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PREVIEW: UNION OMAHA VS. NORTH TEXAS SC

By Will Clarke, 07/30/21, 4:15PM CDT

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Head Coach Jay Mims isn’t content with having the best defense in USL League One. “We want to be a two-goal team,” he said after their victory at FC Tucson last weekend. “We want to get the first goal, but we don’t want to be satisfied. We want to get the second goal, and our guys did that.” Those two goals both came around halftime: a laser-guided missile from Damià Viader found the top corner just before the break, and a textbook counter saw Greg Hurst round the keeper for his eighth goal of the season. That buffer proved vital when a sliding Conor Doyle own goal trimmed the lead in half. They’ll have a great chance to repeat that performance now that they’ve returned to the friendly confines of Werner Park.

VIADER THE VIRTUOSO
As the July heat ascends to scorching levels, so has the form of Damià Viader. The left back has made USL League One’s Team of the Week twice (Weeks 13 and 16), and his impact on both attack and defense epitomizes Union Omaha’s prowess on both ends of the pitch. Going forward, Damià is one of two players topping League One with 32 chances created, six above the next-highest player. He plays his part in Omaha’s league-leading defense too, with that Week 13performance against Chattanooga yielding 12 duels won. 

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Home and away splits can be illustrative of a team’s verve – it’s one thing to protect your own turf, and another to storm onto an opponent’s stomping grounds. These two clubs will have two very different aims to that end coming into this match. Union Omaha are undefeated at home this season, sporting a 3-0-2 record thus far at Werner Park. Six of striker Greg Hurst’s goals have come at home, including his hat-trick against New England Revolution II. On the other hand, North Texas are still scrapping for their first point away from Globe Life Park, with only four losses in four matches to their name when they leave Texas.

SERIES HISTORY
Last year saw a pair of closely-contested meetings between Union Omaha and North Texas SC. The first, in the first ever home match for Los Buhós, finished 1-0 to the Owls courtesy of an Evan Conway goal that portended their success on the 2020 season. The second matchup, later that month, was a bizarre affair down in Arlington that finished with ten men and two goals on each side. Union Omaha did well in that match to come from behind twice to take a point. That’s the entire history between these clubs to date, as this match is the first of four meetings between the two clubs this season. All of them are well spaced out through the rest of the schedule as well, with Omaha facing North Texas once a month from here on out.

ABOUT NORTH TEXAS SC
North Texas SC is coming off of a bye in their schedule. They’ve needed that time to lick their wounds after a heartbreaking, last-second draw versus Chattanooga. After Eddie Munjoma received a second yellow card at the stroke of stoppage time, they capitulated off of a 98th minute set-piece. Those two lost points have them only a spot out of the League One cellar of as they arrive in Omaha. They will also be looking to right that ugly 0-4-0 away record thus far. They have been a bit of a mercurial club in 2021; a 4-0 loss at Greenville Triumph in Week 2 was followed in Week 7 by a 3-0 home win over the same opponent.

MATCH DAY SPECIFICS
The theme of the night for Union Omaha will be Night of Champions. The club will be honoring four high schools that earned the Nebraska State Soccer tittle this year in the Boys Class A & B and and Girls Class A & B.

The four high schools are:
Boys Class A: Omaha South High School
Girls Class A:Gretna High School
Boys Class B: Omaha Skutt High School 
Girls Class B: Omaha Skutt High School