[UC SANTA BARBARA MEN] Former U.S. under-20 midfielder Sam Garza has transferred from Denver to UC Santa Barbara. He is one of nine players joining the Gauchos in 2010.
Joining Garza on the fall roster will be freshmen Eric Reyes (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Austin Mansker (San Jose, Calif.), Fifi Baiden (Ajumako, Ghana), Jonathan Canales (Santa Ana, Calif.), Rey Ezra-Simbwa (San Diego, Calif.) and Matt Thayer (Loomis, Calif.), as well as Yavapai College transfers Chris Hunter and Evan McNeil.
Garza, who hails from Highland Village, Texas, earned Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Year honors in 2008 and played for the USA in U-20 World Cup qualifying in Trinidad & Tobago. An injury prevented him from traveling to the world championship and kept him out of the 2009 college season.
“He is an important player at this time for our program,” Coach Tim Vom Steeg said. “After losing David Walker, we were looking to add not just another forward to our program, but one that has great experience and that can contribute right away.”