NCAA weekend preview: College vs. MLS

UCLA take on Chivas USA, SMU visit Dynamo on Saturday

While college soccer is still far from the upcoming season, student athletes across the nation have been working and training to stay in shape for an abbreviated spring schedule.

With some high school seniors graduating early, this weekend will provide a first glimpse at some of the new faces around the top programs.

A handful of teams will be in action over the coming weekend, with a Carolina rivalry starting things off when Duke and North Carolina meet at the WRAL Soccer Complex Thursday evening (7:30 p.m. ET).

Assistant coaches Carlos Somoano and Jeff Negahla will lead UNC, who remain without a coach after Elmar Bolowich resigned to take over at Creighton.

Friday evening, another ACC side takes to the field as Wake Forest play against North American Soccer League side Carolina Railhawks, who are in the early stages of preseason preparation.

Two ACC teams will also be involved in a scrimmage/tournament. Maryland and Virginia travel to Richmond on Saturday, where they’ll play a total of three 45-minute games against each other before also playing against UM-Baltimore County and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The most intriguing match coming up is out West as a young and talented UCLA Bruins play against Chivas USA on Saturday. The Rojiblancos will be looking to continue preparations for the opening of MLS, while the Bruins can only hope to beat another professional team (they defeated USL side LA Blues back in early February).

Houston Dynamo will also lineup against a college side as Southern Methodist University visit Houston for a Saturday matchup. The Mustangs fell in the quarterfinals of last fall’s NCAA Tournament.