 1997, and 2002). They have advanced to the College Cup 12 times, with their most recent trip coming in 2006. The Bruins were members of the MPSF along with the Hornets from 1992-1999, and posted a perfect 4-0-0 record against Sacramento State. The last meeting between the two clubs came in 1998 at Hornet Soccer Field, a 3-0 victory for UCLA.

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Men’s NCAA Tournament Games Announced

Bracket.

Loyola Marymount’s fate from the West Coast Conference press release:

Loyola Marymount, which was ranked No. 15 in the most recently published NCAA Ratings Percentage Index, will be returning to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in school history. The Lions finished third in the WCC with a 10-8-2 overall record, marking Head Coach Paul Krumpe’s fifth 10-plus victory season. The Lions will host Sacramento State (11-5-3) on Thursday, the official start date of first round play. The match start time is still to be determined. The winner of that match will move on to face No. 6 seed UCLA (10-3-4) at Drake Stadium on Sunday, November 22 at 5 PM.

Sacramento State is making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Said UCLA Coach Jorge Salcedo:

“We’re excited to be a Top 8 seed in this year’s tournament. Regardless of your seed or where you end the season, it’s the beginning of a new season, and whichever team we play will be a very tough, challenging match. Both LMU and Sac State had good conference seasons. LMU has proven to be able to go on the road and win big games, and Sac State winning the MPSF conference has proven their quality as well.”

The Bruins, winners of back-to-back Pac-10 titles, extended their streak of NCAA Tournament appearances to 27 years.

Tickets to the Nov. 22 game are $9 adults and $7 students/youth.

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