The Otters final group of signings brings varying levels of experience from a variety of levels of college soccer in the United States. Able to contribute on every level of the Otters formation, the five signings make up two Division I players, two from the NAIA, and one boasting extensive collegiate and professional experience. The Otters are set to take the field tomorrow for their first of two exhibitions against Appalachian FC, a new expansion side in the NPSL based in Boone, North Carolina. The first match will take place in Boone, with the return match being played this Sunday in TVA Credit Union Ballpark. Head over to ottersoccer.com to get your tickets today and get 15% off your purchase using the code OTTERS at checkout!
Wilfred Williams, LB, Liberia
One of the few players with professional experience to ever suit up for the Otters, Wilfred Williams will bring leadership and ability on both sides of the ball for the Otters backline. Originally from Monrovia, Liberia, Williams spent much of his youth career in Johnson City with FC Dallas and the Science Hill Hilltoppers. Williams began his college career at the University of Memphis, before eventually settling at the Oakland University in Michigan. With the Golden Grizzlies, Williams started all but one game over two seasons, recording three assists, and was selected in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft by Sporting Kansas City. Williams has previous USL 2 experience, playing 13 games with the Charlotte Eagles in 2016 and 15 games in 2018 with the Des Moines Menace, scoring a goal and adding an assist. In the professional ranks, Williams played with Orlando City B in the inaugural USL League One season, and played closer to home in 2020 with NISA-side Chattanooga FC.
Raphael Sefriou, LB, Milligan University
The only member of this group to be a 2020 commit, Raphael Sefriou returns following one of the most successful seasons in Milligan history. Following collegiate stops at Bluefield College in West Virginia and Division II Hawaii Pacific, Sefriou landed at Milligan where he made twelve starts and tallied two assists. With the Buffaloes this past season, Sefriou started all 15 matches and scored one goal and added five assists and helped Milligan win their AAC conference championship in nine years. In the NAIA Tournament, Milligan won a 3–2 OT thriller for their first national tournament win since 2006, before falling to St. Thomas 2–1 in the second round. Sefriou was named to the All-AAC First Team for his contributions.
Tom Tzabari, DMF, Duquesne
In his first season in the United States, midfielder Tom Tzabari will look to make his mark in Johnson City. This spring, Tzabari started his first match as a freshman for Duquesne against #2 Pittsburgh before, missing the rest of the spring with injury. The Israeli-dual national has made over 20 appearances in the Israeli First Division, as well as appearing with the Israel Youth National Team as a centerback and defensive midfielder.
Gustavo Ferrari, MF/F, San Francisco State
Another player with NAIA experience coming to Johnson City this summer is attacker Gustavo Ferrari. In his first two seasons at Indiana East, Ferrari has set numerous offensive records. As a freshman, Ferrari recorded 11 goals and 13 assists, setting the school record for assists in a season and a career. In the joint fall-spring season this year for the NAIA, the Brazilian-Canadian midfielder scored 14 goals and added seven assists. He finished third in the NAIA in points per game and ninth in goals per game. Ferrari ended his two-year career with the Red Wolves as their career leader in goals, assists, points, shots, and shots on goal before transferring to Division II San Francisco State for the upcoming fall season.
David Bercedo, F, Quinnipiac
David Bercedo rounds out this group and began his career at a school familiar to Otters fans. Ohio Valley University has sent the likes of Carlos Rubio, Guillermo Segovia, Alex Horveno, and more to Johnson City. In his freshman season with the Fighting Scots in 2019, Bercedo scored eight goals in just 13 matches to finish third on the team in points. This spring, the Spanish forward transferred to Division I Quinnipiac in Connecticut, where he started all nine matches up top for the Bobcats. In their shortened season and run to the MAAC Championship game, Bercedo tallied three goals and two assists and leading the team in shots on goal with eleven.
All signings are pending league and federation approval
The Otters are set to play their first home game of the 2021 season this SUNDAY at TVA Credit Union Ballpark in downtown Johnson City at 2 PM against Appalachian FC. Single-game and season tickets are also now on sale at HappsNow! The newly revamped and redesigned ottersoccer.com is your home for all things Otters including camp, tickets, news, gear, and more. Be sure to follow Ottersoccer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date throughout the season! #FearTheFur #NewYearNewOtters