Eight Gauchos named to Top Drawer's College Players to Watch List

Aug. 13, 2010

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - TopDrawerSoccer.com released its list of College Players to Watch for the Big West Conference on Friday and eight of the website's 20 picks from the league are Gauchos. Senior goalkeeper Sam Hayden and junior midfielder Danny Barrera are ranked as the No. 2 and No. 3 players, respectively, in the Big West behind UC Irvine's Amani Walker.

Also ranked as members of the Big West's top-20 players to watch are sophomore forward Michael Nonni, junior midfielder Luis Silva, senior defender Michael Boxall, junior midfielder Michael Tetteh, sophomore midfielder Machael David and junior forward Waid Ibrahim.

All of the Gauchos named to the College Players to Watch list earned All-Big West honors following the 2009 campaign. Hayden was named Big West Goalkeeper of the Year after tallying a school and conference record 16 shutouts. Barrera, who has already been named a Second Team Preseason All-American by College Soccer News, was the 2009 Big West Midfielder of the Year.

In addition to Walker, UC Irvine had three other players named to the list (Spencer Thompson, Jonathan Prieto and Corey Attaway) while Cal Poly had four (David Zamora, Patrick Sigler, Patrick McLain and Jacob Hustedt). Celso Alvarez of Cal State Fullerton, Joel Garcia of UC Riverside and Michael Abalos and Rene Anguiano of Cal State Northridge round out the list.

UCSB has already received two preseason top-10 national rankings, being tabbed No. 6 by College Soccer News and No. 8 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

The Gauchos will return nine starters from their 2009 squad that posted a 17-5-2 overall record and posted a school-record 16 shutouts. UCSB won the Big West regular season title last year and advanced to the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament.

UCSB will kick-off the 2010 campaign on Saturday, Aug. 21 when they host cross-town foe Westmont in an exhibition match on Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. All the action will get underway at 7 pm.

Season tickets for the 2010 soccer season are now available. All season ticket packages include tickets for the 2010 Men's College Cup, which is being hosted by UCSB on Dec. 10-12 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium. Individual season tickets start at just $75 and include one ticket to all home men and women's regular season games and one 2010 Men's College Cup all-session ticket. UCSB staff and faculty can purchase their season tickets for a reduced rate of $50.

To purchase your tickets for the 2010 soccer season or for more information, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online by clicking here.