With the national championship game a month behind it, the UCSB men’s soccer team continued to reap the benefits of its most successful season in school history on Friday.
Senior defender Tony Lochhead was selected in the third round of the draft by the New England Revolution. Lochhead, the draft’s 33rd overall pick, made this the third straight year in which a Gaucho has been selected in the draft.
UCSB midfielders Memo Arzate and David McGill were both selected in the 2004 draft by the Los Angeles Galaxy, while forward Rob Friend was the sixth pick of the Chicago Fire in 2003.
Like Friend, who currently plays in Norway’s first division, Lochhead is expected to opt for a contract with a European team. UCSB had three players on the final selection list for the draft: Lochhead and seniors forward Drew McAthy and goalkeeper Danny Kennedy. Neither Kennedy nor McAthy were selected, but both are also looking into joining European teams.
“We’re a little disappointed, but at the same time the MLS is expanding their rosters this year and there are two new teams, so it’s a great time to be coming out of college and trying to make a team,” UCSB Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “Even though we’re disappointed, I think [McAthy] is going to get an opportunity to play overseas and [Kennedy] will have a good opportunity to go into one of the [MLS] camps and make a team.”
The Gauchos’ weekend was topped off when Vom Steeg was named the NSCAA/addidas Regional Division I men’s National Coach of the Year. Vom Steeg was in competition with the eight regional Coaches of the Year, as well as the head coaches of the three other College Cup teams.
“We’ll see what happens, but in general, winning this award helps you in recruiting players,” Vom Steeg said. “Then when it comes to campus, it will allow us to maybe have more visibility on campus and in the community and certainly at the national level.”
This season, Vom Steeg led UCSB to its best record in school history as well as its first appearance in the College Cup and national championship game. Assistant Coach Leo Chappel was nominated for the NSCAA National Assistant Coach of the Year award but lost out to Duke’s Mike Jacobs.