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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Santa Barbara High’s Alvarez Joins Gauchos

Soccer team signs seven other Californians, including Dunn School's Michael Tetteh.

Continuing to add pieces for the 2008 season, the UCSB men’s soccer team has signed two Santa Barbara County players to national letters of intent, head coach Tim Vom Steeg announced Wednesday. Among the newest Gauchos are Vincent Alvarez of Santa Barbara High and Michael Tetteh of Dunn School in Los Olivos.

Four other Southern California standouts have agreed to wear the blue and gold next season: Rod Fahmian of Riverside, David Ponce of Foothill Ranch, Tim Pontius of Yorba Linda and Robbie Tulchin of Palos Verdes.

“Recruiting local players is very important to the success of our program,” Vom Steeg said. “We are fortunate that California continues to produce such skilled players at the high school level and that we are able to attract some of the most talented players in the state each and every year.”

Alvarez scored 16 goals and dished out 10 assists as a senior at Santa Barbara High. He led the Dons to an overall record of 19-3-3 and to their fourth consecutive Channel League title with a mark of 7-1-0 last season. A two-time all-league first-team selection, Alvarez is a technical player expected to add depth on the right side of the midfield. He also earned back-to-back All-CIF honors as a junior and senior at SBHS and was an All-Channel League first-team selection as the place kicker on the football team. Alvarez competes with DMS11 and SoCal United at the club level.

Tetteh will help bolster the midfield. A two-time All-CIF first-team selection, Tetteh tallied 15 goals and eight assists last season at Dunn. He was named team MVP after guiding the Earwigs to the 2007-08 Condor League title. In three years at Dunn, Tetteh amassed 30 goals and dished out 50 assists. Tetteh also spent six years with the Right to Dream Football Academy and three years with the Santa Barbara Soccer Club.

“We’re very pleased that Vincent and Michael have elected to stay in town and play at UCSB,” Vom Steeg said. “The local community will have an excellent opportunity to watch these two players develop at the next level when they take the field at Harder Stadium.”

Adding depth at the D-mid position or on the backline will be Fahmian. A four-year letter-winner at Riverside Poly High, Fahmian was a member of the Region IV Olympic Development squad and has competed for some of the most noted club teams in California, including Arsenal FC, South Coast Bayern and the Chivas USA Academy. Fahmian will help fill the void on defense left by the graduation of three-time All-American Andy Iro, Greg Curry and Brennan Tennelle.

Tulchin led Palos Verdes High to back-to-back CIF championships in 2006 and ‘07. A two-time All-Bay League first-team honoree, he scored five goals and dished out 14 assists as a junior and led the Seakings to an overall record of 22-2-7 in the process. He spent four years with Palos Verdes Soccer Club.

Pontius joins his brother, Chris, as well as former Gauchos Jeff Murphy and Matt Kubota, to become the fourth player from Servite High to play at UCSB this decade. A true center back, he currently leads the Friars with 10 goals and has guided the team to a school-record 16 shutouts this season. He was named Trinity League Defensive MVP as a junior and is expected to take home the award again in 2008. In addition to playing for one of the nation’s top programs at Servite, Pontius is a member of the West Coast Premiere club team.

Ponce, a talented forward and midfielder at Trabuco Hills High, has competed at the highest levels of club soccer, guiding the U-17 Pateadores to the CalSouth Premiere State Championship in 2007. He also led the team to the finals of the CYSA National Cup and led his former club team, the Irvine Strikers, to a regional championship in 2006. Ponce recorded 28 goals and 19 assists in 34 games in 2006-07.

Along with U.S. Youth National Team players Danny Barrera and Bryan Rodriguez, the Gauchos now have a total of eight players who have committed to play for UCSB during the early signing period.

Ryan Hall is UCSB‘s assistant media relations director.

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