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Men's Recruiting Dec 19, 2019

University of the Pacific men’s soccer adds pair of transfers for 2020 season

STOCKTON, Calif. – The University of the Pacific men’s soccer program has announced the commitment of two players to the university: Eric Cotton of Vancouver, Washington and Yazid Omri of Paris, France.

Fresh off of his first year at the helm, head coach Adam Reeves is thrilled to have both young men join the Tigers: “We are very excited to welcome Eric and Yazid to Pacific and our family.  They will be integral members of our program, department and university as a whole.  Both players fit our culture of high achievement in the classroom and on the field, and the ability to bring two quality players in for the spring and integrate them into our group will pay huge dividends for our team in the fall.”

Growing up in the Pacific northwest, Cotton comes to UOP after serving as the goalkeeper for the Portland Timbers USSDA team from 2015-2018. Prior to college, he also was an Oregon state champion in 2015 and a Washington state championship finalist in 2014. Once it was time, Cotton took his talents to Western Michigan University under head coach Chad Wiseman. While in Kalamazoo, the Broncos finished as a conference championship finalist in both 2018 and 2019.

“We are excited to bring Eric in to immediately compete with our current group of goalkeepers,” said Reeves.  “With the graduation of Mateo Gomez, we knew we needed to recruit someone that is ready to compete right away and Eric fit this perfectly. He comes in with top USSDA experience as well as Division I experience.  Eric comes highly recommended from a number of individuals in the community, bringing an immediate presence and shot-stopping ability to our team.”

Hailing from the capital city of France, Omri joins the Orange and Black after time at the University of Mobile under head coach Daniel Whelan. This past season, the midfielder started in 18 of his 20 matches played, recording five goals and five assists for a total of 15 points on the year. He also notched 16 shots on goal, good enough for a .471 shot percentage. Mobile finished the season with a 17-2-2 overall record, winning their conference before falling to Missouri Valley College in the championship game of the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship Tournament. Furthermore, he was named to the All-Tournament team as well as being selected as an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American and a First Team All-Conference member. In his first year with the Rams, Omri started and played in 15 matches, tallying six goals and one assist for a total of 13 points. Additionally, he fired 23 shots on goal, establishing a .522 shot percentage mark in 2018-19.

Coach Reeves is ecstatic to bring the Paris native to the 209: “Yazid will bring an immediate presence in the center of the pitch.  His ability to create for himself as well as others off the dribble or pass will be exciting to watch. Overall, his work ethic off the ball was just as impressive to us as his ability on the ball, which is special.  He fits the skillset that we are looking for out of our attacking players, possessing a solid soccer IQ along with the ability to find the back of the net.”

The Tigers, who completed the 2019 season with a 6-10-1, 3-4-0 overall record, finished sixth in the final WCC standings. Pacific will aim to get back to the postseason after reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament three years in a row from 2016-2018.