It is a big year for soccer both worldwide and locally the FIFA World Cup in South Africa this June, and the NCAA College Cup at UCSB in December and 2010 is starting out with an international match at Harder Stadium.

The Under-23 teams of Mexico and Denmark will clash at the UCSB pitch on Sunday, January 17, at 2 p.m. According to the match promoter Rudy Ybarra, both countries may tap their U-23 rosters to fill out the squads that will compete in the World Cup.

Tickets for the game are $20. They are available at local merchants Aggressive Soccer, Xtreme Soccer, Guadalajara Market and Taqueria Rincon Alte±o. Tickets can also be purchased online at

HAYDEN HONORED: UCSB goalkeeper Sam Hayden has been named the LA Soccer News Men’s College Player of the Year. He also is among the finalists for the Soccer News Network National Player of the Year.

Hayden, junior transfer from Arizona’s Yavapai College, recorded a 17-5-2 record in his first season with the Gauchos. He recorded a school and Big West record 16 shutouts in the goal for UCSB and his goals against average of 0.74 ranks 23rd nationally and third all-time in the Gaucho record books.

PONTIUS PROMOTED: Former UCSB soccer star Chris Pontius was named to the U.S. National Team’s 30-man training camp roster by head coach Bob Bradley. The camp is underway this week at USA Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson.

The 30 players will prepare for the USA’s first match of 2010, a friendly against fellow World Cup finalists Honduras on January 23 at The Home Depot Center. The match will broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision beginning at 6 p.m.

Pontius, UCSB’s top goal scorer in 2008, completed his first season with D.C. United of Major League Soccer as a Rookie of the Year finalist. The national training camp includes primarily players on domestic clubs in their off-season.


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