Generation adidas: 5 things to know about Sam Garza

 

With the 2012 MLS SuperDraft around the corner, the final additions to the draft class are being made through the Generation adidas process. This week, MLSsoccer.com's college/youth expert, Travis Clark, reveals and analyzes the 2012 members of the GA class.

Today, we take a look at UC Santa Barbara forward/midfielder Sam Garza.

1. He can score and create

Playing his final two collegiate seasons at UC Santa Barbara, Garza stood out as a player who can not only convert chances, but also create for others. He finished his time at UCSB with 17 goals and 10 assists.

2. His college career began in the Rocky Mountains

The sunny shores of Santa Barbara are where Garza wrapped up his college career this past season, but it’s not where it started. Back in 2008, he suited up as a freshman at the University of Denver, where he was named the 2008 Mount Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Year after scoring four and adding four assists. He transferred to UC Santa Barbara following an ACL injury that caused him to miss the entire 2009 season.

3. He can provide depth out wide

Listed as a forward, Garza did a lot of his damage on the right side of midfield, and looks like a safe bet to play on the flank — either one — in MLS. His ability on the ball and running at defenders should open up the rest of the field for his teammates at the next level.

4. He was a bit of a late bloomer

In high school, Garza played the game with little thought of playing in college. However, he realized during his senior year that he could keep going, a path that eventually led him to Denver, to Santa Barbara, and now to MLS.

5. He’s a bit like…

Chris Pontius. A dynamic player with good pace who can make things happen on the wings.