May 17, 2005
Santa Barbara, Calif. - The class of former UC Santa Barbara men's soccer players who are currently playing professionally continued to excel in their respective leagues last week. UCSB will also be well represented on the international scene as well in the coming weeks, starting current Gaucho Tyler Rosenlund's appearance with the Canadian Youth National Team (under 20's) tomorrow night against the United States in Blaine, Minnesota. While former All-American defender Tony Lochhead is slated to start for New Zealand's National Team next month against Australia in an international friendly in London.
Making the most news last week were former UCSB All-American standouts Dan Kennedy and Drew McAthy who helped lead their Puerto Rico Islanders squad to a weekend sweep of the Rochester Raging Rhinos, lifting the squad to the middle of the USL First Division table with seven points after five matches. Kennedy posted the first shutout of his professional career in Friday's 1-0 affair, earning USL Team of the Week honors in the process, and is currently third in the league with 26 saves on the season. Both Kennedy and McAthy have appeared in all five of Puerto Rico's matches this season.
Also in the USL First Division (formerly the A League) ranks is former All-American and national assists champion Memo Arzate with the Portland Timbers. After spending much of last season rehabilitating an injury, Arzate dished out the first assist of his professional career three weeks ago against Toronto for the undefeated Timbers. The one assist ties him for fifth in the league with some teams having played as mush as eight matches.
Most notable thus far this professional season has been former Gaucho Thiago Martins who is just one of six players to have started all seven matches Major League Soccer expansion side Chivas USA. Having scored Chivas' first-ever goal in week two of the season at San Jose, Martins is tied for the team lead with two goals on the season. He also leads the Goats in shots (13), shots on goal (6), and fouls committed (21).
On the European side, UCSB's first-ever All-American, Canadian International Rob Friend, netted a late game-winning goal for Molde of the Norwegian Premier League (Tippeliga) to spark a three-game unbeaten streak. After struggling out of the gate it was Friend's tally that secured Molde's first win of the season.
Across the North Sea and Scotland from Friend is former Gaucho and LA Galaxy draftee David McGill who has helped his hometown side Dublin City FC to the top of Ireland's eircom First Division table. McGill, along with former UCSB teammate Alan Keely, are currently riding a ten-game unbeaten streak to start season, giving the Vikings a great push in returning to the Premier Division next season.
Having missed the January transfer window used by most European professional leagues rehabilitating an injury sustained while on trial with Sporting Anderlecht of the Belgium Premier League, Lochhead, also an All-American at UCSB, is expected to sign with a top level squad in Northern Europe following his appearance with the All Whites in London on June 9th. Also originally called into camp for the All Whites was former standout forward Neil Jones, who would have been making is second showing with the full national team. However, Jones is still recovering from a fracture in his leg that he sustained while on trail in Norway. Currently Jones is playing for a semi-pro club in New Zealand to regain his fitness level where he has netted eleven goals in nine games.
Shortly after Lochhead's match with the All White's is played, Rosenlund, a Freshman All-American who will be returning next season for the Gauchos, and the rest of Canada's under-20 National Team will be taking part in the FIFA World Youth Championship beginning on June 12th in Holland. Tomorrow's friendly match with the U.S., the other automatic qualifier out of CONCACAF, will be a good competition to prepare both sides for the tournament. Canada will open Group E play with Syria before facing Columbia and Italy.
For more information on former and current Gauchos playing professionally and internationally click on the links below: