This weekend Santa Barbara will not only host the best collegiate soccer teams in the nation but the city will also play host to the best high school boys soccer teams in California. UCSB and San Marcos High School have joined forces to create the Soccer Town Showcase, an event that brings 54 of the best high schools in California to Santa Barbara to compete with each other and attend the College Cup.
Every local high school will be hosting matches on Friday and Saturday, with Girsh Park and UCSB’s Rob Field also taking on matches. All games are free to the public. Fans can take this opportunity to see this year’s CIF contenders and the future collegiate soccer talent that will playing on the Santa Barbara soccer fields.
“We have schools coming from as far south as San Clemente, as far North as Gilroy, and all points in between in hopes of quality competition that the teams might not get with their regular season schedule,” said Santa Barbara head coach Todd Heil.
Along with the chance to compete with the best teams in the state and attending the College Cup, the teams also receive training from MLS and college coaches and have the opportunity to be recruited to play at the collegiate level.
One player of interest for Santa Barbara soccer fans is Charlie Miller, a senior midfielder from Servite High School. Miller has recently committed his future to UC Santa Barbara and will help the Gauchos chase a national championship during the 2011-12 season. Miller is the fifth Servite player in recent history to be recruited to UCSB. He follows Matt Kubota (2000), Jeff Murphy (2002), Chris Pontius (2005), and Tim Pontius (2008).
Another exciting player to watch out for is San Clemente’s Steven Palacios. Palacios is a senior forward at San Clemente High School. Palacios has played with the 93 Cal South ODP State team, Western Regional team, U.S.A. U-18 Men’s National team, and was an Adidas ESP All-Star. The forward scored 14 goals for the Tritons last season and will bring his goal-scoring abilities to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the fall of 2011.
Other Standout Players (w/ position, current school, college committment)
Brian Ford, MF, Corona del Mar, UC Davis
Dylan Seedman, F, JSerra, LMU
John-Paul Medina, MF, Fresno Buchanan, UC Riverside
Juan Gutierrez, F, JSerra, UC Irvine
Lucas Dall’Orso, MF, JSerra, Cal State Bakersfield
Sanford Spivey, MF, Santa Barbara, Boston University
Apart from the individual talent, championship caliber teams are coming in full force this weekend. Six out of the seven defending CIF champions will be competing this weekend: Div. 1 JSerra, Div. 2 Santa Barbara, Div. 3 Paramount, Div. 4 Corona del Mar, Div. 5 Salesian and Div. 6 Mountain View.
JSerra Catholic High School out of San Juan Capitrano looks to defend its Division 1 CIF
championship. The Lions are returning the All-CIF Division 1 Coach of the Year Davor Fabulich and the All-CIF Division 1 Offensive Player of the Year Juan Gutierrez. Apart from these two marquee names, JSerra holds 14 seniors on its roster that already know what it takes to win a Div. 1 CIF championship.
Other Standout High Schools:
Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, CA)
Golden Valley (Bakersfield, CA)
Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA)
Loyola (Los Angeles, CA)
San Clemente (San Clemente, CA)
Servite (Anaheim, CA)
St. Francis (La Canada, CA)
San Clemente vs. Paramount at SMHS, 12:30 p.m.
Loyola vs. Bullard at Girsh Field, 12:30 p.m.
Salesian vs. Cathedral at UCSB Rob Field, 12:30 p.m.
Corona del Mar vs. Loyola at SBHS, 2:30 p.m.
St. Francis vs. JSerra at SBHS, 4 p.m.
Santa Barbara vs. San Clemente at SBHS, 5:30 p.m.
This weekend serves as a great opportunity for Santa Barbara area high schools to show what they’ve got in the early stages of the season. With Santa Barbara High School defending a Div. 2 championship and Dos Pueblos being ranked 3rd in Div. 1, these home games can be extremely beneficial to Santa Barbara teams as they chase CIF glory.
“I am really excited for the chance to show who we are. We’re out to prove that we are for real this year. Not just to our local area, but to all the schools that are coming in. It’s a great opportunity to rise to the occasion,” said Dos Pueblos head coach Tovi Eliasen.
The Soccer Town Showcase is just one of the many soccer related events that is happening this weekend in association with the College Cup. Santa Barbara can look forward to an inflow of vuvuzelas and Christiano Ronaldo style haircuts as players and fans from all over come to enjoy this soccer intensive weekend.
COMPLETE SHOWCASE SCHEDULE