Published: April 21, 2010
UC Santa Barbara
is still the standard in the Big West for both winning and recruiting. So when profiling the top sophomores for 2010 where do you think we should start?
You got it. The Gauchos.
Machael David, UC Santa Barbara:
David became a valuable part of the Gauchos attack from the start; a dependable player whose play often belied the fact that he was a freshman. David grew up in Milan, Italy, but arrived in the Pacific Northwest in time to log club minutes for Washington FC. His final numbers (four assists and one goal) with the Gauchos don’t blow you away, but the fact that he started every game but one for the esteemed Santa Barbara program speaks to his value.
David captured the Freshman of the Year Award as the voters honored substance over statistics, and his biggest contribution is that he fell in line with Santa Barbara which once again finished atop the Big West and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
Michael Nonni, UC Santa Barbara:
Another player the program can build around, this Vancouver BC export was a big part of the team’s scoring and finished third on the squad in points (18) and second in goals (6).
Nonni has good height and instincts around the goal and it will be interesting to watch him combine with David for at least next season. With top goal producer David Walker departed, both players will be primed to grow into more prominent roles.Rene Anguiano, Cal State Northridge:
One of two freshman who made a major impact on the program (we’ll reveal the second one momentarily), Anguiano was also one of three freshman to receive the conference distinction of an Honorable Mention player.
A local kid, from Los Angeles, Anguiano is good with the ball at his feet and dangerous on the attack. He finished with five goals and five assists – a solid start to what should be a good career.Michael Abalos, Cal State Northridge:
Abalos was the starting goalkeeper in 16 of Cal State’s 20 matches and he finished with a very respectable 7-7-2 mark.
Abalos also finished with a 1.17 goals against average to go with five shutouts. He has great height and is rangy, and he’ll only get better. Jonathan Prieto, UC Irvine:
Also an Honorable Mention standout, Prieto was somewhat overshadowed on his team by the likes of Irving Garcia and Amani Walker, but he was nevertheless a critical piece who received some great first-year training.
The fact that Prieto was surrounded by so many play-makers can only serve him well in the long run. He was solid in the midfield all year and took away three goals to go with his invaluable experience.