SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara men's soccer head coach Tim Vom Steeg will take part in a four-person panel this Wednesday, Jun. 11 consisting of prestigious international soccer minds breaking down the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The other three members of the panel include Roberto Navajas, Rudy Ybarra, and Gabriel Obertan.
Gerry Fall, the Voice of the Gauchos, will emcee the hour-long event, which will be held at Dargan's Restaurant in downtown Santa Barbara starting at noon. The World Cup is scheduled to kick off the following day, Jun. 12, with group play.
Soccer fans and local media are encouraged to attend the event.
Navajas is a retired Spanish player and current goalkeeping coach with La Liga's Real Sociedad, who just completed their 67th season at the summit of Spanish soccer. He is regarded as one of the top goalkeeping coaches in the world, and will bring insight on the Spanish national team – the defending World Cup champions – and other Western European squads.
Ybarra has been a mainstay in the Santa Barbara soccer community ever since earning CIF Player of the Year honors in both 1976 and 1977 with SBHS. The first Santa Barbara local to earn a call up with the US Men's National Team, he has since become one of the top youth coaches in the nation with Santa Barbara Soccer Club, leading the team to consecutive national championships in 2012 and 2013. He has three state titles with the club as well to go along with a CIF Championship as head coach at his alma mater. He has also spent time on the touchline with USPDL side Ventura County Fusion.
Obertan is a French forward who most recently played for Newcastle United in the Barclays Premier League. The 25-year old striker has also played for Manchester United and Bordeaux since making his senior professional debut in 2006. He has also received caps for the French National Team at the U-16 through U-21 levels and was one of the last cuts for the 2014 French World Cup team. He will provide analysis on France and other central European teams.
Vom Steeg is entering his 16th season at the helm of one of the top men's soccer programs in the country. The Gauchos are coming off another successful year, earning a No. 10 national seed in the NCAA Tournament – best in program history – after going undefeated in Big West play for the second time in the history of the conference. UCSB led the nation in attendance for the seventh consecutive season and Vom Steeg was named the Big West Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his career.
You can visit the official FIFA World Cup website here.
Obertan playing with Manchester United