Monthly Archives: July 2016
On June 15th, Lane United wrapped up the 2016 season with a special home game at Papé Field. The Reds took on the Washington Crossfire for a chance to gain the third-place spot in the PDL Northwest Division. The game ended disappointingly for the Reds (full match report here), but that didn’t take away from the overall success that the club enjoyed this season.
The season began with a bang when the Reds defeated the Timbers U-23s 1-0, in their first game of the season at Tualatin Hills Athletic Center. They continued earning points at home and on the road with three consecutive ties vs Kitsap Pumas, Victoria Highlanders, and Portland Timbers U-23s before recording their first loss of the season to the Sounders U-23s.
The Reds rallied after that loss, earning a draw two days later against Washington Crossfire, and wins against South Sound FC (non-league friendly), Seattle Sounders U-23s, and Calgary Foothills FC. The Reds lost a bit of momentum in the later half of the season, beginning with a loss at home to Calgary Foothills FC and followed by a draw against non-league rival Club Jalisco, and a loss at home to the Timbers U-23s.
The last four games of the season had a lot riding on them with a chance to earn a spot in the Northwest Division Playoffs and the US Open Cup. Lane United kept their playoff hopes alive with a 1-1 tie against Washington Crossfire on the road but their dream was cut short by a loss to the Kitsap Pumas four days later. The Reds ended the season with a draw against the Victoria Highlanders and Friday night’s loss to the Crossfire to finish sixth in the Northwest Division.
Many LUFC fans will agree that the improvement in the Reds’ overall quality of play, and the dramatic chase for a spot in the playoffs is not reflected in their final division standings and that this season’s team was the best the club has seen. “I’m proud of the effort from the guys all season long,” coach John Galas said. “This is the most talented group of players we’ve had yet….I know I speak for all the players and everyone at the club when I say thank you to them, for such incredible support.”
On behalf of the players, coaches, and staff, Lane United would like to thank all of the fans, sponsors, and volunteers who made this season possible. Thank you for another fantastic season!
Lane United will host the Washington Crossfire in its final home match of the season this Friday, July 15th, at 7:00 PM at the University of Oregon’s Papé Field. The Reds have faced Crossfire twice this season, with both matches ending in draws. After being knocked out of the playoff running for the PDL Northwest Division with a loss to the Kitsap Pumas on Saturday, July 9th, Coach Galas and his team are still have something to play for with a possible 2017 US Open Cup spot on the line.
Washington Crossfire has had an excellent season compared to 2015, with an overall record of 4-4-5 heading into Friday’s game. Friday’s match will take place just ten days after Lane United’s most recent match-up against the Crossfire on July 5th, in Redmond, Washington. The game ended in a 1-1 tie after Riggs Lennon gave Lane United the early lead in the third minute, only to have Crossfire’s Junior Sanchez equalize midway through the second half.
“It’s pretty simple,” said Coach Galas. “We win and we finish in 3rd place. I’ve challenged this group from the beginning of the season to make a playoff spot, and unfortunately we fell short of that goal. Having said that, they have set their own team goal to win our last match and finish in the top three. We played a man down against Crossfire for 45 minutes last time and we are very much looking forward to playing them again. They have added some players in the second half of the season, and have consistently been able to get points in this league. It will be a massive test for our group. this match has a ‘Cup Final’ feel to it, as we know the significance of it. I think the atmosphere will be amazing at Papé Field and we are delighted to play in one of the country’s premier facilities.”
Beer and cider, which Reds’ fans have become accustomed to at the Willamalane Center, will not be available during the game. A beer garden at neighboring PK Park will be open from 5-7pm, however. Tickets for the match are available via laneunitedfc.com/tickets or at the gate.
Lane United FC vs. Washington Crossfire
PAPÉ FIELD, Eugene, Ore.
July 15, 2016 (WEEK 11, PDL Game #14)
7:00 p.m. PT
Lane United play their final game of the season at home against Washington Crossfire.
REFEREE: Wale Animashaun AR1 (bench): Kristin Patterson B AR2(opposite): JJ Blodgett 4th: Andrew Brooks
ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Lane United: 1 win, 6 goals … Washington: 2 wins, 7 goals … 3 ties
AT LANE UNITED (2 meetings): Lane United: 1 win, 3 goals … Washington: 0 wins, 1 goal … 1 tie
AT WASHINGTON (2 meetings): June 5th – Tie (0-0), July 5th – Tie (1-1)
Lane United 1 win, 2-0 (home)
Washington 1 win, 3-1 (home)
After a tough 2-1 loss to Kitsap Pumas on Saturday, the Reds are traveling to Victoria, B.C. to take on the Victoria Highlanders on Monday, July 11th, at 7:30 PM. The Reds’ last match-up against the Highlanders ended in a 0-0 draw at Willamalane.
Saturday’s loss was especially significant for Coach Galas and his team in that it knocked them out of the running for the PDL Northwest Division playoffs, even on points with Crossfire and Kitsap with a game in hand. The Reds displayed quality possession for good portions of the game Saturday and were able to equalize quickly after Kitsap took a second half lead. An 81st minute goal from former LUFC player, Conner Bevans, sealed the win for Kitsap as a loose ball was slipped past the back line for the striker to pass beyond the reach of Barazza in the Lane United net.
The Victoria Highlanders currently sit in sixth place in the Northwest Division after a disappointing 1-0 loss to the playoff-bound Seattle Sounders U-23s. The Lane United backline will have to be watchful of Victoria’s leading goal-scorer, Chris Rushworth (4 goals on the season), and play-making midfielder, Cam Stokes if they want to regain sole possession of third place with a win on Monday night.
“Coming off a tough loss to Kitsap we’ll need to regroup quickly and dig deep for this one,” said Coach Galas. “Our guys were pretty gutted with being knocked out of the playoff hunt, but they know we have a lot to play for and our goal is to finish third. Victoria will be yet another tough team in our division. They’ll be compact defensively, probably line-up in a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 and get numbers behind the ball. They were tough to break down last game and we expect nothing less this time around.”
The Reds will have one more game after Monday night; a home game on Friday, July 15th at the University of Oregon’s Papé Field at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available at laneunitedfc.com/tickets
Lane United FC vs. Victoria Highlanders
UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA, Victoria, B.C.
July 11, 2016 (WEEK 11, PDL Game #12)
7:30 p.m. PT
Lane United’s second road game in three days will be against Victoria Highlanders FC. Their previous match-up this season ended in a 0-0 draw at Willamalane.
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Lane United: 0 wins, 0 goals … Victoria: 2 wins, 9 goals …
AT VICTORIA (1 meeting): Lane United: 0 wins, 0 goals … Victoria: 1 win, 2 goals
The Reds are back on the road this weekend for two games in three days. Lane United will begin their road trip in Bremerton Washington on Saturday, July 9th, where they’ll take on the Kitsap Pumas at 7:00 PM at Gordon Field. In their previous match-up against Kitsap this season, the Reds earned a 0-0 draw at home.
After Monday night’s 1-1 draw against Washington Crossfire, Lane United sits in third place in the Northwest Division of the PDL; 7 points behind second-place Calgary Foothills FC. The Boys in Red will need to pick up some points on the road this weekend in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Kitsap holds the sixth-place spot in the Northwest Division but that doesn’t mean they can be easily overlooked. The Pumas won the division last year and have earned 6 points in their last six games including a 0-0 draw against the Portland Timbers U-23s on Wednesday night.
When asked about Saturday’s game coach John Galas said, “Two games in three days away from home with massive playoff implications on the line… what more could you want? What a great opportunity to play a pro club on the road, with a chance to keep our playoff hopes alive. Kitsap haven’t had the best of results by their high standard this year, but make no mistake about it, record aside they are as good as anyone in the country. They’ll most likely press us high up the pitch, make it difficult for us to find our rhythm and play our style of play and if we do get in behind, they’ll look to catch us on the break. They’ll be organized, with the likes of Keitz, and DeZorzi anchoring the back four and will rely on Sanchez and Ramos to create and score goals. We’ll have to play a disciplined defensive game, and take what few chances we may get in order to take 3 points away from home.”
Following Saturday’s match, Coach Galas and his team will travel to Victoria, B.C. to take on the Victoria Highlanders on Monday, July 11th, at 7:30 PM. The Reds’ last match-up against the Highlanders also ended in a 0-0 draw at Willamalane.
Lane United FC vs. Kitsap Pumas
Gordon Field, Bremerton, WA.
July 9, 2016 (WEEK 10, PDL Game #11)
7:00 p.m. PT
Lane United’s takes on the Kitsap Pumas for the second time this season after earning a 0-0 draw against the defending PDL Northwest Division champs at Willamalane on May 13th.
REFEREES: Center: Raul Sheran AR1: Cephas Quartson AR2: Mike Hohnholz 4th: Soo-Hui Um
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Lane United: 0 wins, 1 goal … Kitsap: 4 wins, 10 goals
AT KITSAP (2 meetings): Lane United: 0 wins, 0 goals … Kitsap: 2 wins, 6 goals
Draw (0-0) at Willamalane 5/13/2106
Lane United: 0 wins
Kitsap: 2 wins, 4-0 (home), 2-0 (at Lane)
Lane United FC drew the Washington Crossfire 1-1 in Redmond, WA on Tuesday night in a match that never strayed far from excitement, for the right and the wrong reasons from a Lane United standpoint. The Reds scored in the third minute through Riggs Lennon but by halftime had only the gods to thank that the Crossfire did not convert one of their dozen or so chances to equalize. When Michael Bajza was harshly sent off for two bookable offenses in quick succession in the 41st minute, the second-half task became clearer—sit back and repel Crossfire attacks, and it nearly worked, but for Junior Sanchez’s excellently taken goal in the 68th minute. Stoppage time featured another red card, for a horror tackle by the Crossfire’s Nathan Aune on Daley Stevens, and then gilt-edged chances at each end as both teams threw caution to the wind in search of a winner. The beleaguered referee Seth Martin’s final whistle blew after a match-saving slide tackle from Daley Stevens to deny a Crossfire breakaway, and the result leaves both clubs still tied for third in the PDL Northwest Division, the Reds with a game in hand.
The match had barely sputtered into life before Lennon gave Lane United an early advantage; he had already thrown himself in front of a clearance by the Crossfire goalkeeper, Saif Kerawala, and deflected the ball into touch, but that was apparently not enough warning to the Crossfire back line, as he pressured the center-half Aune into a poor backpass in the next passage of play. The recent Creighton transfer latched onto it and with minimum fuss slotted it under the keeper for an early 1-0 lead. However, the Reds proceeded to play the next half-hour in a state of unprecedented disorganization, with massive gaps appearing all over midfield, possession only in fleeting moments, and the back line unable to handle the tremendous pace of the Crossfire forward Simon Lekressner and left winger J.T. Townsend. Those two created—and squandered—a handful of chances apiece over the remainder of the half, frequently missing the target or occasionally forcing Lane United’s Ben Willis into an easier save than ought to have been required. Willis did produce one moment of goalkeeping brilliance, though, denying Danny Gavin at full stretch on a free kick from 22 yards, which was about five yards advanced from where the initial foul, from Michael Bajza had taken place. That foul earned him his first, and thoroughly deserved, yellow card, but the second one, which came only a few minutes later, was considerably harsher. The referee, Martin, felt that Bazja’s high-footed nick of a Crossfire player was worthy of a second booking, but given the mild force and speed of the challenge, as well as the fact that it was only fractionally late and 50 yards from goal, it was not clear that it deserved a second caution. It was almost a carbon-copy of events from last year in this fixture, when the Reds’ Jordan Jones was sent off, also late in the first half, for two back-to-back yellow cards; in that match, Lane United collapsed and shipped three goals in the second half, but this year the response from the Reds was significantly more mature.
The Reds came out for the second half with Armando Filho and Isma Fernández having been replaced by Dillon Nino and Jose Carlos Terron, respectively, to create an overtly defensive 4-4-1 formation, with only Ricky Lopez-Espin in an advanced role. The move paid off for awhile, too, with the Crossfire’s chances mostly limited to long shots that did not remotely trouble Willis in goal. In the 65th minute, though, the defense was broken open by the Crossfire fullback Junior Sanchez beating his counterpart Akeem Ward down the left wing and firing just over the bar from a good position on the left side of the box. And Sanchez was more clinical three minutes later, placing a low 25-yard shot in the minuscule window between Willis’ sprawling hand and the left-hand post; it was an equalizer born from the only bit of quality finishing that the Crossfire displayed all match.
The status quo, with the Reds holding the Crossfire at arm’s length well away from goal, was maintained for the next quarter of an hour but with five minutes left to play the balance suddenly shifted. The 86th minute saw Lane United’s first effort on goal in the entire second half, a harmless wide shot by Stevens, but the floodgates opened right afterward. With the Crossfire suddenly at sea, Riggs Lennon slammed a low volley from 18 yards to force a diving save out of Kerawala, then Stevens was scythed down by Aune flying in at full speed, legs extended and studs showing—the type of tackle that results in grisly injuries if the tackler happens to connect. That challenge earned the Crossfire man a straight red card, and from the ensuing free kick, Lennon was inches away from scoring the PDL goal of the season, slamming a 35-yard effort left-footed off the upper 90 of the goalframe. The Reds had chances to put away the rebound, but the ball was eventually cleared, and only a minute later Joel Rydstrand beat several defenders on the dribble before playing in Lennon—only for his close-range shot to be denied by a desperate sliding block from the last Crossfire defender. A goalmouth scramble ensued, which led to a corner; from Lennon’s first delivery, Reds players shouted in vain for a handball when a Crossfire defender awkwardly played the ball out over the goal line, leading to a second corner. From that delivery, someone on Lane United was whistled for jumping to head the ball in the vicinity of Kerawala, and that generous call almost gave Washington the game: Kerawala took the free kick quickly, and with all the Reds within 40 yards of the opposing penalty box, a Crossfire forward was onside at the halfway line. On his last legs, he charged forward toward the retreating Ben Willis, but Daley Stevens, recovering from at least 70 yards away deep in second half stoppage time, produced the tackle of the season to slide in and clear the ball into touch just as the forward was reaching the penalty box. It was the last meaningful action of the game.
Head coach John Galas said afterwards that he is “not sure why we can never end a match 11v11 against the Crossfire. I think our boys are disappointed with the result, but to play down a player for over 45 minutes was always going to be tough. I’m certainly pleased with the effort, the organization and commitment from the whole group tonight. We had to adjust tactically after the sending off, replacing Filho and Fernández, which was tough, but at the end of the day the changes we made played a big part in us almost stealing 3 points tonight. We have to stay positive, stay united and committed to the cause as we prepare for Kitsap. We still have a fighting chance to make the playoffs and we are without question going to give everything we have next match to keep the dream alive.” With FC Tucson looking increasingly likely to wrap up the automatic bye in the Western Conference playoffs, the Reds face a two-game road trip, at Kitsap Pumas on July 9 and Victoria Highlanders on July 11, and the last match of the regular season hosting the Crossfire at home, at Papé Field, on July 15, needing victories in all three to keep playoff hopes alive. With the way the PDL NW Division has unfolded thus far, nothing would be surprising. Stay tuned.
Following Wednesday night’s controversial home match against Portland Timbers U-23s, Lane United heads to Washington for the first of a three-game road series. Tuesday’s match will mark the second time LUFC has competed against Washington Crossfire on their home turf this season. The first match ended in a 0-0 draw after 90 minutes of play in the sweltering sun.
Washington Crossfire joins Lane United and Victoria Highlanders in the middle of the Northwest Division table with 13 points apiece. The Reds have a slight edge over Crossfire and the Highlanders because they have played ten games to their fellow third-place contenders’ eleven. Crossfire will benefit from a nine day rest period leading up to Tuesday’s game, with their most recent match-up having been held on Sunday, June 26th. Crossfire lost 1-2 in an away game against Victoria.
“This will be a great test for us,” said coach Galas. “Crossfire have added a few new players and are well coached and very organized. We had trouble breaking them down last time we played them up here. We are a little banged up at the moment but we have had a great week of training and our guys certainly understand the significance of this match. We are still fighting for a playoff spot, and this is a must-win game.”
The Reds will face Crossfire tonight at 7PM then will have a short three-day break before hitting the road to take on Kitsap Pumas and Victoria Highlanders this weekend.
Lane United FC vs. Washington Crossfire
REDMOND HIGH SCHOOL, Redmond, Wash.
July 5, 2016 (WEEK 10, PDL Game #10)
7:30 p.m. PT
Lane United looks to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win on the road against Washington Crossfire.
REFEREE: Seth Martin AR1 (bench): Adam Sanchez B AR2(opposite): Kyle Thomas 4th: Benjamin Oakley
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Lane United: 1 win, 5 goals … Washington: 2 wins, 6 goals … 2 ties
AT WASHINGTON (3 meetings): Lane United: 0 wins, 2 goals … Washington: 2 wins, 5 goals … 1 tie
AT WASHINGTON (1 meeting): Tie, 0-0
Lane United 1 win, 2-0 (home)
Washington 1 win, 3-1 (home)