Kick Start


By Wendy Soderburg '82

Published Oct 1, 2008 8:01 AM

Midfielder Kyle Nakazawa.

Earlier this year, UCLA's Chance Myers and Tony Beltran entered the pro ranks as the No. 1 and No. 3 picks in MLS's SuperDraft. And in August, three former Bruins — Marvell Wynne, Benny Feilhaber and Patrick Ianni — represented the United States on the 2008 Olympic team in Beijing.

One of MLS's most famous faces is Cobi Jones, a walk-on at UCLA in 1988 who went on to great pro success as an MLS pioneer and as a star with the Galaxy. Now an assistant coach for the Galaxy, Jones recalls how UCLA was always his first choice, even though he entered without an athletic scholarship.

"Out of all the schools I had been accepted to, UCLA gave me the opportunity to get a high-level education as well as a high level of soccer," Jones says. "Education was pretty important in my household, with my mom being a teacher and my dad being a Ph.D. in chemistry."

Freshman Eder Arreola.

The winningest coach in UCLA soccer history, Sigi Schmid '76, is now head coach of the MLS's Columbus Crew. As the Bruins' head coach for 19 years, from 1980-1998, Schmid led the Bruins to a 322-63-33 record, 16 consecutive postseason appearances and three national titles (1985, 1990 and 1997). Despite the pressures, Schmid remembers it all with extreme fondness.

"I wish Jorge all the success possible. UCLA has a very talented team, and he will know how to get the optimum performance out of them," Schmid says. "UCLA always has a chance to win a national title. That has been in programs past starting with Coach Dennis Storer, and it continues with Coach Salcedo.

"All I can say is, Go Bruins! You have a big fan here in Columbus."