Gaucho Recruiting Class Ranked Seventh, Team Ranked Fourth in Recent Preseason Poll

Aug. 23, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - College Soccer News has released its annual rankings of the Top 40 Recruiting Classes and has the UCSB men's soccer newcomers ranked seventh nationally. Additionally, the Gauchos were ranked No. 4 by TopDrawerSoccer.com in the website's Men's Tournament 48 Ranking, which was released today.

According to College Soccer News:

"The Gauchos needed help up-top due to the graduation of David Walker and in the back due to the graduation of Martin Hedevag. The help up top comes from Sam Garza, who is a transfer from Denver, and Gabby Okito, who is a transfer from Yavapai College. Freshman forward David Opoku, who Tim Vom Steeg describes as "a real key ingredient to what we are trying to do" adds another dimension to the UCSB offense. Yavapai College transfers Chris Hunter and Evan McNeil, who enrolled in January, will strengthen the Gauchos on the defensive side of the ball. Junior midfielder Christian Vazquez, who is a transfer from UCLA, is among other members of the class who should contribute. Vom Steeg has utilized the transfer route successfully in the past."

Seven of the Gaucho newcomers got their feet wet on Meredith Field at Harder Stadium as the Gauchos convincingly defeated Westmont in an exhibition match, 3-1. Garza led the team with a goal and an assist in the victory.

For the complete list of the nation's Top 40 Recruiting Classes, click here.

In other news, UCSB, which has already been ranked sixth by College Soccer News in its preseason poll and is ranked eighth by the NSCAA, has earned its highest preseason ranking thus far from TopDrawerSoccer.com coming in as the No. 4 team nationally.

The website's rankings are a running attempt to project the postseason college soccer tournament qualifiers, including every automatic conference berth. To see the complete top-48, click here.

The Gauchos will play one more exhibition match this Friday against the Mexico U-20 National Team on Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the match will be a part of a doubleheader with the women's soccer team, which is playing Saint Joseph's at 5 p.m.

UCSB will open its official 2010 schedule on Sept. 1 when it travels to Cal State Bakersfield.

Season tickets for the 2010 soccer season are now available. All season ticket packages include tickets for the 2010 Men's College Cup, which is being hosted by UCSB on Dec. 10-12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Individual season tickets start at just $75 and include one ticket to all home men and women's regular season games and one 2010 Men's College Cup all-session ticket. UCSB staff and faculty can purchase their season tickets for a reduced rate of $50.

To purchase your tickets for the 2010 soccer season or for more information, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.

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