Monthly Archives: October 2016
By Keeler McJunkin
Lane United midfielder Matt Coffey and the University of Portland are on a roll as the college season is hitting the stretch run. The Pilots have won five straight and are sitting atop the West Coast Conference at 3-0 with five games remaining on the schedule.
Coffey, a redshirt junior, scored his second goal of the season last week in a wild 3-2 victory over San Francisco, putting a corner from teammate Eddie Sanchez into the back of the net for the Pilots second goal.
“Eddie played a nice ball to the near post and I got a little flick on it,” Coffey said. “It hit off the goalkeeper and slipped in, but it was awesome. I always love getting on the score sheet.”
A regular in the starting lineup, Coffey was on the field from the beginning for 12 of Portland’s 13 games and has been a big part of the Pilots resurgence on the pitch after finishing seventh out of eight teams in conference a year ago.
The 3-0 record in conference play is Portland’s best start since 2002. Coffey said the Pilots looked at the beginning of league play as a second season and really took it as a fresh start and clean slate.
“We kind of hit our stride at the right moment,” Coffey said. “When you can keep your confidence from previous games and keep it rolling it’s huge. We have a lot of confidence in our group and that’s been great.”
Throughout the season Coffey has been working on improving the little things in his game while also keeping a good mindset as the season moves along. Consistency and taking each day as they come has been at the forefront of his work during the college season.
“I try to get a little bit better, take little steps forward every day and hopefully by the end of the year I’m playing my best,” Coffey said. “If you just work hard in training every day the games take care of themselves.”
The summer season with Lane United has had a big impact on allowing Coffey to keep that consistency going from the end of the school year through the summer, without allowing rust to set in on the field.
Coffey, whose summer season was cut short due to summer school obligations, pointed to the quality of players Lane United brings in and the ability of the coaching staff to bring out the best in those players as reasons why training with his Lane teammates is so helpful.
“At Lane United it’s so competitive and the training environment is so great you keep that match sharpness and fitness,” Coffey said. “If you don’t play in any competitive games for even a couple weeks or months it’s tough to get it back.”
Lane United head coach John Galas isn’t surprised to see the level of success Coffey and his University of Portland teammates are having on the field this season. Galas saw the process and demeanor that he brings to the field over the summer.
“Matt Coffey is a consummate team player who we asked to play a variety of positions in 2016 and he accepted each opportunity with tremendous professionalism,” Galas said. “He’s a wonderful player and an even better person. We’re delighted he’s having such an impactful season at UP this year.”
The Pilots came in just out of the Top 25 at No. 27 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll this week and have a bye before facing Loyola Marymount and San Diego in Portland next Friday and Sunday.
Coffey said while the recognition is nice, he and his teammates are trying not to put too much stock into it and play one game at a time.
“We’re not really paying too much attention to rankings and the news right now,” Coffey said. “Focusing on our next opponent is important and if we do that everything else will fall into place.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/18/16
EUGENE, Ore. — Lane United FC assistant coach Conner Cappelletti has been selected to play for the Guam men’s national team in the East Asian Football Federation E-1 Championship Round 2 that begins Nov. 6 in Hong Kong.
Cappelletti will join the Matao for the EAFF tournament before returning to continue preparations for the 2017 PDL season on Lane United’s coaching staff under head coach John Galas.
Guam will open play against Hong Kong (Nov. 6) before facing North Korea (Nov. 9) and Chinese Taipei (Nov. 12) in their next two matches. The winner advances to the Final with China, Japan, and South Korea.
“I’m really looking forward to competing against this level of competition,” Cappelletti said. “I’ve competed against high level players in the past, but this is a new level, atmosphere, and challenge for me.”
The Matao, currently ranked 177th in the World, are led by interim head coach Darren Sawatzky as they search for a full-time replacement. Sawatzky is also currently head man for the Tacoma Stars of the Major Arena Soccer League and the Seattle Sounders U23 team.
“We are excited to bring Conner into the Matao for the EAFF,” Sawatzky said. “We are always looking for new players for our player pool and Conner should get valuable experience on this trip as we build for the future.”
Cappelletti said visiting China is a bucket list experience for him that adds another layer to playing for Guam, but he’s also looking towards the future and what it can do for him as a coach as he works towards getting a USSF National “A” Coaching License.
“I’m also excited about this as a learning tool for coaching,” Cappelletti said. “I know Darren, so I’ve been asking him questions here and there about the coaching side of things. I’ll be able to see what it’s like at the national team level and really what that entails first hand.”
Cappelletti played Division I soccer in the Horizon League at Valparaiso University. He also played 2 years in the PDL with the Indiana Invaders and Kansas City Brass. He currently holds a USSF National “B” Coaching License and has been on the Lane United staff since 2013, while also serving as a coach for local youth soccer club, Eugene Timbers Futbol Club.
By Keeler McJunkin
Lane United players Aidan Johnson and Casey ChubbFertal first played together as teammates at South Eugene High School. ChubbFertal was a junior and Johnson was a sophomore at the time.
After two years of playing side-by-side with the Axemen, ChubbFertal went on to play soccer at the University of Redlands in southern California while Johnson completed his senior year at South Eugene.
Johnson graduated from high school and decided to continue his soccer career at Claremont McKenna College, a rival SCIAC conference school of ChubbFertal’s Redlands team.
The two Eugene natives went from playing with each other as a midfield duo in high school, to facing off as rivals in college, and finally becoming teammates again as members of Lane United while getting to take the field for their hometown club.
“Being able to play against Casey in a college setting brought me back to practices at South Eugene and Lane United,” Johnson said. “It’s been really fun to compete with and also against a player like Casey.”
The two have built a bond through going back and forth as teammates and rivals over the last five years and respect what each other have accomplished at their respective schools.
Both teams are sitting in playoff position heading into the final five games of the regular season. ChubbFertal’s Bulldogs currently lead the SCIAC while Johnson’s Stags sit in a tie for third, but Redlands always has competitive games with Claremont.
“They’re a really good team, we always have tough games with them,” ChubbFertal said. “Aiden’s becoming a big part of that team, which is great for him and great for those guys that come from where we do in Eugene. We’re showing there are some good players coming out of there.”
ChubbFertal was named the SCIAC Men’s Soccer Athlete of the Week for his work a week ago when he provided the assist in a 1-0 win over Chapman and scored twice in a wild 5-3 win against Pomona-Pitzer. His second goal served as the game-winner for the Bulldogs.
Johnson is happy to see the on-field success that ChubbFertal is enjoying this season with Redlands.
“It’s competitive out on the field, but when the game is done we’re still good friends off the field,” Johnson said. “It’s great to see him having so much success in the league right now.”
For both ChubbFertal and Johnson, playing the summer season with Lane United in their hometown is something special that they say they won’t forget.
“There are guys who come from all over the place to play on our team, but we get to play at home in front of our fans,” ChubbFertal said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Lane United has been bringing the soccer community together in Eugene/Springfield for the last three years with not only players and fans, but by providing a summer team to get behind, something the area hasn’t seen before.
“I really enjoy being able to play in front of people I’ve known my entire life and rep my city,” Johnson said. “It’s great we have a club in Eugene right now and I think it’s something the city has been missing.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/10/16
EUGENE, Ore — Lane United FC sporting director and head coach John Galas has accepted an assistant coach position with Villarreal CF B. The Vila-real, Spain based reserve club plays in the Segunda División B. Galas will officially join the club in mid-November and will return in late January to prepare for the PDL season.
Founded in 1923, Villarreal CF is coached by Fran Escribá and currently plays in the spanish top flight, La Liga. Galas will be working under Paco Lopez, the head coach of Villarreal CF B and will be playing against the B teams of other La Liga sides Barcelona, Espanyol, and Valencia.
Villarreal’s first team currently sits in fourth place in the La Liga standings, with the B team occupying 13th in Group 3 of Segunda División B.
“I liken it to an educational trip as much as it is a coaching opportunity,” Galas said. “Learning more of the methodology, working with top-level players and helping any way I can. It’s a pretty rare opportunity for an American coach, so I’m pretty fortunate.”
Galas hopes to turn this coaching stint with Villarreal FC into a potential partnership between the club and Lane United FC by seeing first-hand how the team goes about their training sessions and how they prepare for games.
“The connections and network we’ll continue to develop over there will be very helpful,” Galas said. “Hopefully we can source some players from Villarreal directly and establish a formal partnership with them. I think that will be very beneficial.”
Managing director Dave Galas foresees the partnership with Villarreal being not only beneficial on the field, but helping Lane United grow on the business side while creating a new relationship for fans.
“We have been developing good relationships with some of the best clubs in Spain and this position for John expands our opportunity to raise the profile and offerings of Lane United,” director Galas said. “I see great possibilities from player exchange programs, to coaching clinics and camps, and even sports tourism for our fans. Having been to El Madrigal a number of times, it’s a wonderful experience I’d love for our fans to share.”
Coach Galas will enter his fourth year at the helm of LUFC in 2017 and previously held coaching positions for the Portland Thorns FC, Real Salt Lake Academy, Florida State University, University of Oregon, the Portland Timbers, and the Arizona Wildcats. Galas also interned for Liverpool FC while earning his MBA in Football Industries at the University of Liverpool.