The reigning Big West regular season and tournament champion UCSB men’s soccer team has signed four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, head coach Tim Vom Steeg announced this week.
Dominick Phanco, Eddie Villeda, Ryan Valentine, and Keaton Fargo are the four members of the incoming class.
Here’s the details on each one:
— Dominick Phanco • MF/F • 5’9”/144 pounds • Odessa, Fla./JW Mitchell High School.
Phanco joins the Gauchos after playing for JW Mitchell High School from 2015-2020 and spending six years in the DA/MLS league with Clearwater Chargers U14/U16 and Tampa Bay United U17 and U19. He currently plays in the UPSL with Florida Premier.
Earlier this year, he was awarded a spot on the Tampa Bay Rowdies Academy team and picked up several honors, including County of Pasco High Schools Player of the Year and JW Mitchell HS Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named the MVP of the Florida Champions League tournament.
He attended three regional national team camps for three consecutive years from the U15-U17 level and was selected to play abroad in Scotland for two summers in 2018 and 2019.
In the classroom, Phanco maintained honors and AP status throughout high school.
— Eddie Villeda • MF • 5’11” • Costa Mesa/Servite High School/Pateadores SC.
Villeda lettered and started in all four years for the Friars, earning All-Trinity League honors three times, including two appearances on the first team. Prior to his senior season, he had played in 64 games with 20 goals and 18 assists. He led Servite to Trinity League titles in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and the CIF-SS Division 1 Championship in 2020, while also being selected All-SCA in 2020 and All-CIF in 2021.
In a commitment announcement published by Servite, Villeda said “I chose UC Santa Barbara because I know I will succeed there. I trust the coaches and teachers that they will help me throughout my four years and will continue to push me to be the best version I can possibly become. I fell in love with the campus the very first time I visited my freshman year when we took a trip to Santa Barbara with the Servite varsity team and since then I always knew that if I had a chance to go there I wouldn’t let it slip away.”
— Ryan Valentine • GK • 6’1”/165 pounds • Irvine/Strikers FC.
Beyond his time with Strikers FC, Valentine was a participant in the Talentprojekt, a year-long immersion program in Germany for top American youth soccer players. While in Germany, he competed in friendlies against the academy teams of Schalke 04, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Hannover 96, Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Utrecht, SBC Vitesse, and others.
— Keaton Fargo • D/MF • 5-11/160 pounds • Kentfield/Redwood HS/Marin FC/ODP State Team Cal North.
Fargo has played from 2016-21 with Marin FC 04 Blue in the US Development Academy and National Premier League, achieving a top-16 finish in the State Cup. He also spent three of those years from 2018-21 playing on the varsity team at Redwood High School, where he led the team to an MCAL title, and to the finals of the NCS and CIF playoffs.
Fargo also played for the Cal North Olympic Development Program state travel teams from 2019-21 and participated in the ODP Western Region Camp in 2021.
In the classroom, Fargo earned Redwood HS Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, and NCS Scholar Athlete honors from 2019-21.
Arthur Wilkie works in communications/media relations at UCSB.