Visnu Maharaj enters his fifth season on staff at Cleveland State in 2018 and his second as an assistant coach. He was promoted to assistant coach following the 2016 season after serving as the Director of Operations for the previous three campaigns.
Maharaj, who primarily works with defensive players, helped the Vikings reach the Horizon League Tournament Semifinals during the 2017 season. Cleveland State won its Tournament quarterfinal match with a 4-0 victory at Wright State, the largest margin of victory by CSU in its Horizon League Tournament history. The Vikings also became the first team since 1999 to win a HL Tournament contest by at least four goals as the lower-seeded team in the match.
With Maharaj’s assistance, the Vikings improved over 50 places in the RPI from the season prior. Cleveland State played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation, as its non-conference strength of schedule ranked 15th at the end of the regular season. CSU faced 10 teams among the top 101 in the RPI, the most in the League, as the Vikings faced three top-15 squads and two that advanced to the Elite Eight.
Maharaj was tasked with helping an incredibly young back line. In 13 of 19 matches, CSU started two newcomers at central defense. The Vikings also started three true freshmen on their four-man back line in both of their HL Tournament matches. Despite the youth, the Vikings allowed only 10 goals from the run of play in their final 16 matches of the campaign.
Primarily a central defender, Maharaj earned a pair of letters as a student-athlete with the Vikings (2012, 2013). In his time with Cleveland State, he was a key component of the CSU defense, appearing in 17 matches and making 13 starts. He helped the Vikings claim the 2012 Horizon League Championship and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Maharaj, who was forced to retire in 2013 due to injury, was the team captain of the Nashville Metros of the Premier Development League in 2012. He also played for Rocket City United of the National Premier Soccer League in 2010.
Maharaj was a member of the Venezuelan U-17 National Team and competed in the South American U-17 Championship in 2009, where berths to the U-17 World Cup were determined. He also competed in the U-15 South American Championship in 2007. In his youth international days, he played against the likes of Coutinho, Neymar and Casemiro.
Maharaj was invited to the residency program at Brad Friedel’s Premier Soccer Academy and Columbus Crew Academy in his youth days. He played alongside Wil Trapp, a MLS All-Star for the Columbus Crew and U.S. soccer international, and Carlos Salcedo, a Mexican international player and member of Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.
In 2009, Maharaj was invited to preseason camp with the Colorado Rapids of the MLS but rejected an amateur contact offer.
Maharaj has also served as the lead coach for high school youths at local club CSA Impact United since 2015.
Maharaj earned a Bachelor's degree in international business in 2015 and a graduate degree in sports management in 2017, both from Cleveland State. He resides in downtown Cleveland with his wife, Victoria, one of the all-time winningest tennis players in Cleveland State history.
Assistant Goalkeeper Coach
Contrascier will be also be working with the Men's Soccer team starting in the Fall of 2019.
Carl Contrascier is in his third season as an assistant coach with the CSU women’s soccer program. He joined the Vikings after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at John Carroll.
In his two seasons at CSU, Contrascier has helped the Vikings to 14 wins, including a 9-9-1 mark last year and a berth in the Horizon League tournament for the first time since 2015.
Contrascier works with the CSU goalkeepers and has been an integral part of the sqaud posting nine shutouts over the last two years.
Contrascier spent the 2013 season season as a volunteer assistant and was an assistant coach with the JCU women’s team in 2014, as well as the men’s goalkeeper coach. In his two seasons with the JCU women’s squad, Contrascier helped the Blue Streaks to 21 wins, including a co-regular season title in 2013 and a spot in the OAC championship.
In his lone season with the JCU men, Contrascier was part of a squad that posted a 17-4 record, including a perfect 9-0 mark in the conference before falling in the tournament title match.
A three-year letterman as a goalkeeper at JCU, Contrascier played in the second most games (48) as a goalkeeper in program history His 27 wins rank third all-time and his 193 saves are fourth all-time in JCU history. He posted a 1.24 goals against average for his career, ranking ninth in school history.
As a senior in 2012, Contrascier was a second team All-OAC selection and an Academic All-Ohio pick. He was a second team all-league honoree in 2011 and made 85 saves, the third most in a season in school history.
A member of the all-county, all-district and all-state teams at Medina Highland H.S., Contrascier graduated from John Carroll in 2013 with a degree in history.