Feb. 12, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF men's soccer team opens its spring campaign with a pair of exhibition matches against Major League Soccer squads. The Golden Knights' schedule begins on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 9:30 a.m. against Real Salt Lake at the UCF Soccer Complex and continues on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. against Houston Dynamo at Disney Wide World of Sports.
"To play a team on the rise like Real Salt Lake provides a great opportunity for our players to showcase their talents against professional players," said UCF interim head coach Bryan Cunningham. "It's also a real honor to have a well-respected coach like John Ellinger come to our campus."
An expansion team in 2005, Real Salt Lake went 10-13-9 last season. Their roster features MLS stars like forwards Freddy Adu and Jeff Cunningham and defender Eddie Pope.
The Dynamo, formerly the San Jose Earthquakes, went 11-8-13 during their first season in Houston before taking home the MLS Cup.
"Being able to play the MLS champions is a great experience for our players," said Cunningham, who coached the Dynamo's Mike Samburksy at South Carolina. "The level of competition that these teams bring will only make us better."
The Golden Knights went 0-1-1 against MLS teams in the spring of 2006, tying the Chicago Fire in their opening match before falling to Real Salt Lake. Sophomore forward Tyler Davis (Safety Harbor, Fla./Berkley Prep) scored the lone goal against the Fire. Junior Brian Pope (Durham, N.H./Oyster River HS) and sophomore Marcus Rein (Scott Valley, Calif./Edison Academic Center) split goalkeeping duties in the games.
UCF is slated to play three other spring games, including match on Tuesday, Feb. 20 against Swedish team GAIS. GAIS will also play at the UCF Soccer Complex against Real Salt Lake on Tuesday, Feb. 13 beginning at noon.
Admission to the contests at UCF is free to the public. Parking is available in the North Parking garage at the corner of Gemini Blvd. and Orion Blvd. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.