Courtesy: Mark Kuhlmann

Omaha Men's Soccer Announces 2017 Signing Class

Omaha Athletics | May 31, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. – Following a Summit League regular season title, Omaha men's soccer head coach Jason Mims announced the signing of nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.

“While we lost an outstanding group with this year's seniors, we are excited about this group of young men,” Mims said.  “The focus on this year's recruiting class as always was culture on and off the field and we believe we accomplished our goal.  This year's class includes seven players who were captains for their high school, junior college or club teams.  These players combined for a composite grade-point average of 3.8 and their soccer experience speaks for itself.  You will see a deep class spread across the country without compromising our focus on hard-working Midwesterners and homegrown players from Nebraska.”

Freshmen Stephen Siy (Omaha, Neb.) and Connor Jokerst (Olathe, Kan.) and transfer Billy Hoffman (Longmont, Colo./Western Nebraska) joined Omaha during the spring season.  While transfer Brahan Gamarra (Snellville, Ga./Xavier) and newcomers Oliver Bihuniak (Prairie Village, Kan.), Miguel Gomez (El Paso, Texas), Ed Gordon (Omaha, Neb.), Tim Kaftan (Omaha, Neb.), and Matthew Smith (Papillion, Neb.) will begin their Maverick careers this fall.

The following is a list of the new players sorted alphabetically:

Men's Soccer Recruits
Oliver Bihuniak – Prairie Village, Kan. (Shawnee Mission East)
Bihuniak, a midfielder from Shawnee Mission East, finished his senior season with 38 points from 13 goals and 12 assists and earned First Team All-State honors.  As a junior, he totaled 10 points on two goals and six assists while earning Second Team All-State honors.  Bihuniak spent his freshman, sophomore, and part of his junior year living in Valencia, Spain playing for CD San Jose.  He also has played club soccer for the Kansas Rush Academy and Sporting Blue Valley.

Mims on Bihuniak: “Oliver is a very technical player who has an excellent range of passing.  His ability to support his teammates and connect passes will make him a solid asset to Omaha soccer.”

Brahan Gamarra – Snellville, Ga. (Tyler CC/Xavier)
Gamarra, a transfer from Xavier, appeared in 19 matches (three starts), as a junior last season.  The midfielder logged 671 minutes with 11 shots (two on goal) and an assist.  He played his first two seasons at Tyler Junior College and was named an NJCAA First Team All-American in 2015.

Mims on Gamarra:  “Brahan is an experienced, creative midfielder with great technical ability on the ball.  We expect him to help our midfield immediately with his one year of eligibility remaining.”

Miguel Gomez - El Paso, Texas (Mission Heights Prep)
Gomez joins the Mavericks from Mission Heights Prep in Casa Grande, Ariz., and played for the Real Salt Lake Academy as a junior and senior.    During that time, RSL Academy-Arizona was the fourth ranked U-18 boy's club team in the United States by Top Drawer Soccer.  Gomez played for Parkland High School in El Paso, Texas, as a freshman and sophomore.

Mims on Gomez: “Miguel is a hard-working, aggressive left sided flank player with a strong mentality.  He is a very committed player coming from a great culture, and we look forward to continuing his rapid development here in Omaha.”

Ed Gordon – Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Prep)
Gordon, a midfielder from Creighton Prep, is the reigning Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year.  He captained the Junior Jays to the Nebraska Class A State Title as a senior, finishing with 11 points on four goals and three assists.  The Prep graduate picked up Nebraska Super-State, as well as First Team All-State honors from the Lincoln Journal Star.  Gordon was also a state powerlifting runner-up at his weight class in 2016.  He is a member of the OFC Elite club that has won three-straight Nebraska State Cup titles and was a regional semifinalist.

Mims on Gordon: “Ed is an active, hard-working defensive midfielder who has a good engine.  He is a relentless competitor both on-and-off the field.”

Billy Hoffman – Longmont, Colo. (Niwot/Western Nebraska CC)
Hoffman is a 6'0 defender that joined the Mavericks during the spring season after beginning his collegiate career at Western Nebraska Community College.  Having seen time in 26 matches during his career at WNCC, Hoffman had one assist and earned All-Region IX honors.

Mims on Hoffman: “Billy is an outstanding athlete who has a high upside.  He will adapt to the D1 level quickly due to his tremendous attitude and work ethic.”

Connor Jokerst – Olathe, Kan. (Olathe Northwest)
Jokerst graduated from Olathe Northwest High in the fall to start training with Omaha during the spring.  He was a driving force behind the Ravens claiming a spot in the Kansas 6A Semifinals this fall.  Jokerst earned First Team All-State honors while setting the school record with 19 goals in a season.

Mims on Jokerst: “Connor is an excellent passer with good technique.  He has great vision on the field which enables him to play quickly.”

Tim Kaftan – Omaha, Neb. (Creighton Prep)
Kaftan, a midfielder from Creighton Prep High School, helped the Junior Jays capture the Nebraska Class A State Championship.  He finished the year with 20 points on three goals and led Class A with 14 assists while picking up Second Team All-State honors.  As a junior, Kaftan earned Honorable Mention All-State honors.  He is a member of the OFC Elite club that has won three-straight Nebraska State Cup titles and was a regional semifinalist.

Mims on Kaftan: “Tim is a quick, shifty midfielder who can run at defenders and create problems.  He is a player who opponents will have to account for because of his ability to get in behind defenses.”

Stephen Siy – Omaha, Neb. (Central)
Siy is a 5-8 midfielder that joined UNO during the spring season after graduating from Omaha Central in the fall.  He served as a team captain last season and earned Second-Team All-Nebraska honors as he led the Eagles to the school's first state tournament berth since 1997.  Siy trained with the U.S. ODP regional team in Bradenton, Fla. as a freshman.

Mims on Siy: “Stephen has great energy, composure, and quickness with a high level of fitness.  He will be a fun player to watch as he never stops running and competing.”

Matthew Smith – Papillion, Neb. (Creighton Prep)
Smith is another local member of the signing class from Creighton Prep High School.  He finished his senior season 19-3 with 64 saves and a 0.26 goals-against average.  Smith made a penalty kick and stopped three in a shootout victory over Kearney in the state semifinals.  As a junior, he finished 20-2 overall and allowed only four goals the entire season.  Smith earned First-Team All-Nebraska honors and was the nation's top-rated goalkeeper during the spring season.  The Papillion, Neb., native is a member of the OFC Elite club that has won three-straight Nebraska State Cup titles and was a regional semifinalist.  He also is a part of the Sporting Kansas City U18 Academy program.

Mims on Smith: “Matt has been one of the top goalkeepers in the state the past two seasons.  He brings a great attitude and work ethic that will make for great competition in goal.”



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