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Guerrero is reaching his goals with the Toreros

Aug. 22, 2007

By Glae Thien
SPECIAL TO THE UNION-TRIBUNE

The top returning scorer for the USD men's soccer team this season is a former walk-on known as T-bone.

Senior midfielder Dustin Guerrero, from the old Marian Catholic High, received his nickname for going after the ball with the zeal of a canine seeking select beef.

"He has been a great asset to this team," said Toreros coach Seamus McFadden, whose squad opens the season on Aug. 31 against Cal. "He has an incredible work rate."

The 6-foot, 159-pound Guerrero recorded four goals and three assists last season as part as a balanced attack that produced 47 goals for the Toreros (10-8-1), the highest-scoring team in the West Coast Conference.

The team's top returning scorer would have been Ciaran O'Brien, who had six goals and four assists as a freshman. But he left for defending NCAA champion UC Santa Barbara despite coming to USD as one of three Washington recruits who sought to stay together in college.

Guerrero originally arrived at Alcala Park without any ties to the soccer team. He subsequently joined the Toreros for spring drills during his freshman year, and he became a scholarship player two years later.

"I have a lot of respect for Dustin," said McFadden, who remembers scouting Guerrero when the latter was a youth player. "Sometimes, you can be wrong (in recruiting), but he's grown a couple of inches. He's definitely a late bloomer."

From last year's Washington trio, defender Tim Gray earned WCC honorable mention and forward Chase Tangney had limited playing time.

Eight starters return for the Toreros, fifth in the WCC last season at 5-6-1.