May 2nd, 2012

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- The Master’s College men’s soccer program continues to take shape as Ricardo Vazquez of San Luis Obispo, California, recently committed to play for the Mustangs in the coming fall campaign.  Vazquez, who is soon to transfer from Santa Barbara City College, will aid the Mustangs at the center defender position.

ricardo.jpgIn his time at Santa Barbara City College, Vazquez was a part of the highly-successful men’s soccer program as the 18-2-4 Vaqueros won the 2011 Western State Conference championship.  The new recruit’s tenure at SBCC was highlighted by a second-team All-Western State Conference selection as he helped lead the Vaqueros to a No. 3 state ranking.

Vasquez’s high school profile includes a senior year MVP recognition, service as a nominated co-captain during his senior year, first-team all-area as a senior, and second team all-area as sophomore and junior. In addition, Vazquez also earned a four-year letterman's award at San Luis Obispo High School

“We’re very excited about the experience and maturity that Ricardo will bring to the squad,” said Mustang head soccer coach Jim Rickard.  “We’re fielding a fairly young team in 2012, so anyone who can contribute maturity and leadership to the team is welcomed.  (Vazquez) will serve as a center defender, which is a position of leadership and authority - it’s a position to direct the team’s communication and to help shape the squad on what to do and where they need to be solid.”

Even before the squad takes the field in August, Rickard already seems to have great expectations for the signee.

“Ricardo’s a solid defender and is very consistent," says Rickard.  "He has intimidating size, possesses solid skills, acts carefully with the ball, and has great strength.  He has all the attributes you need and want in a leader.”

Leading is exactly what Vazquez has his sights set on.

“My goals as a Mustang are to bring experience and leadership on the soccer field.  I have what it takes to be a leader and I know what we are capable of. We’re going to go far.”

In his visit to The Master’s College, Vazquez was floored by the evident camaraderie shown by the Mustangs and felt immediately that he “was at home.”

“I firmly believe in what Coach Rickard’s vision is for the program and I believe that we can make an impact and do great things,” says Vazquez.  “When I came to TMC for the first time, I made a great connection with the players on the team. I knew right away that TMC was the right choice.”

With plans to continue his studies in Political Studies and to pursue a career in law enforcement, the standout defender looks forward to learning and leading alongside his fellow teammates and to contribute his efforts to help the Mustangs make a promising run to contend for a GSAC title and to make another appearance in the NAIA national tournament.

Losing only six seniors and reloading their roster with a cavalcade of talent throughout the off-season, the Mustangs (11-6-3 in 2011, 3-4-2 in the GSAC) are eager to engage in what appears to be the most exciting season to date of Mustang soccer.  Coach Rickard and his squad will begin their season with a home opener against Whittier on August 31 at 4:00 p.m.