ETSU and the Otters have long had a relationship with players, and this year will be no different as five Bucs will temporarily trade in their blue and gold for blue and green this summer. ETSU consistently plays one of the toughest schedules in Division I soccer, and in the first year under head coach David Casper, things were no different as the Bucs played the second toughest schedule in the country and finished with their highest ever RPI ranking of 18th overall.
Merveil Bilomba has been a key piece of the Buccaneers defense since he stepped foot on campus. In two seasons with the Bucs, Bilomba started 32 of a possible 35 games at centerback. Bilomba was a part of one of the best backlines in the nation in those seasons, only allowing 38 goals in 35 games and allowing just 78 shots in 2017.
The Otters are also excited to bring in electric midfielder Serge Gomis, who just completed his senior season with the Bucs. In three seasons with ETSU, Gomis played in 52 games, starting 47 times primarily as the #10 in the midfield. He totaled three goals and five assists during his time in Johnson City and was named to the SoCon All-Conference First Team in 2016 and 2017 and the Second Team this past season. He was also a part of the 2016 Buccaneer team that received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Luke Howson is part of a trio of freshman from ETSU that will be a part of the Otters for the 2019 season. Howson appeared in 13 games, earning minutes against some of the biggest names in college soccer like Wake Forest and UNC-Chapel Hill. The English winger played primarily on the right side, getting to the end line and sending in crosses and recorded an assist against VMI.
Another ETSU freshman attacker is Joshua Salinas. Salinas played his fall soccer at USC Upstate before transferring to ETSU in the spring. With the Spartans, Salinas played in all 16 games, and had an assist in a 4-3 win over Winthrop. Salinas impressed Otters coaches at the open tryout with his abilities on the left side to earn his spot on the roster.
Finally, the Otters are excited to add local product Quentin Mitchel of Greeneville, Tennessee in goal. Mitchel just completed his freshman season at ETSU but did not see the field due to former Otters and SoCon All-Freshman Josh Perryman holding down the top netminder spot. In high school, Mitchel played for Greeneville High School, winning back-to-back state championships and making the Tennessee All-State Team his junior and senior seasons. Mitchel also played club soccer with FC Dallas Tri-Cities.
Be sure to follow all of our social media pages to stay up to date on all things that are happening with the Otters! Season tickets are available for purchase online at https://www.happsnow.com/#/place/117 or on the HappsNow app! For a limited time only, a portion of each season ticket sold will go to the youth soccer team of YOUR CHOOSING in the region, so be sure to purchase your tickets to give back to soccer in the region! #FearTheFur