SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After adding ten nationally renowned players to the men's soccer program on the first day of NLI signings, head coach Tim Vom Steeg picked up another star recruit on Thursday in midfielder Ryo Fujii of the LA Galaxy Academy.
Fujii is the fourth player in this recruiting class and the sixth in the past two seasons to join the Gauchos from the Galaxy Academy. All six were part of the USSF National Championship-winning 2011 team.
"We are very excited that Ryo is going to join our program in the fall," said Vom Steeg. "He is an excellent central midfielder whose physical abilities and technical skills will allow him to be able to contribute right away.
This past season, Fujii was a fixture in a Galaxy starting XI that featured future Gaucho stars and Wednesday signees Adonis Amaya, Jeff Quezada, and Axel Mendez.
As a program, we made it a priority to recruit the best players who compete in our region," said Vom Steeg. "With the addition of Ryo to our group of players yesterday, we feel like we have really accomplished that goal.
The Torrance, Calif. native was ranked as the No. 147 player in the USSF Academy system by Top Drawer Soccer, joining Adonis Amaya (No. 15) and Dalton Pando (No. 50) as incoming Gauchos ranked among the top-150 players nationwide. He was also cited as the No. 21 player in the Southern California region and the No. 51 midfielder in the country.
Fujii ends his club career with a full trophy case, winning the Surf Cup Championship in 2010, the US Nike Manchester Cup Championship and National Cup Championship (where he had 13 goals in seven games) in 2011, and participating in the Manchester Premier Cup World Finals in England in 2011. He also participated in four ODP events between 2009-10.
A strong student, he currently sports a 3.5 GPA at South High School in Torrance.
To learn more about UCSB's 11 new players, click here to read the release on yesterday's National Signing Day action.