December 30, 2020
To Our Union Omaha Family,
What a year it has been. Nobody could have predicted the twists and turns, the highs and lows we have faced in 2020. When we started this journey three years ago, we sought to create an inclusive soccer community in Omaha – to create excitement, an electric atmosphere at Werner Park and give back to our wonderful community. We never envisioned launching our club and playing our inaugural season during a global pandemic, but we did, and, despite the odds, managed to be successful in every way — on and off the pitch.
Our logo has three stars next to the owl. They represent people, place and purpose. The people in this community are amazing; our loud and passionate Omaha Parliament showed early on that a soccer team belonged here.
The place, Omaha and its metro area, has become a second home to me. When the pandemic hit, it was important for me to help "bend the curve" and give back to the first responders at Nebraska Medicine and CHI Health. To date, we have donated more than $250,000 in funds and assets. It makes me proud to know that we were able to make a difference in some way, even before playing a game.
Finally, and most importantly: purpose. We do everything with a purpose and strive to be authentic in every way. From day one, I’ve pledged to listen to you and I will continue to do that. Our purpose has never been clearer – to grow the beautiful game in Nebraska and win championships.
Despite the many challenges and restrictions, we sold out every game socially-distanced seating and led League One in attendance. We created a safe environment while maintaining an electric atmosphere that was unmatched anywhere.
It was a season to remember. We finished with an 8-3-5 record and made it to the League One Final before the season was called off due to COVID – just hours before the team were scheduled to board their flight to Greenville, SC. There were so many accomplishments on the pitch, highlighted by:
· Two All-League first-team players
· A Coach of the Year finalist
· A Goalkeeper of the Year finalist
· A total of 29 points over 16 matches
· Going unbeaten in our first eight matches
· Three Goals of the Week
· Two Saves of the Week
Before I brought this team to Omaha, I traveled across the country to meet with some of the most successful soccer organizations and their fans. I wanted to bring the same type of passion and authenticity back home. We're creating something special here.
There are so many people who helped make this incredible season possible: Coach Jay Mims, President Martie Cordaro, CFO Laurie Schlender and many others. Also, a big shout out to our incredible local ownership group, led by Dan Houghton.
I couldn’t be more proud of our local soccer community. You stepped up and supported us in the toughest of times. I want to wish all of you and your families a safe, happy and healthy New Year. Things will get better, and together, we’ll come out on the other side. When we do, I look forward to seeing you over a pint or pitch-side. With the inspiration of our Hispanic community, we created a very appropriate hashtag this season: #VivaBúhos.
Long live the Owls.
Gary M. Green
CEO and Managing Partner