UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Professional soccer makes a quick return to Santa Barbara in a double-header event highlighted by five-time Major League Soccer (MLS) champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy, facing United Soccer League (USL) first-year franchise Fresno FC on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Harder Stadium.
This exciting evening of soccer will also feature a preliminary match between the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men’s soccer program and the Ventura County Fusion of the Player Development League (PDL) with a kick-off time of 5:00 p.m.
This exhibition match will serve both LA Galaxy and Fresno FC in their preparation for their respective upcoming 2018 seasons.
The Galaxy are led by Sigi Schmid, who previously coached the team from 1999 to 2004, helping them capture the MLS Cup in 2002. With 254 wins across MLS regular and postseason play, Schmid is the winningest-coach in MLS history. For this match against Fresno FC, the Galaxy will travel with their first team, featuring international superstars from around the globe: Giovani dos Santos (Mexican national team, ex-FC Barcelona and ex-Tottenham Hotspurs FC), Jonathan dos Santos (Mexican national team, ex-FC Barcelona and ex-Villarreal FC), Ashley Cole (ex-English national team, ex-Arsenal FC and ex-Chelsea FC) and former French national team member Romain Alessandrini (ex-Marseille).
A first-year franchise in the USL, Fresno FC is led by Adam Smith in his first professional head coaching assignment. Prior to his arrival in Fresno, Smith served as a member of the coaching staff of the Portland Timbers of the MLS and also formed part of the coaching staff of the 2014 USL Champions Sacramento Republic FC in their inaugural season. Smith’s squad features a combination of young and experienced players like Argentinean Juan Pablo Caffa, who played in Spain’s La Liga with Real Zaragoza, as well as former United States men’s youth national team member Alejandro Covarrubias and Lamin Suma, who represented Sierra Leone in all of its youth national teams and has seen action in the first divisions of Turkey and Serbia.
This will be a historic night for the UCSB men’s soccer program as all participating teams in the event will feature Gauchos alumni on their rosters: Los Angeles Galaxy (Chris Pontius and Emmanuel Boateng), Fresno FC (Rony Argueta and Sam Strong) and Ventura County Fusion (Randy Mendoza and Josue España).
Tickets for this exciting event are on pre-sale now at a cost of $10 for youth, students and military; and $15 for adults. Please note that ticket prices will increase by $5 each at the gate on day of game.
Pre-sale ticket outlets can be found in the following cities: Santa Barbara (Xtreme Soccer, Taqueria y Carniceria Mayo’s, Aggressive Soccer, Super Cuca’s and Taqueria Rincon Alteño), Carpinteria (Taqueria Rincon Alteño and Puerto Vallarta Fashion & Services), Ventura (Puerto Vallarta Fashion & Services), Oxnard (Xtreme Soccer), Santa Maria (Soccer Express by Jason and Soccer Action USA), Lompoc (Lompoc Planet Soccer) and San Luis Obispo (Santa Cruz Taqueria Express).
Article courtesy of UCSB Athletic Dept.