It’s hard to jump into the second season of USL League One while experiencing such heartache in our communities and around the world. But, I like to think that sports can bring some welcomed excitement to everyone that loves to follow their favorite teams and players.
All that said, I have been spending the extended offseason following one of the leagues expansion teams that happens to be located in Nebraska. Yes, you read correctly. A professional soccer team about an hour from Cornhusker Nation. When I saw that BGN was looking for contributors for the upcoming season, I jumped at the chance to cover Union Omaha. I was intrigued. I needed to know if they had a committed and serious ownership group in place and if they had a passionate fan base.
Let me state emphatically that any misconceptions I harbored about this team were totally wrong. The ownership is serious, the fans are serious, and this roster is good…really good. Jay Mims is responsible for the roster construction as the club’s first-ever technical director and head coach. He joins the club after serving multiple roles within the Real Salt Lake organization. Mims isn’t new to the state, however, as he built the soccer program at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
The additions of Elma N’For, Sebastian Contreras, and Tyler David were eye openers. Their skills and the loads of USL experience they bring to this team and to the second season of League One will help tremendously.
My expectations are high for Union Omaha and the rest of League One has to take notice. That said, they will have a regional rival in Forward Madison to deal with and FC Dallas seems to effortlessly roll out quality talent to send through North Texas SC.
I predict quality soccer this season and look forward to covering the Omaha action down for you. Players will be hungry and ready to prove themselves to the league and the American soccer community. Plus, with the nation dearth of live American sports at the moment, maybe USL League One can take some of the spotlight. One can hope, right?