Warming optimistic despite Mavericks’ slow start


Jared Sindt

Bob Warming is in his fourth season leading the Omaha men’s soccer program. This year’s team is the Summit League’s preseason favorite. Photo courtesy of Omaha Athletics.

Even after getting off to a 0-2 start this fall, head soccer coach Bob Warming still expressed a mix of hope and optimism for his team the rest of this season.

“This team is improving,” Coach Warming said. “We were miles better against Tulsa in the first half, and we weren’t bad in the second half.”

The Mavericks started the season by falling 1-0 at Bradley, and followed it up with another 1-0 loss against Tulsa at Caniglia Field. Although there are a lot of tough matches ahead, Warming’s group is excited for the challenge.

Although it’s a small sample size, the Mavericks have struggled to find the back of the net during the first few games. However, it hasn’t been due to a lack of chances. Omaha has posted a higher shot rate than both of the teams they have played so far.

“My job is to compartmentalize and to find and establish training in the two or three most important things from the last game,” Warming said.

Warming says practice reps are the most important thing that his team can focus on right now, and if they stick with it, the results will hopefully follow. Another big boost will be getting back to full strength. Omaha returned all but one starter this season, but the group hasn’t been firing on all cylinders just yet.

“We’re close,” Warming said. “I think Hugo (Kametani) is much closer to being in form than he was two weeks ago, and some other players are getting healthy again as well.”

Although the season has gotten off to a slow start, Warming has tried to look at the big picture and focus on the positives. They’re just two games into their schedule, and they have yet to dip their toes into conference play. Omaha was the top team in the Summit League Preseason Poll.

“This team has a lot more upside and potential,” Warming said. “You know, last year we were nine to thirteen players deep and when we have more guys develop, we will be very good in those last games in the season. We’re doing okay, but we have the potential to be doing much better. Hopefully that comes soon.”

The Mavericks have six more matches left before they have to worry about conference play. One of those six will come against an MLS opponent, as they’ll face Sporting KC in Kansas City. Although the season hasn’t gotten off to the start Warming or anybody in his program wanted, it’s pivotal that they flush the first two games and look ahead at the rest of the season.

All it takes is one. It starts with one goal, then the first win and hopefully it’ll be contagious from there.

“Our guys love to win,” Warming said. “We are ultra-competitive people and we’re always trying to win the game, but we’re always trying to win that game and not look far ahead.”