Free-kick specialist Nakazawa leads Bruins

MEN'S NEWS ... Kyle Nakazawa is making an early case for Player of the Year honors with a torrid run for UCLA, which is again No. 2 in this week's Soccer America Men's Top 25. Once again this season, "Bend it like Naka" has been the refrain for Bruin fans.

The senior midfielder matched his previous season high with his seventh goal of the season -- all in the last six games -- on a free kick in the Bruins' 1-1 tie at Washington on Sunday afternoon.

Once considered one of the most promising players in the U.S. national youth team system, Nakazawa is coming off a back injury that limited him to eight starts in 2008.

Nakazawa, who had trained at Dutch club Ajax in 2001, first made a name for himself at the 2005 Under-17 World Cup, where he scored two goals to lead the USA to first place in its group, but he chose to attend UCLA instead of pursuing professional opportunities.

Free kicks have been Nakazawa's specialty. Both goals at the Under-17 World Cup -- against North Korea and Italy -- were on free kicks. He scored on a free kick to give UCLA a 1-0 win over New Mexico in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. And he scored on free kicks against both Oregon State and Washington on last weekend's trip to the Pacific Northwest.

* NAKAZAWA STREAK:
Sept. 10, UC Davis (4-0), goal
Sept. 17, Cal State Fullerton (2-1), assist
Sept. 25, San Diego (2-1), goal on penalty kick and assist
Sept. 27, UNLV (3-0) two goals
Oct. 2, Oregon State (3-1) two goals, one on free kick, and assist
Oct. 4, Washington (1-1) goal on free kick

Weekend Results

* GAME OF THE WEEKEND:
(Tommy Appel-Schumacher's goal for Towson from 45 yards just 95 seconds into the game set the tone for a wild match on Alumni Day.)
Oct. 3 in Philadelphia

Drexel 6 Towson 5 (OT). Goals: Assumpcao pen. 19, Goldberg (Assumpcao) 21, Assumpcao (Baker), 74, Baker 77, Goldberg 87, Page 106; Appel-Schumacher 2, Maloney 33, N. Bermudez Roa 66, Cabrales 69, Mangione 83.
Drexel -- Washam, Miller, Ermold, Rohlfsen, LeBourne, Assumpcao, Baker, Page, Goldberg, Johnson, Crose. Subs: Vignola, Sales, Olson, Crockett, Volpatti.
Towson -- Steele, Greatwich, Spivey, Horta, Hurkamp, Zecha, Mangione, O'Rourke, LeVine, Appel-Schumacher, Maloney. Subs: Nzokou, J. Bermudez-Roa, N. Bermudez-Roa, Froedert, Cabrales.
Referee: Hossam Saad.
Att.:
465.

Next story loading loading..