SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Coming off an electric rookie season featuring Big West Freshman of the Year and All-Region honors, UC Santa Barbara sophomore Ismaila Jome has made a short trip down the 101-South to play his trade for PDL side Ventura County Fusion this summer, where he has continued his strong offensive play and will soon do battle against one of the most historically successful clubs in Europe in Rangers FC.
Jome – operating on the wing just as he did with UCSB in 2013 – and the Fusion have accrued 21 points in 12 games so far this season (6-3-3), trailing LA Misioneros FC by one point for the Southwest Division lead with two games to play.
Personally, Jome has tallied four points in seven appearances this summer (one goal, two assists). On the team, he ranks third in total points and second in shots per game (1.57 per contest).
Jome's best performance so far came in a 3-2 win over the Southern California Seahorses on Jun. 18. In that triumph, he assisted on the game's opening tally before netting an equalizer just before the expiration of the first half after the Seahorses had rallied for two quick goals. Defender James Kiffe – a UCSB alum who has appeared in 11 games and scored three goals for Ventura County this season – assisted on Jome's goal.
The squad wraps up the 14-game regular season this week with games against the OC Blues (Wednesday, Jul. 9) and Las Vegas Mobsters (Friday, Jul. 11). Though they trail LA Misioneros by one point, they have a slight advantage – VCF's remaining opponents have a combined winning percentage of just .432 while the Misioneros' rank a bit better with a .522 clip.
However, Ventura County will face its biggest test after the regular season wraps on Friday by welcoming Glasgow-based Rangers FC for a friendly at the Ventura College Sportsplex on Tuesday, Jul. 15. The Scottish club has won more league titles (57) and trebles (seven) than any other team in the world. Rangers went 33-3-0 this past season to win the Scottish League One championship.
"It's been an exciting challenge playing against some great teams like the San Jose Earthquakes and now Rangers," said Jome. "I relish any opportunity to face off against top competition and improve my skills and that's exactly what I've got to do this summer."
The Ventura County Fusion PDL website can be found here.
Jome made an immediate impact with the Gauchos in 2013, as he was the only player to start in all 21 of the team's contests. He tallied two goals and seven assists for 11 points en route to All-Region, All-Conference, and All-Freshman honors.
Season tickets for the 2014 UCSB season, including exciting home games against challenging opponents UCLA, Cal Poly, Northwestern, and Cal State Northridge, are now available! Tickets start out as low as $4 with the popular Family Plan. To secure your seats today, call the UCSB ticket office at 805-893-UCSB (8272) or order online here.