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Union Omaha names 14 players to be retained for next season's roster

Union Omaha names 14 players to be retained for next season's roster

Ethan Vanacore-Decker

Ethan Vanacore-Decker led Union Omaha with six assists this season.

Dirk Chatelain and Jon Nyatawa are joined by Union Omaha head coach Jay Mims for a conversation on year one for the Owls, his journey coming back to Omaha and embracing diversity in soccer and life.  Jon and Dirk also look at how the college basketball season will try to exist amid the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Union Omaha’s top goal scorer, its leading assists man and its No. 1 goalkeeper are among the 14 players the club intends to retain on its roster for next year.

The moves are still pending as the team awaits league approval, but the Owls announced their plans Thursday.

Evan Conway (six goals) and Ethan Vanacore-Decker (six assists) are expected to be back with the club in 2021. As is goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu, who was a finalist for USL League One’s top keeper award this past season.

Also set to return next year: forward Elma Nfor; midfielders Devin Boyce, Christian Molina, Tobias Otieno, Austin Panchot and JP Scearce; and defenders Jake Crull, Daltyn Knutson, Illal Osumanu, Panzani Ferrety Sousa and Damia Viader.

Midfielder Tyler David, who started nine games, was one of eight players the club announced will not rejoin the team.

Nathan Aune, Sebastián Contreras, Xavier Gomez, Luke Hauswirth, Sam Howard, Elvir Ibišević and Juan Ignacio Mare are also out.

Union Omaha finished second in the league during its first season of competition, which was shortened due to the pandemic. The Owls were slated to play in a winner-take-all title game but multiple COVID-19 positive tests forced a cancellation of the championship match and awarded the first-place crown to Greenville Triumph SC.

“This team was a special group with every single player contributing on and off the field, which made for a one-of-a-kind incredible locker room,” coach Jay Mims said in a statement. “I will forever be grateful for this historic group that laid down a great foundation and something the community can be proud of."

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