SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Following a 2013 season that saw an undefeated run in Big West play, a No. 10 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, and a seventh straight season at the top of the NCAA attendance charts, UC Santa Barbara men's soccer is back at it in 2014 with a rigorous schedule featuring traditional rivals, national powerhouses, and a sure-fire good time for Gaucho soccer fans.
"We're excited as a team to get back out there and follow up on last year's success," said UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg. "With how young our team is, we feel we can do even better this season. Playing some of the top teams on the west coast will be a challenge, but one I think that our team is up for."
UCSB will welcome 10 teams to Harder Stadium over the course of its 19-game regular season schedule, including 2013 NCAA Tournament participants Northwestern, UCLA, Cal State Northridge, and UC Irvine.
The home schedule begins with an Aug. 23 exhibition match with cross-town rival Westmont, followed by the regular season home opener against Northwestern on Sep. 5. UCSB's annual showdown with blue-green rival Cal Poly is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1, the final home tilt of the regular season.
The blue-and-gold will have a six-game, 22-day homestand starting on Sep. 12 against Colgate and closing with an Oct. 4 contest against UCI. That homestand will also feature a battle for west coast supremacy with UCLA on Sep. 20, fixtures against San Diego State and Drake during move-in weekend (Sep. 26 and 28, respectively) and a Big West-opening tilt against conference rival CSUN on Oct. 2.
The Gauchos will also play key road games at Stanford (Sep. 9), Loyola Marymount (Oct. 14), and Cal Poly (Oct. 24).
This year's UCSB squad will return all five first-year starters from last season, including Big West Freshman of the Year Ismaila Jome. The winger is joined by fellow sophomore core members Drew Murphy, Josh McNeely, Nick DePuy, and Paul Ehmann. Fullback Kevin Garcia-Lopez and forward Reed McKenna will be counted on for experienced leadership as the only two seniors on the youth-filled 2014 team.
Key newcomers include Adonis Amaya, Axel Mendez, Ryo Fujii and Jeff Quezada, who are all members of the LA Galaxy Academy, one of the top club teams in the country.
A variety of ticket options are available for UCSB soccer fans this upcoming season, including the best family entertainment value in town with the popular Family Plan. Ticket plans for the 2014 season include:
- Family Plan (five season tickets) for $180, averaging out to under $4 per person per game!
- Single Season ticket for $70
- Faculty/staff season ticket for $55
- GKids membership (8th grade or under), including a season ticket for $25
- Single-game tickets: $10 for adults, $6 for senior/youth/military
To order tickets for the 2014 Gaucho men's soccer season, contact the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB (8272), or to order online click here.
To view the entire 2014 men's soccer schedule, click here.