Determined to pick up right where they left off, the UCSB men’s soccer coaching staff landed 10 top-of-the-line recruits this past week to strengthen its Sweet 16 team from the fall 2004 roster that finished #12 in the nation.
At the top of the recruiting class will be three players who should grace the front line of the Gauchos scoring attack next year. Jonathan Davis, a sleek transfer from a North Carolina team one year removed from a national championship, has the Gaucho coaching staff licking their lips.
“Our attack needed a burst of speed. We’ve been trying for the last couple of years to get a player with breakaway speed, and this year we got three players that can do that,” UCSB Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said.
Those three players include Davis, Trey Meek and Andrew Proctor. Meek will transfer to Santa Barbara from the University of Indiana, last year’s NCAA champion. Meek saw limited action last year, but not for his own deficiencies. Meek played behind one of the top players in the country and will be a great asset to an already lethal Gaucho attack.
Proctor was a member of the Canadian U-17 national team and will enter as a freshman. Meek and Davis will enter as juniors, but should nonetheless make an impact on next year’s team. With exceptional speed and international experience, Proctor could challenge fellow Canadian Rob Friend’s place in the UCSB record books before he’s done.
A pressing issue the Gauchos need to address is the loss of their entire midfield.
“We lost [Matt] Kubota, [Dave] McGill and Memo [Arzate], and we feel like there’s not a better player than [Ivan] Becerra, and Tyler Rosenlund will see a lot of minutes in the middle of the field,” Vom Steeg said.
Becerra, an NSCAA Junior College All-American in 2003, totaled 34 goals and 19 assists in his two seasons at Mission College and was the best player in the state of California according to Vom Steeg.
The Gauchos are also elated about their trio of SoCal freshmen. Santa Barbara landed Chuck Anderson, Brennan Tennelle and Matt Williams. Tennelle and Anderson will be very familiar with each other’s style, as they played together for one of the top club teams in California, the San Diego Surf, in high school.
While this recruiting class might be one of the best in the nation, Vom Steeg is not sure that it’s the best in Gaucho history.
“This upcoming senior class has had a great run, but it’s tough to say until you see the results,” Vom Steeg said.