Monthly Archives: June 2016


Lane United Record Tough Loss at Home to Timbers U-23s

June 30, 2016

Lane United FC lost at home 1-0 to the Portland Timbers U-23s in a match farcically affected by center referee Benjamin Warren failing to apply the technical laws of the game. The Reds have every reason to feel aggrieved by the developments starting in the 15th minute of the game, when they converted a penalty that was not ordered to be retaken, as the rules of the game state it must, when Warren apparently judged that Lane United players had encroached on the penalty box during the taking of the kick. Portland scored the go-ahead goal, and eventual match winner, late in the first half courtesy of a headed goal from their massive forward Tucker Hume, and Lane United were unable to produce an equalizer in the second half.

The match started with Lane United on the front foot, although no clear chances materialized in roughly the opening quarter of an hour. But at the fourteen-minute mark, a ludicrously mishandled series of events unfolded. Lane United’s Akeem Ward latched onto an underhit backpass from Portland’s Peter Prescott and raced in on goal, utterly alone but for the goalkeeper, Colin Partee. Ward attempted to round Partee and clearly would have done so successfully to tap into an empty net, but Partee brought him down with a foul. Warren whistled and pointed to the spot, but then inexplicably refused to send off Partee for denying the most obvious of goalscoring opportunities; according to Lane United head coach John Galas, Warren told LUFC captain Jon Stadler that he “didn’t want to kill the game by issuing a red card so early”—bizarre justification for failing to apply the clearly delineated rules of the game. But the rot was only just starting to surface there. Michael Bajza for Lane United stepped up to hit his first penalty and saw it saved, low and to the right, by Partee—however, the nearside assistant raised his flag to indicate that Partee had encroached off the goal line, and Warren ordered a retake of the kick. Bazja then stepped up and scored, to the left this time, only for Warren to wave it off and, instead of ordering another retake, gave Portland a direct free kick at the penalty spot.

Ward - Timbers 6:29Nothing about that decision has any basis in the FIFA Laws of the Game; there is no scenario by which a penalty kick can go in the goal, and the result can be a free kick to the defending team. After the game, one of the assistant referees suggested that the free kick (rather than a retake) had been awarded because of encroachment by Lane United, despite the fact that the Laws clearly state: “if a team-mate of the player taking the kick infringes the Laws of the Game, and if the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken.” The fact that the assistant referee after the game was adamant—to the point of cutting off discussion—that encroachment by the attacking team results in a free kick to the defending team is indicative of a disgraceful standard of rules awareness in the entire crew. Another possibility is that Bajza was punished for stuttering during his run-up to the ball; again, the laws state that “feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted as part of football.” Feinting at the end of the run-up but before the kick, which Bazja did not do, is explicitly forbidden, and results in a caution for the offending player—and, crucially, a retake of the penalty. Bazja was not cautioned for anything during the penalty incident (he was a few minutes later, for dissent), and hence the only conclusion is that Warren woefully misapplied the rules, and to Lane United’s detriment.

The mistakes were so blatant that surely one of Warren’s three assistants should have corrected him before the game was restarted and Lane United lost their rightfully earned chance to convert a penalty kick. But that was not the case, and the match moved ahead, with Lane United clearly rattled by what Galas called “the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen in my life.” Portland began to assert an offensive authority not seen in the first two matches between the two teams this season, with several last-ditch blocks or clearances by Lane United’s center-halves, Stadler and Mitch LaGro, keeping the score level. In the 39th minute, Lane United produced their best chance since the penalty debacle when Isma Fernández, growing less hesitant with each passing game, cut inside his man on the left side of the box and struck a goalbound curler to the far post that Partee did excellently to stretch and get a hand to. Five minutes later, though, Portland had their goal, the product of a combination between the two mammoth Hume twins, Walker and Tucker. Walker, a center-half, made his way forward for a corner and easily won a header at the back post, directing it back across the face of goal for Tucker to nod in from only a yard or two out. Portland headed into the break riding the high of having snatched a lead right at the end of the half.

The second half, unfortunately from a Lane United perspective, did not produce the type of fightback that had taken place during the 3-3 draw between these two teams at Providence Park in May. In that match, the Reds fought back from 2-0 down at halftime, then 3-2 later, to snatch a dramatic stoppage-time equalizer through Daley Stevens. But chances to level the score in this match were scarce, thanks to a compact Timbers back line and a lack of the Reds’ typical fluid possession in midfield. Lane United’s typical cross-field balls to their advancing wing-backs were, more often than not, cut out by the opposite fullbacks, in particular Nicko DeVera on Portland’s left. The Timbers’ Sam Werner almost iced the whole affair when he slammed a thunderous effort off the crossbar in the 63rd minute, at which point the Reds had yet to see a good look at goal. Their best moment came in the 80th, when Jason Eng on the right wing finally found space for a low cross that Isma, taking it first-time in stride from 15 yards, could only hit at the goalkeeper, who parried comfortably. The substitute Riggs Lennon produced a superb save from a header just a minute later, but even had that effort gone in, it would have been disallowed for offside. That was, ultimately, Lane United’s last flurry of attacking activity, and Warren, probably desperate to escape, only added two minutes of stoppage time despite there having been 10 substitutions and four bookings (one for time-wasting) in the second half, as well as injuries which required attention from the physios.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how bad the officiating was, we didn’t do enough to win,” Galas said. “We didn’t create enough chances and didn’t convert the ones we did take.” Some good news for the Reds did arrive later from Bremerton, Washington, where Northwest Division leaders Seattle Sounders fell to the Kitsap Pumas, 1-0—keeping the gap between Lane United and the leaders at eight points, with a game in hand for the Reds. They travel to Kitsap, Washington Crossfire and Victoria Highlanders—all below them in the current standings—in the coming two weeks before closing out the season at home at Papé Field against the Crossfire on July 15 at 7:00 pm.

Follow Along: LUFC vs Portland Timbers U-23s

June 29, 2016

Watch the live stream of tonight’s home match vs Portland Timbers U-23s

 

 

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Match Preview: Lane United Prepare for Third Match Against Timbers U-23s

June 28, 2016

After a twelve-day hiatus from league play which included a friendly exhibition match against local Liga Unida team, Club Jalisco, Lane United are switching gears as they prepare to host Portland Timbers U-23s on Wednesday night. This match will mark the third time the reds have played the Timbers U-23s this season. In the first match of the season on May 7th, Lane United traveled to Tualatin Hills Recreation Center where they defeated the Timbers U-23s 1-0 off an 11th-minute goal from Nathan Braaten. On May 24th, the Reds traveled to Providence Park where they fought back from a 2-0 deficit at halftime to tie the Timbers U-23s 3-3.

Wednesday’s game will mark the second-to-last home game of the regular PDL season for the Reds and will be the final 2016 home game at Willamalane unless they host a playoff game. Lane United will host their final home game of the season at the University of Oregon’s Papé Field on July 15th, against Washington Crossfire.

The Portland Timbers U-23s are currently in last place in the Northwest Division at 1-5-3, a record which belies their quality. “This Timbers group will not look like the first two Timbers U-23 teams we have faced” said Coach Galas. “Numerous players have left, and a new batch has come in. We won’t have to face Timmy Mueller this game as he is off on trial in Switzerland, which is great for him. Putting their record aside this team is as good as anyone in this league. They have been through a coaching change and numerous player changes, but this is a well coached group, a very competitive group that would love nothing more than to get a result away from home and spoil our playoff chances.  We will have to be very disciplined defensively, deal with their press, and be resilient on set pieces for a complete 90 minutes. We haven’t played our best soccer yet this year, and it will take a comprehensive effort from all of us to get a result Wednesday night. I hope our loyal fans can come out and give us the extra energy we may need to stay in this playoff hunt.”

Wednesday’s game is a can’t-miss event for Lane United fans pushing the Reds toward a first ever playoff appearance. Tickets can be purchased at laneunitedfc.com/tickets

 

Lane United FC vs. Portland Timbers U-23s

WILLAMALANE, Springfield, Ore.

June 29, 2016

7:00 p.m. PT

Lane United FC takes on Portland Timbers U-23s at home after earning a win and a tie against the Timbers U-23s on the road this season.

REFEREES: Center: Benjamin Warren AR1: Michael Armstrong AR2: Riley Hooper 4th: Joe Cowman

Head-To-Head

ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Lane United: 2 wins, 7 goals … Portland: 2 wins, 7 goals … 2 ties

AT Willamalane (2 meetings): Lane United: 1 win, 2 goals … Portland: 1 win, 1 goal

This Year

Lane United 1 win, 1-0 (away) …1 tie 3-3 (away)

Timbers 0 wins

Last Year 

Lane United 1 win, 2-0 (home)

Portland 1 win, 2-0 (home)

Match Report: Lane United Tie Club Jalisco in Non-League Exhibition Match

June 24, 2016
Lane United FC drew 0-0 at home on Friday night with Club Jalisco, a side that plays in Springfield’s men’s league, Liga Unida. Boasting several former Reds as well as a few players from outside of the Eugene-Springfield area, Jalisco provided stout opposition. Last year, a similar exhibition match against a Liga Unida All-Star XI had been a breeze for the Reds, who won 8-0 at a jog, but this year’s local opponents were significantly better organized and refused to allow Lane United many clear looks at goal.

 

Lane United head coach John Galas said afterward that the result was “a great sign for grassroots soccer, and the quality of players in this area. Getting 500-plus people [the official attendance was announced as 525] out to a local exhibition is just fantastic. They were organized defensively, which is good for our guys down the road when we play Victoria, another very defensive team, on July 11.” Lane United’s best chances came in second-half stoppage time, when the game was finally a little stretched, with Mitch LaGro and Nathan Braaten both getting good looks in the penalty box. LaGro’s right-footed blast from the right side of the area went wide, and Braaten’s turn-and-shoot was denied by Jalisco’s second-half goalkeeper, Andrew Campos, diving to his right.

 

But for the most part the Reds found themselves up against a compact and disciplined Jalisco side, who were not without the occasional goal threat of their own. Their main striker, Aden Farina, came the closest to scoring of anyone for either team when he cut inside his man and curled a shot off the far post in the 44th minute. At other points he showed a refined ability to possess and distribute the ball in traffic, freeing former Red Deion Jones down the left wing on a few occasions. Jones, Edgar Gomez in midfield and Luke Connolly in defense were the former Lane United stars to suit up for Jalisco; a former practice squad player, Paul Beach, unfortunately distinguished himself for Jalisco by being shown a straight red card for a knee-high, studs-showing tackle on Jose Carlos Terron near the end of the first half. Galas said that both benches and the officials reached a compromise on the fly, removing Beach from the game but allowing Jalisco to replace him with another player, Alex Baker, to keep the match at even strength. “The game was about 80-20 possession in our favor at that point, and them going down to 10 men wasn’t going to make it more of a spectacle for the crowd. That’s who this match was all about anyway—the crowd and the local soccer community, which is really something remarkable for an area this size.”

 

Lane United’s next match is against PDL opposition in the Portland Timbers U-23s, at home on Wednesday, June 29 at 7:00 PM. The teams have already played each other twice, with the Reds winning 1-0 in their first PDL match of the season on May 7 and securing a dramatic comeback draw in Providence Park, 3-3, on May 24. Lane United currently sit third in the PDL Northwest Division table, at 13 points, while the Timbers are last with six points.

Follow Along: Lane United FC vs Club Jalisco

Watch the live stream of tonight’s home match vs Club Jalisco

 

 

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Match Preview: Lane United Hosts Club Jalisco in Non-League Exhibition Match

June 23, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. — This Friday, Lane United will host its second non-league exhibition match of the season when the Reds take on local Liga Unida team, Club Jalisco. Lane United is coming off a week of rest after a grueling 2-day doubleheader at the Willamalane Center against division leaders, Calgary Foothills FC.  The hosts fell 1-0 on Friday night after winning by the same margin on Thursday.

Lane United is currently in third place in the PDL Northwest Division after the Seattle Sounders U-23s jumped into second by beating Washington Crossfire. Friday’s game will allow the Reds to stay in rhythm and stay match fit as they prepare for their final home match at the Willamalane Center against the Portland Timbers U23’s on Wednesday June 29th. Lane United’s final regular season home game will be on July 15th at the U of O’s Pape Field.

Jalisco is a local amateur club that competes in the Liga Unida. Lane United hosted a non-league friendly last season against a Liga Unida All-Star team that resulted in a 8-0 victory for the Reds.

“We are delighted to host another Liga Unida team this year.” said Head Coach John Galas “It is a great opportunity to showcase our local talent and provide our fans with another competitive home match.  Club Jalisco will feature some of the best local talent and some familiar faces to Reds’ fans with the likes of Luke Connolly, Edgar Gomez and Paul Beach. Club Jalisco has been training for this match and we fully expect them to come out and give us a quality match.”

With only three home games left in the 2016 season, Friday’s game is sure to be a can’t-miss event! Tickets can be purchased at laneunitedfc.com/tickets

 

Lane United FC vs. Club Jalisco (non-league friendly)

WILLAMALANE, Springfield, Ore.

June 24, 2016

7:00 p.m. PT

Lane United host Club Jalisco in a non-league exhibition match.

REFEREES: Center: Jonathan Kaminski AR1: Andres Salcedo AR2: Steve Bailey 4th: Alejandro Robles

Head-To-Head

n/a

Last Year 

n/a

Lane United Signs Midfielder Michael Bajza from Sounders U-23s

June 22, 2016

Reds fans may have noticed a new face in the holding midfield role during Thursday night’s 1-0 victory over the Calgary Foothills FC. Lane United FC is excited to announce that player is Michael Bajza. Bajza has played two seasons in the PDL with the Seattle Sounders U-23’s and was signed by LUFC following Sunday’s home win against Seattle.

Originally from Tampa, Florida, Michael attends the University of South Florida, where the midfielder appeared in 17 games for the Bulls during the 2015 season. Prior to attending the University of South Florida, Bajza played for NC State where he led the team in 2014 with four goals and four assists. Bajza also played for USSDA club Shattuck Saint Mary’s, and was ranked among the top 100 recruits in the country by TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Head Coach John Galas commented, “Adding another quality player like Michael will only help us as we enter a grueling stretch of our season. He has tremendous quality, unbelievable passing range, and he will certainly add to our depth and compete for starts immediately. I have to thank Coach Sawatsky with the Sounders U-23’s for looking out for Michael’s best interest and allowing him to come down here to finish out the PDL season with us. I’ve actively recruited him for the last three seasons, and I’m excited I finally get to work with him at Lane United and help him achieve his goals. I think our fans will enjoy his commitment to the club, his passion on the field, and his overall quality as a player and person.”

Lane United’s next home game is Friday, June 24th against local Liga Unida team, Club Jalisco. Kickoff is at 7PM at Willamalane. Tickets can be purchased here. 

Match Report: Lane United Record Tough Home Loss Against Calgary Foothills FC

June 18, 2016
Lane United FC fell 1-0 to the visiting Calgary Foothills FC on Friday night, 24 hours after winning by the same score against the same opponent. The pattern of the second installment of this fixture, between the top two teams in the USL PDL Northwest Division, was markedly different from the first: the night before, Lane United had scored their winner in the 80th minute, but Calgary took only 90 seconds to find their one goal tonight, then defended stoutly for the next 88 minutes or so to see out the win. Splitting the results over the two games means that the status quo of Calgary sitting alone atop the Northwest Division table has been restored; Lane United are now in second with 13 points, and still in position for a playoff spot.

 

Head coach John Galas said that the pattern of playing two games in two nights—necessitated by the distances Calgary and their opponents are forced to travel, frequently on limited budgets—“is awful for the players, but both teams have to do it.” To that end, he named only three of the same starters from the previous night: the goalkeeper Ben Willis and two outfield players, Matthew Coffey and Jose Carlos Terrón. Where Terron had been Lane United’s most regular offensive threat on Thursday night, he distinguished himself in this match by being at the center of flashpoints all night long as Calgary’s players tried in vain to get him sent off on numerous occasions after he had picked up a yellow card late in the first half. The temperature of the on-field action was certainly hotter than the night before, as referee Lucas Brooks failed to limit, let alone prevent, any of the altercations and frank discussions that took place after routine fouls with increasing frequency as the game wore on. “Calgary are a very organized team, a very mature team, and from a gamesmanship perspective they’re skilled as well,” Galas said after the match. “It affects the referee and it affects our guys too.”

 

Actual goalmouth action amidst the argle-bargle tended to be at a premium, especially after Calgary’s early score and with many of Lane United’s first-choice attackers on the bench after going the distance 22 hours earlier. The goal came from a cheap Reds giveaway that resulted in Tofa Fakunle sliding a pass for Mitchell Bauche to latch onto, in acres of space behind the recovering Lane United back line. With only Sam Tweeton remotely near him, Bauche was able to sidefoot a mostly uncontested shot to the far post past Ben Willis for a second-minute lead. Calgary made that scoreline stand while rarely enduring any scares from the Lane United attack. For spells in the first half, the Reds were in control of possession and occasionally organized enough to win the ball in dangerous areas with high pressure, but chances rarely materialized from that good work. The only time the visiting goalkeeper Mitch McCaw was forced into a save was within a minute of the second-half kickoff, when Nathan Braaten hit a cross/shot from the right side of the penalty box that the Calgary man sprawled to catch.

 

Calgary, for their part, “were experts at soaking up the pressure and hitting us on the counter, and their forwards are very very good with their back to goal” Galas said—but even with those advantages, the visitors were rarely able to produce clear-cut opportunities to double their lead. Ajeej Sarkaria, their starting striker, several times was able to roll an opposing defender but could never quite fashion the chance to shoot without being disrupted first. Darius Ramsay, on as a substitute, had a great look on a flowing counterattacking move late in the game but shot weakly at Ben Willis. And Nico Pasquotti, in an attacking midfielder role, showed few effects of having played 80 minutes the night before and made several inroads down the right wing, forcing Willis to save his hard, low half-volley in the 34th minute and parry his very dangerous cross, with multiple teammates waiting to tap-in, from the right bi-line in the 53rd. But that was essentially that for scoring chances, as the second half dragged on with little flow, suiting the team in the lead just fine. Calgary, having earned their first points on American soil (or plastic and rubber, as it were), continue their punishing road trip by playing at the Portland Timbers U-23s at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Lane United get rather more rest—a full week until their next game, hosting local Liga Unida team, Club Jalisco in an exhibition match on June 24th at 7 PM.

Follow Along: Lane United vs Calgary Foothills FC, Part 2

June 17, 2016

Watch the live stream of our home match vs Calgary Foothills FC!

Follow along with all of the action on Twitter!

Match Report: Lane United Defeats #1 Calgary Foothills FC

Lane United FC beat Calgary Foothills FC 1-0 in Springfield, Oregon, in the first of two matches in two nights against their Canadian visitors. The result puts the two teams tied atop the USL PDL Northwest Division at 13 points apiece, with Calgary ahead only on goal difference and still boasting the best offensive record in the division. In a match where the visitors produced significantly more clear-cut chances, it was the host Reds who took the lead in the 80th minute, when a friendly bounce gave Jose Carlos Terron the chance to cross over a stranded goalkeeper for Stefan Tomasevic to head into an empty net. Lane United head coach John Galas said, “I’m obviously happy with the three points—you know, I’ll take it—but we didn’t produce too many chances besides the goal, and at times our defensive effort wasn’t what it could have been. We struggled with getting to second balls all night and couldn’t get them to break down defensively, because they’re a very strong and well-organized club.”
Galas might be underselling the fact that despite Calgary’s occasional dominance in attacking play, Reds goalkeeper Ben Willis was only ever forced into two saves from shots on goal. The second was from a late, long volley from the substitute Kyle Jones, but the first was more significant: it came with only seconds to play in the first half, when Calgary’s Nico Pasquotti found himself with an open look from fifteen yards on the right side of the box and took aim low to the far post, only for Willis to get a hand down to deny it. Though Pasquotti came the closest there, it was the other forward, Dominic Russo, who was the more persistent and alarming threat to the Lane United back line; throughout the game he found opportunities to muscle in between the center-halves and fullbacks within the Lane United box and fashion shots or hard crosses from those channels. He had already had two such chances before halftime, and he continued the theme in the second half, shooting just over the bar with the exact same type of attempt, from the same position, that Matthew Coffey had used to score against Seattle on Sunday—a hard high near-post hit from the right side of the six-yard box. On two occasions, first in the 54th minute and second in the 93rd, Russo was able to fire dangerous balls across the face of goal from similar positions; the first was just too high for three crashing teammates and the second was denied by Lane United’s Mitch LaGro, whose brilliant defensive anticipation and intervention denied Calgary’s Jonathan Wheeldon a chance to head in from three yards and salvage a point for his side.
The lone goal had come 12 minutes earlier, and it was no surprise that Lane United’s most frequent offensive threat, Terron, was the chief cause of it. Nominally a defensive player at left fullback, Terron was the frequent target of diagonal, crossfield balls the entire match—attempts to switch the point of attack from one side of the field to the other in the minimum amount of time. He had already spurned Lane United’s best chance of the game in the beginning of the second half when he struggled to take control of a cross from the right, all alone at the back post, and then sent a wayward shot with his weaker right foot directly into Tomasevic’s arm for an infraction. But he redeemed himself in the 80th minute by leaping between two Calgary defenders at the edge of the penalty box for what seemed at first like a somewhat hopeless long ball from Jonathan Stadler in the back line; when the ball bounced off some combination of the two defenders and Terron, it fell kindly in his continued path. The Calgary goalkeeper, Dylon Powley, came out to reach it but Terron did so first, prodding a short lob to Tomasevic, who headed, almost in slow motion, into an empty net from the penalty spot.
The Reds defended doggedly for the remaining ten minutes of the match, plus stoppage time, the most notable incidents being LaGro’s last-ditch goal-line intervention and the continued dominance of Akeem Ward at right fullback. If Galas was critical of his team defense, it seems impossible to think that he could have had Ward in mind, so consistent and precise was his positioning and tackling for the full 90 minutes. The teams meet again tomorrow night: the difficulty and expense of travel to and from Calgary frequently results in their having to play games against the same opponent in quick succession, both home and away. Galas said that he “doesn’t know what to expect (from two games in two nights against the same team), because we’ve never done it before,” but it seems likely that Calgary will rue their spate of missed chances and come eager to secure their first point on American soil this season, as well as reassert their dominance atop the Northwest Division table. Whether Lane United will be in a mood to oblige them remains to be seen until Part II.