by Datti Jinkiri
Brilla's team for the upcoming season continues to develop as opening day nears. Coach Mark McKeever has now added two talented players from the University of Nebraska-Omaha to his squad. Jake McCain and Noor Hamadi will be on their way to Clinton in the coming weeks. Both were college teammates of Logan Mendez and Josh Christensen, key members of Brilla's playoff team last season.
McCain played in 14 games and started 11 games for the Mavericks. The junior defender played a vital role in a defense that had a 1.10 goals against average in conference play. He will bring experience to the Brilla back-line, having started 36 games in his career.
Hamadi finished his redshirt freshman season with 17 games and six starts under his belt. He scored in his first start against California State University Northridge, and he also added goals in back-to-back wins over Bradley and DePaul. The forward from Degahaley, Kenya ended up finishing fourth on the team with three goals. He also added two assists.
“Both of these lads are coming from a D1 program that was ranked in the top 20 in 2015,” McKeever stated. “Jake is a typical modern day fullback that can cover ground on both sides of the ball. He has all the physical attributes to be a standout at the D1 and PDL level, as he is very fit, fast, and mobile. He will give us a quality option at the full back position. Noor is another versatile attacking player. He can play centrally or out wide. He gives us a great option into feet due to his strength, and he also gives us an option into space, due to his explosiveness and pace. I am excited to work with these two players who are coming from a top program and top coach.”
Mississippi Brilla FC opens its season with a U.S. Open Cup match on May 11 at Clinton’s Traceway Park.