Feb. 29, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - After signing six players from the state of California earlier this month, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer program has added four more high school seniors to complete its recruiting class for 2008, head coach Tim Vom Steeg announced Friday.
Continuing to recruit standouts from abroad, UCSB has signed forward Reid Fraser (Victoria, B.C./Oak Bay Secondary) to a National Letter of Intent. In addition, one player from Texas and two from the Pacific Northwest have committed to wear the blue and gold next season. Christian Dahlskog (Flower Mound, Tex./Marcus HS), Michael David (Tacoma, Wash./Gig Harbor HS), and Taylor Thompson (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lakeridge HS) will join the Gauchos this fall, completing one of the largest and most talented classes in program history.
"To compete at a national level a program must be able to go anywhere in the country or even outside the country to fulfill your needs," Vom Steeg said. "I feel that our coaching staff has done an excellent job of identifying top-notch talent and putting in the time and effort to get quality players here at UCSB."
Fraser comes to Santa Barbara after leading Oak Bay Secondary in goals scored each of the last three seasons. A three-year letterwinner in high school, Fraser also trained with Sheffield Wednesday F.C.'s youth squad in the English Championship League and became the youngest Canadian player to be offered a professional contract with a European club since Owen Hargreaves joined FC Bayern Munich at the age of 16. The striker declined the offer, opting to pursue a college education and signed with UCSB this week. Listed at 6-foot-5 and very athletic for his size, Fraser's game resembles that of fellow Canadian Rob Friend - Santa Barbara's all-time single season scoring leader and soon-to-be member of the Gaucho Hall of Fame. Fraser is said to have all the tools necessary to develop into one of the premiere players in college soccer.
Dahlskog will join the Gauchos this fall on the heels of an extremely successful careers at Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Tex., where he helped guide the Marauder's to a No. 1 national ranking from the NSCAA after MHS finished with a record of 32-0-0 in 2008. The team also set a state record for most consecutive victories one year after winning the 5A State Championship in 2007. A native of Falsterbo, Sweden, Dahlskog competed for club teams in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland in addition to spending three years with FC Dallas. Extremely physical for a high school recruit, Dahlskog has a great understanding of the game and will likely step in and help UCSB right away.
UCSB has also signed David, a teammate of former Gaucho Ciaran O'Brien with the Tacoma Tide in the USL's Premier Development League in 2007. A very versatile player, David finished fourth on the team in scoring with two goals and two assists in just six games last season. Explosive on the ball, he can play either in the midfield or up front and is noted for his ability to play way beyond his years.
Lastly, Thompson will join Santa Barbara in 2008 competing at the highest levels in the state of Oregon. A four-year letterwinner at Lakeridge High School, Thompson guided the Pacers to a state championship in 2004 and captained the team as both a junior and senior. At the club level he led the ESUFC Eagles to a state title in 2007 and competed on the Oregon ODP squad. A physical defender much like Greg Curry, Thompson has good feet, goes hard to the ball, and plays at an extremely high level. He was also recruited by national finalist Ohio State before choosing UCSB.
These four recruits join an already impressive list that features U.S. Youth National Team players Bryan Dominguez and Danny Barrera and local standouts Vincent Alvarez and Michael Tetteh, to name a few. In all, the Gauchos now have a total of 12 players who have committed to wear the blue and gold next season and with 13 letterwinners returning from last year's squad, UCSB is sure to be the favorites to win the Big West again in 2008.
"With this last group of players we certainly feel that we have assembled one of the top overall recruiting classes in the country," Vom Steeg said. "The talent level among these four recruits alone will help us continue to compete for the Big West Championship and hopefully earn another seed in the NCAA Tournament."