UNO men’s soccer close to kick off

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August 5th, 2011

Omaha, NE – This year, UNO will field a men’s soccer team for the first time ever. Newly minted head coach, Jason Mims, talked about what he expects out of this first season.

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Jason Mims heads into not only his first season as a head coach, but also the men’s soccer team’s inaugural season at UNO. The move will make UNO the only public state University with Division 1 men’s soccer. The road ahead looks to be a tough one, but if his “go get ‘em” attitude and his tendency for loving competition is any proof of future success, then the Mavs should be in good hands.

Coach Mims said an official roster should be released Friday, and it’s a group of young players that has him on the edge of his seat. UNO’s roster will have as many as 13 different Nebraska State High Schools represented.

“It’s a good group,” Mims said. “Most of our team will be from Nebraska which is great. So it’s great to have so many different local players represented.”

Two foreign students have also made the cut. One of the two is Canadian sophomore defender BJ Kabamba, the other is Vance Rookwood, a freshman midfielder from Kingston, Jamaica. Both bring national team experience from their respected homelands.

Faces of the UNO Men's Soccer Team

“We’re excited not only with the Nebraska kids but also the two international kids,” said Mims. “It should be a good blend of players and we are all pretty excited to start practicing here soon.”

Mims said attendance at the State High School Soccer tournament has increased the past few seasons and Omaha has reasons to think big with the new team. That, along with what Mims calls a “pretty big soccer following in Omaha.”

“I think soccer is huge in Omaha,” he said. “I think it’s only getting bigger and bigger.”

UNO is also holding open try-outs which are scheduled for August 22nd from 3 to 5pm. Coach Mims expects to take one or two players from what he hopes to be a good turnout.

“With open tryout maybe we will pick up a couple more, but we are not for sure,” Mims said. “ Hopefully we can find a diamond in the rough, and pick him on up.”

The first home game of the season for UNO is August 28th at 5pm against the University of California–Irvine. The game will be played at Chili Greens, home of the UNO’s women’s soccer team. A 13-game schedule includes 10 away games. Mims believes playing good competition on the road will make the Mavs a better team in the long run, and he’s excited to get things “kicked off.”

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