Two-Time Defending Big West Champion Men's Soccer Inks Two Highly Touted Prepsters And One International Player For 2003

April 25, 2003

Santa Barbara, Calif. - With the return of eight starters from last year's squad that finished the season ranked 21st in the nation, the UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team likes its chances in 2003 having signed Johnny Alcaraz (Santa Barbara HS/Santa Barbara, CA) and Greg Curry (Christian Brothers HS/ Sacramento, CA) to national letters of intent.

"We are fortunate this year to have so many players from last season's highly accomplished squad returning," commented Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg, "so we didn't have to go out an look for a lot of players. But not having many spots to offer it was tough deciding which players to take. However not only did we get the guys that we needed, we got the ones that we wanted."

The 2002 Sacramento Player of the Year, Greg Curry comes to Santa Barbara after helping lead Christian Brothers to a 25-0-1 record and No. 3 national ranking in 2002. A four-year varsity starter for the Falcons, Christian Brothers compiled an 84-9-2 overall record and three CIF San Joaquin Division II Sectional Championships with Curry aboard.

In addition to being named All-Sierra Valley League and all-city selection each of the last three seasons, Curry was also recognized as the CIF Sectional Player of the Year this season after tallying 26 goals and 15 assists. He also currently plays with both the Northern California and Region IV Olympic Development Program teams.

"Greg has both the skills and toughness that makes him ideally suited to play defensive midfielder at the college level," said Vom Steeg. "He is the kind of guy that you stick on the other team's best offensive player. For the last couple of years we have been trying to find the right person for that position, and in Greg we have found that person."

Local player Johnny Alcaraz comes to the Gauchos touted as one of the top high school prospects in the nation by College Soccer News. The 2002 Channel League Offensive Player of the Year has been a four-year starter on the prestigious Don's varsity squad that year and year out is often regarded as one of the top programs in Southern California.

The three-time all-league selection helped SBHS achieve a No. 2 national ranking (NSCAA) and CIF Division III championship as a sophomore with an overall record of 27-1-4. This year, Alcaraz led the Dons to a No. 2 ranking in Southern California (Los Angeles Times) by netting 28 goals and assisting on nine others.

"Johnny is a proven goal scorer who comes from a family full of great soccer players, all four of his brothers have competed at the college level," commented Vom Steeg. "He is a complete player who sees the field real well and can shoot, giving us another weapon up front. I think he is going to be an outstanding college player and he is only going to bigger and better."

Rounding out the Gauchos' early recruits is Elia Boggia from The American School in Milan, Italy. Boggia is a 6'3" midfielder who will add size and strength to an already potent UCSB squad in the center of the field.

Commented Vom Steeg, "Elia committed to play for this program because he wanted to come to UC Santa Barbara to pursue his degree. He has a lot of tools to work with, he has great size, and shows a great deal of potential."