The University of Nebraska at Omaha men's soccer program announced Friday the addition of 14 players for the 2012 season, including two Omaha natives, six who have United States Soccer Development Academy experience and players born in Bosnia, Brazil and Guinea.
The local recruits include Jake Linden, an Omaha Creighton Prep alum and the 2011 Gatorade Nebraska boys soccer player of the year who is transferring from Xavier, and Salvador “Chava” Garcia, who recently competed his senior season at Omaha South.
Linden's freshman season of college was cut short due to injury, and he will have four years of eligibility remaining. At Prep, Linden led the Junior Jays to a 20-0 record and the Class A state championship as a senior with 14 goals and 13 assists. He was a three-time, first-team all-state selection.
Garcia recorded nine goals and four assists before shifting to defense for the Packers, who qualified for the state tournament for the third straight season. Garcia helped the Packers reach the 2010 Class A championship game as a sophomore.
The incoming class joins 11 returning Mavericks, all of whom were regular starters last year. UNO will still be one of the youngest squads in the nation as they begin play in the Summit League in 2012. The Mavs have no seniors and six juniors on their roster.
The new additions:
Emir Alihodzic, MF, St. Louis (Mehlville HS)
Felipe da Silva, D, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Devin Diego, MF, Las Vegas
Giovanni Giattino, MF, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Danny Gustafson, GK, St. Louis (Mehlville HS)
Houston Hoffman, F, Sioux Falls, S.D./Northern Illinois
Adama Keita, F, Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Ibrahim Keita, D, Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Salvador “Chava” Garcia, D, Omaha South
Matt Grosey, GK, West Valley (Calif.) College
Lucas Hake, MF, St. Louis (Lafayette HS)
Jake Linden, F, Omaha Creighton Prep/Xavier
Nick Miller, D, Lewis (Ill.), University
Thomas Torres, F, West Valley (Calif.) College
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