Rarely has a NCAA Division I Men's Tournament game put together such as assemblance of talent as Friday's Men's College Cup semifinal between Virginia and UCLA, two of the giants of the modern college game. They feature some of the most intriguing young players in the college game. For Virginia, there's the giant Malian-born center back Bakary Soumare, Dallas Texans star Jonathan Villanueva and his fellow playmaker, Nico Colaluca, who learned his soccer in the Colombian community of working-class Pawtucket, R.I. UCLA is loaded with former U.S. U-17 stars, notably Kyle Nakazawa, but the Bruins have a gem in Sal Zizzo, born to Sicilian immigrants and wasn't part of the national youth scene until he gave up his career as a prep baseball star. Here's a look at all the Virginia and UCLA probables with their 2006 stats (G-A-P).
MEN'S COLLEGE CUP PREVIEWS:
Wake Forest-UC Santa Barbara
WOMEN'S COLLEGE CUP PREVIEWS:
Notre Dame-Florida State
1 RYAN BURKE (Sr. Cumberland Foreside, Maine) 0.82 GAA
Plays bigger than his size (6-foot-1).
3 MATT POOLE (Soph., Reston, Va.) 0-1-1
Started last two seasons after red-shirting in 2004.
4 BAKARY SOUMARE (Fr., New York, N.Y.) 0-0-0
Malian-born center back has big upside.
15 ZOLA SHORT (Jr., Arlington, Va.) 0-1-1
Likes to go forward down left flank.
24 MATT WILLIAMS (Jr., Richmond, Va.) 0-0-0
Started every game in 2006 after playing only one game previously.
6 IAN HOLDER (Sr., Norfolk, Va.) 3-2-8
Ball-winner sometimes speaks French with young Soumare during game.
8 NICO COLALUCA (Jr., Coventry, R.I.) 7-10-24
Product had working-class Rhode Island has matured in 2006.
10 JONATHAN VILLANUEVA (Fr., Grand Prairie, Texas) 3-5-11
Had extended tryout with Ajax youth team during summer.
17 DANE MURPHY (Jr., Redding, Conn.) 1-2-4
Only goal won game against St. Francis (Pa.) in overtime.
9 ADAM CRISTMAN (Sr., Glen Allen, Va.) 10-5-25
Two goals in quarterfinals against Notre Dame gave him career-high 10 goals.
11 YANNICK REYERING (Soph., Germany) 12-8-32
Stands 6-foot-6 buy but is quite dangerous on the ball.
Jeremy Barlow (Jr., Herndon, Va.) was the 2004 ACC Tournament MVP and led Cavs in assists in 2005. Sean Hinkle (Jr, Fredericksburg, Va.) has made four starts in 2006. Chris Tierney (Jr., Wellesley, Mass.) is third among the reserves in minutes played (346).
22 ERIC REED (Sr., Mission Viejo, Calif.) 1.12 GAA
Was a first-team All-Pac-10 pick in goal as a junior.
3 BRAD RUSIN (Soph., Holmes Beach, Fla.) 0-0-0
The 6-foot-4 defender is a product of the IMG Soccer Academy.
5 MIKE ZAHER (Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.) 2-3-7
One of the best players to ever come out of Nevada.
16 GREG FOLK (Jr., Woodland Hills) 1-2-4
One of many Bruins with plenty of international experience.
17 KIEL MCCLUNG (Sr., Palmdale, Calif.) 1-2-4
Former prep attacking standout has found home at right back.
2 JASON LEOPOLDO (Soph., Thousand Oaks, Calif.) 7-4-18
Very dangerous player on the left wing.
8 SAL ZIZZO (Soph., San Diego, Calif.) 7-9-23
No player's stock has risen as much as this former prep baseball star.
9 TONY BELTRAN (Soph. Claremont, Calif.) 0-0-0
Bruins took off when St. John's transfer returned from ankle injury.
13 MICHAEL STEPHENS (Fr., Naperville, Ill.) 1-3-5
Product of Sockers FC and U.S. U-17 residency program.
10 KYLE NAKAZAWA (Fr., Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) 4-7-15
Former U-17 star spurned pro offers to play for Bruins.
24 DAVID ESTRADA (Fr., Salinas, Calif.) 10-4-24
Big surprise leads UCLA in scoring with 10 goals.
Chance Myers (Fr., Thousand Oaks, Calif.) was only player off the bench in the quarterfinal win over Duke. James Jaramillo (Fr., Orem, Utah) skipped his senior prep season to enroll early at UCLA. Backup keeper Brian Perk (Fr., Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) has played with U-17s and U-20s.