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NCAA Dec 21, 2022

UCLA solidifies No. 2 ranked men’s soccer recruiting class for 2023

LOS ANGELES – UCLA men’s soccer head coach Ryan Jorden announced the program’s newest recruiting class, a group of five players from the academy ranks which will join the team for the 2023-24 school year.

UCLA’s incoming group has been tabbed No. 2 nationally in TopDrawerSoccer’s most-recent college recruit class rankings. It marks the second top-five class for the program in the last three seasons.

By position, the incoming group features one forward, one winger, one midfielder, one defender, and one goalkeeper.

“In this class, we have added five players that can have an impact in every line of our team,” said Jorden. “Each of these players have top individual football qualities, and are also fantastic personalities and people. We are very excited to add them to our teamroom.”

The 2023 UCLA men’s soccer recruiting class consists of forward Jacob Diaz (LAFC Academy), midfielder Bryan Moyado (LAFC Academy), goalkeeper Wyatt Nelson (Seattle Sounders Academy), defender Mateo Pinilla (Houston Dynamo Academy), and winger Sam Scott (Solar SC)

Below are capsules on all five of the incoming Bruins, featuring bios of their amateur soccer careers as well as a short scouting report from Coach Jorden.

Jacob Diaz – Forward – Torrance, Calif. – LAFC Academy (South Torrance HS)

Bio: Played club soccer in the LAFC Academy … Was the club’s top scorer at the U17 level during the 2021-22 season … Played in the 2022 MLS Next Cup playoffs.

Jorden’s Scouting Report: “‘Jacob works hard on both sides of the ball and his goal-scoring instincts, left-footedness, and ability to play in all three front positions are assets that will translate to college soccer. He has very good athletic qualities, has consistently played in top games, and his team has been one of the very best in MLS Next the past two years.”

Bryan Moyado – Midfielder – La Puente, Calif. – LAFC Academy (Bassett HS)

Bio: Central midfielder for the LAFC Academy … Top-ranked player from his class in the Southern California region … Nationally, is the No. 13-ranked midfielder and No. 28 player overall in the IMG Academy 150 … Has received multiple call-ups to the United States Youth National Team camps, at both the U17 and U19 levels … Was named MVP of the MLS Next league for the 2021-22 season … Invited to play in the 2022 MLS Next All-Star Game … Named to TopDrawer’s Best XI for the 2022 Generation adidas Cup.

Jorden’s Scouting Report: “‘Bryan has tremendous energy and desire to work on the defending side of the game for his team. That trait, in conjunction with top technical quality and great tactical insight, all help his team dictate possession.”

Wyatt Nelson – Goalkeeper – Seattle, Wash. – Seattle Sounders Academy (Roosevelt HS)

Bio: Goalie in the Seattle Sounders system, playing for the academy and second team while spending time training with the first team … Helped the Sounders U17s win the 2022 Generation adidas Cup … Named to the Best XI at the Generation adidas Cup … Has been called up to United States Youth National Team training camps at the U19 level … Is the No. 3-rated player from his class in the Pacific Northwest Region … Nationally, is ranked the No. 5 goalkeeper and No. 38 player overall in the IMG Academy 150.

Jorden’s Scouting Report: “‘With top athletic giftedness and a calm and competitive demeanor, his strong technical and tactical foundation will translate to college soccer.”

Mateo Pinilla – Defender – Houston, Texas – Houston Dynamo Academy (Acellus Academy)

Bio: Central defender for the Houston Dynamo Academy … Has been called into U19 United States Youth National Team camps … Listed as Houston’s “top homegrown prospect” by TopDrawer … Invited to the USYNT U19’s trip to Spain in spring 2022, playing in friendlies against Norway and England … Listed as the No. 3 player from his class in the state of Texas … Nationally, is the No. 5 defender and No. 22 player overall in the IMG Academy 150.

Jorden’s Scouting Report: “Mateo has a very high technical quality and scope in his passing, which will allow for him to control possession and manipulate opposition pressing. He has also has very good tactical instincts. His calm demeanor is a huge asset in a position that requires clarity and organization, and his competitive personality will have a positive impact in college.”

Desmond “Sam” Scott – Forward – Frisco, Texas – Solar SC Academy (Rick Reedy HS)

Bio: Winger/forward at Solar SC Academy, based in Dallas, Texas.

Jorden’s Scouting Report: “‘Sam has top athletic qualities, and his sheer pace can expose spaces in the game, which asks questions of and causes problems for opposing defenses. His tactical attacking insight and technical quality for providing chances and scoring goals are very good. He is constantly willing to work defensively for his team, and has had some of his best performances in the biggest games.”

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