Thanks to a live stream and ESPN 360 I had the pleasure of experiencing a restful soccer Sabbath with Indiana v. San Diego St and UCLA v. Maryland. I missed the first half of the IU game but here's the post-game scoreboard:
Now I'm not one to give the scoreboard's stats too much credit but I would like to point out the 19-2 corner kick stat. IU was clearly better than SDSU today but SDSU smartly packed the box and the Hoosiers couldn't offer too much variety in their attack. They crowd the middle of the field and leave the wings underutilized, which is somewhat understandable as their service is below average (typically balls are sent in too low and not with great accuracy). Here's an example of the Hoosiers' crowdedness:
(Apparently they played two ten minute golden goal halves without penalty kicks for whatever reason but more of the same.)
If I had to rank the four programs... wolf. Something like UCLA, Maryland, IU, [big gap] SDSU. Maryland is a very strong team that will transfer well to the MLS or wherever they go but UCLA looks more technically sound and will likely out possess most of their opponents this season. And UCLA has Earl Edwards, "the latest in a line of standout U.S. goalkeepers". He also sat the bench last season. IU plays with a real blue collar aggressiveness (that awarded them 19 corners in 90 minutes of play) I really appreciate that sort of game play but creatively they're lacking (as seen above). Defensively I think there are some question marks as well but nothing to dread over. SDSU seem to be coached very well but show no offensive attack whatsoever. Of all the teams Eriq Zavaleta definitely stood at the most. A hard-fighting striker that has the physicality to make a push at the next level.
Oh and some dudes are going to play Jamaica or something.
Soon to be review of "The Two Escobars".