HOW ACQUIRED: Selected in the second round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft
COACHES' BREAKDOWN: A big, strong central defender, Joe Sofia, in the estimation of one coach, "made UCLA a better team" when he was on the field. Wickedly smart and "a really good young man," Sofia understands the game well and knows how to organize people, and has a long throw-in that can cause opposing defenses fits. That said, he'll need to answer lots of questions to prove he has what it takes to hack it at the MLS level. Despite his size and strength, he lacks pace and athleticism. His passing out of the back is suspect at times, and though he has moments where he can be strong on defense, they are interspersed with moments when he is a massive defensive liability. Perhaps his biggest criticism is that he has plateaued, and maybe even regressed, since his sophomore year (though some coaches think it may be due to Sofia's commitment to doing well in school). For the most part, you know what Sofia will give you: A big body with a simple, solid game. "A good college player," one coach says. "An above average college player. That's it."
COLLEGE: 2013: Honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection ... team captain ... Pac-12 Men's Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year ... Senior CLASS Award finalist ... earned first-team Capital One Academic All-America and All-District honors for the second year in a row ... first-team Pac-12 All-Academic selection for the third straight year ... first-team NSCAA Scholar All-West Region selection ... played in 19 matches (all at center back), making 18 starts ... led the Bruins to seven shutouts on the year while scoring one goal ... scored his only goal of the season against Elon in the NCAA Second Round on Nov. 24 ... led the team's position players in minutes played with 1,714... 2012: Second-team All-Pac-12 selection ... Earned first-team Pac-12 All-Academic honors for the second consecutive year ... Also earned first-team Capital One Academic All-America and All-District honors ... Recorded a single-season best four assists and two goals... Helped lead UCLA to six shutouts in 19 games ... Started all 19 games and led the team in minutes with 1,789... 2011: Honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection ... First-team Pac-12 All-Academic ... Starter in all 24 games, recording one goal and one assist ... Defensively, helped lead UCLA to 12 shutouts, the third-highest total in school history, including a school-record tying eight in a row... 2010: First-team All-Rookie selection by Top Drawer Soccer ... Second-team All-Freshman pick by Goal.com ... Started in 19 of 20 games played ... Had three assists off long throw-ins ... Central defender who helped lead the Bruins to nine shutouts, the team's most since 2005.
High School/Club -- Two-time adidas ESP All-Star (2008, 2009) ... Captained the 2008 adidas ESP Championship Team and 2009 adidas ESP Finalist Team ... Recognized by ESPN Rise Magazine as one of the Top 5 Defenders attending the 2008 ESP event ... No. 20 on Top Drawer Soccer's National Top 100 Players for the 2010 class ... NSCAA/adidas Region IV All American in 2008 ... Three year participant in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Program, competing with the Irvine Strikers and serving as team captain since 2006 ... Member of the Irvine Strikers U14 U.S. Club Soccer National Championship Team in 2006 ... Named to the U.S.S.F. Development Academy Starting XI - Southern California Conference in 2008 ... Traveled and played with UCLA teammates Kelyn Rowe and Patrick Matchett on the 2009 U.S.F.C. Super Elite Discover Europe Showcase Team ... Played his freshman year at Mission Viejo HS and earned all-league honors ... Recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award.
Personal -- Describes his biggest athletic thrills as playing alongside Zinedine Zidane in the 2009 adidas ESP All Star game and achieving his long-time dream of competing for UCLA ... Graduated from Mission Viejo HS in the Top 3% of his class ... Hobbies are fishing, body boarding, and going to the beach ... Parents: Joseph and Pamela ... Has a younger brother, Evan ... Mother Pamela is a UCLA graduate, and cousin Brian Brown was a member of two NCAA Men's Water Polo Championship squads for UCLA in 1999 and 2000 ... Full name is Joseph Anthony Sofia Jr. ... Born October 8, 1991 in Mission Viejo, CA ... Communications major.