MSoc: Gauchos land local standouts Vom Steeg, Strong

Local soccer players Justin Vom Steeg and Sam Strong have committed to play for UCSB.

“We’re very excited about both of these players,” said UCSB men’s soccer coach Tim Vom Steeg, Justin’s father. “Both of these guys have been heavily recruited from teams in Southern California and around the country, and we’re happy they decided to come to Santa Barbara. Realistically, both could have had professional opportunities had they chosen to go that route, so it’s a good sign that they have displayed a four-year education is important to them.”

According to Top Drawer Soccer, Justin Vom Steeg is a four-star recruit, the No. 2 goalkeeping prospect in the nation, the No. 3 player in the Southern California region, and the No. 22 player nationwide. He is coming off a season that earned him West Region Goalkeeper of the Year honors from U.S. Soccer. Tim’s eldest son has also served on the U.S. National Team at the U14, U15, and U17 levels. He is currently a part of the U18 national team player pool.

Strong is ranked as a three-star recruit, according to Top Drawer.

The defensive duo already have plenty of experience together. They were classmates at San Marcos High — Strong graduated this spring while Justin is set to graduate in 2015. The two have both been starters on the same club team – Real So Cal – for the past three seasons as well.

Justin stands at 6-4 and is an imposing figure in the net.

“One of his biggest assets is his size,” said coach Vom Steeg. “When you’re that big as a goalkeeper, and also have the ability to move laterally quickly and command the penalty area like he does, it’s a tall task for attackers to get a shot by him. He has all the makings of a great player at the Division I level.”

Justin started 27 of 28 games for Real So Cal in 2013-14, helping the team to 61 points, the most in the USSD Southwest Division. So far this year, he has four shutouts in seven appearances for the club.

Strong will be coming to Santa Barbara after having previously committed to Cal Poly. When the Mustangs had a coaching change just days before the 2014-15 season began, the 6-1 central defender decided to rethink his future, ultimately giving his signature to UCSB.

“Sam is a little different than what you’re used to in a defender because he is extremely well-rounded at all facets of the game,” said coach Vom Steeg. “He has the ability to ‘quarterback’ the offense and play a pass out of the back, has the foot speed to run down quicker players, and has the size and strength to battle with bigger forwards. That skill set will allow us to play him anywhere in the back, and that allows us some versatility in where we can play him next year.”

Strong is off to a hot start with Real So Cal this season, recording three goals and starting all nine of the team’s games.

More on the upcoming UCSB recruiting class will be revealed as the season progresses up until National Signing Day in early February.