SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB men's soccer head coach Tim Vom Steeg on Friday announced the signing of three standout transfers, adding to the team's already-impressive recruit haul for the new season.
The newest Gauchos are defender Adam Ek out of Santa Monica College, forward Ignacio Tellechea from West Virginia Tech, and offensive midfielder Joseph Ammer, a German-born player who spent this past season at Florida Southern College.
"We are excited to add three players who have all excelled in the college game and are now in position to make a significant impact at the Division I level," said Vom Steeg. "Each player was selected because they fill a specific need on the team, so we see them contributing immediately."
Ek arrives at Santa Barbara with a long and successful resume, captaining the prestigious AIK Academy in Sweden from the U-15 level all the way through U-21. He then came stateside in 2014, winning the National Championsip with Suffolk County Community College before transferring to Santa Monica College, where he played every minute of every game this past season.
The Swede was a First Team All-Region selection in each of his first two seasons in the states, was named an All Star in the 2014 National Championship Tournament, and was voted as the Defensive Player of the Year at SMC. He has international experience as well, earning a call-up to the U-18 Swedish National Team camp.
"Adam is already a proven defender at the highest level of Swedish youth soccer and, not surprisingly, he excelled during his two years in the United States," said Vom Steeg. "We have struggled the past two years defensively, especially with our depth, and Ek will be invaluable at both the left center back and left back positions."
Tellechea was a sensation for WV Tech this past year as a true freshman, notching a team-high 20 goals and 49 points en route to NAIA All-American honors. With the Madrid native at the point of the attack, the Golden Bears were able to reach the Elite Eight of the NAIA Tournament. Tellechea ended the year with the eight-most goals and sixth-most game-winning goals of any player in the NAIA.
Standing 6-1, Tellechea was able to record multiple points in 13 of his team's 23 games last season.
"Ignacio is the second player from Spain to join our program for this fall," said Vom Steeg. "In just one season at the NAIA level, he was one of the top scorers in the country. He has good size, great skill, an is able to score with both his head and feet. At the Division I level, we plan to use him more as a target player because of his ability to hold off defenders and create goal-scoring opportunities for other players."
Born in Dornwang, Germany, Ammer had a lengthy club career in Germany before making the move to Florida Southern College for the 2016 season. In his native country, he played for SSV Jahn Regensburg at the U-17, U-19, and U-23 levels.
He was a major contributor at each level with the club. His best season came with the U-17s, as he chipped in nine goals and helped his squad to the Bayernliga-Division Championship, earning a promotion to the Bundesliga, the top flight of U-17. He netted 12 times in 32 games with the U-19s, earning a selection to the All-Bavarian State team. Then with the U-23s, he collected eight goals and six assists over 35 games.
With Florida Southern in 2016, Ammer potted five goals and five assists for 15 points in just 10 games before having his season ended prematurely due to injury.
"Joseph brings a playmaking ability that we currently do nat have on our roster with the graduation of Josue España," said Vom Steeg. "He can help change the game both from an inside position or on the wings. He is deceptive, quick, and like all good playmakers has great vision and understanding of the game."
UCSB men's soccer continues its spring schedule tonight with a 6 p.m. contest against CSU Bakersfield at Harder Stadium. For the team's full spring schedule, click here.