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SPRINGFIELD — Offensive woes came back to haunt the Reds again in the season finale at the Les Schwab Sports Park Sunday, ultimately ending in a 3-0 loss to the Portland Timbers U23’s in front of a season-high crowd of 569 fans.
Lane United (8-6-5 Overall, 3-6-5 PDL) struggled to find opportunities on goal against the the Portland defense all game long, tallying just four shots against goalkeeper Jordan Farr.
The win for Portland clinched a Northwest Division title for Timbers U23 after Victoria Highlanders played to a 1-1 draw on the road at Calgary Foothills FC.
Lane United’s home defeats throughout the season came when the Reds struggled to create chances on the offensive end. This happened again Sunday as LUFC was without forward Jordan Jones who was tied with his running mate Nick Moon for the team lead in goals at six.
Two of the Portland goals came on giveaways from Lane United in very poor locations near the box that didn’t give goalkeeper Ben Willis a chance to make a save. Those giveaways are hard to overcome, especially when the offense isn’t running smoothly.
“We talked coming in that the longer we stayed in the game it would be more pressure on the Timbers because they needed to win to take the division title,” head coach John Galas said. “When you gift a team two goals like that, a good team that’s in rhythm and playing exceptionally well it’s going to be tough to get back in it.”
Lane United goalkeeper Ben Willis made six saves against an attacking Portland front line, including a fantastic diving save to his right to knock away a shot that was headed for the back of the net.
Throughout the season the Reds missed a few chances here and made some mistakes there that led to dropping important points that may have changed the outcome of some matches leading to a different stretch run.
It’s all part of the learning curve in the Premier Development League.
“This group was certainly committed, they fought and they worked hard,” Galas said. “It’s a good group, we have so much quality in that locker room. I’ll go to war with these guys any day. It’s been a fun group to work with all summer.”
EUGENE — Lane United is set to host in-state rival Portland Timbers U23 in the season finale Sunday at the Les Schwab Sports Park. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
The Reds (3-5-5 PDL, 8-5-5 Overall) are looking to finish strong after posting a 7-1 victory over Victoria and earning a 1-1 draw against division leader Calgary in their last two PDL matches. The latter being the third point earned this year against the 2016 national finalists.
Portland (7-2-4 PDL) enters the last match of the season having clinched a playoff spot in the Northwest Division. The Timbers will face Calgary in the play-in game, with the host to be determined based on this week’s results.
For Lane United head coach John Galas, his message to the team won’t be anything different from the approach they’ve had all season.
“Cup final mentality,” Galas said. “We want to win regardless of where we are in the table and regardless of the opponent. We’re looking to finish the season on a high note and reward our fans who have been great all year with three points.”
The matchups with Portland take on a bigger meaning than other opponents in the league to some of the Lane United players. A few of them have played for both programs during their careers and want to perform at their best when taking on friends and former teammates.
One of those players is defender Peter Prescott, a member of the Timbers U23’s last season and a part of the program for five years all together.
“It’s always fun when we play them and there’s certainly a little more to it,” Prescott said. “We play a lot of these guys in college and we know them well. It’ll be a really good thing for us to try and get the victory Sunday. It’s a rivalry through and through.”
Portland may be playing Sunday for the right to host the play-in match for the PDL playoffs against Calgary. Foothills FC lead the Timbers by two points heading into their match vs. Victoria Sunday afternoon. The Timbers will know whether they have that option available before they kickoff against Lane United.
“Depending on who they select for the match we expect them to come out and play for three points, however the personnel on the field may be a bit different,” John Galas said. “System wise I expect them to roll out in a 4-3-3 with high pressure and look to get their outside backs as far up the field as possible. They play good football and they are possession oriented much like us.”
In what has been three tense and physical matches between Lane United and Portland so far this season, Sunday is sure to be very similar with playoff ramifications and pride on the line for the two sides.
The players for the Reds want this group to be remembered as one that continued to build the Lane United program and recorded the most PDL points in LUFC’s short history.
“We want to finish this season strong, all the guys are excited to play,” Peter Prescott said. “Each year Lane United has gotten better and better and we really want to make a name for ourselves.”
Click here to get tickets for Sunday’s match and support your Reds!
Lane United finished its schedule of friendlies without a blemish after getting past Southern Oregon Starphire 3-1 at Walter A. Phillips Field in Ashland on Wednesday.
The Reds got on the board first in the 30th minute when Anthony Macchione found the back of the net for the sixth time in the last two matches. Macchione recorded five goals in last Saturday’s friendly against Berliner Weisse FC.
Lane United’s second goal came on a strike from 25 yards out by Isma Fernandez in the 60th minute, after he won the ball from a Starphire defender. That was followed by another bomb from 25 yards out, this time by Rafa Llamas as he found the side netting to give the Reds a 3-0 advantage.
Starphire would finally get on the board in the 88th minute after Lane United Goalkeeper Ben Willis was issued a red card. Defender Mitch LaGro took over in goal for the Reds on the ensuing penalty kick and guessed right, but couldn’t make the save as the ball slipped by.
Two players made their Lane United debuts Wednesday night as Brandon Saucedo came on at the half in place of Macchione, and Collin ChubbFertal, younger brother of Casey ChubbFertal replaced Joe Corner in the 74th minute.
Lane United outscored its opponents in friendlies by a combined 26-2 in five matches on the season.
Up Next: The Reds will now turn their attention to the season finale as in-state rival Portland Timbers U23 visit the Les Schwab Sports Park for the PDL Game of the Week Sunday at 7:30pm.
EUGENE — Lane United’s season finale Sunday night vs. in-state rival Portland Timbers U23 has been named the national Game of the Week by the Premier Development League.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm from the Les Schwab Sports Park in Springfield.
The Reds are looking to secure the most PDL points in Lane United’s short four year history with a result against Timbers U23. Meanwhile, Portland is still in the hunt for a Northwest Division title, currently sitting two points behind leader Calgary Foothills FC.
Stay tuned for a full match preview to be released Thursday.
SPRINGFIELD — Lane United welcomed Berliner Weisse FC to the Les Schwab Sports Park for the final home friendly of the 2017 season Saturday, but the Reds weren’t so friendly in terms of the score.
LUFC outscored the visitors 10-1 on a beautiful summer night in the WIllamette Valley and were led by forward Anthony Macchione who put away five goals. Defender Peter Prescott scored two of his own after moving up to the front line in the second half.
The Reds improved to 4-0 in friendly matches on the season, matchups head coach John Galas has used for getting different players minutes and tinkering with lineups or positions for the regulars.
Saturday, however, was special as the Berliner Weisse FC roster featured players from the local area, some who have even played for Lane United in the past or have aspirations to be Reds in the future.
“We know a lot about the guys on that roster and player for player they’re good, I was surprised by the scoreline,” Galas said. “These are all guys who either grew up playing here or are currently playing here. They’re all good players and it’s great to do something like this for our community.”
Macchione has been a terror in friendlies this season, scoring goal after goal in the four non league matches, but has struggled to find the back of the net in PDL games. He was able to get open chances throughout the match Saturday and didn’t waste them when he had an opportunity.
“I’ve been struggling so far this year to find the net in PDL games, so it felt good to finally do that again and get my legs back under me,” Macchione said. “These games are always a good exercise because you can move the ball and start to form connections with other teammates. It’s a very good experience for the team.”
Lane United enters the final week of the season with an away friendly at Southern Oregon Starphire on Wednesday, followed by the final match of the season at home against in-state PDL rival Portland Timbers U23.
The Reds will potentially have an opportunity to play the role of spoiler in that season finale as Timbers U23 are in the hunt for not only a playoff position, but a league title. Portland currently sits atop the table after defeating Calgary Foothills FC 4-0 Saturday, with another matchup against Foothills coming Sunday.
For Lane United, the match represents not only a spoiler opportunity, but a chance to make history in the Reds’ short four year time as a PDL franchise. A win over Portland would give LUFC 17 points on the league season, the most ever as a club.
“We want to win,” Galas said. “If we can play spoiler in any capacity we will, but I want to send these guys off with the most points in program history and a win. The commitment level and dedication from these guys all season has been wonderful. I don’t expect that to slip up at all.”
UP NEXT: Lane United hosts Portland Timbers U23 next Sunday, July 16, in a match that could determine the PDL Northwest Division Championship. Click here to get tickets and support your Reds!
Lane United hosts Berliner Weisse FC in the final home friendly of the 2017 season Saturday night at the Les Schwab Sports Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm PT.
Berliner Weisse FC is a local select club featuring talent from the Eugene/Springfield area including a few former Reds and players who starred at local high schools and colleges.
Food truck The Dumpling Group will be on-site, along with coffee, ice cream and smoothie truck, Most Wanted Espresso. And of course the Oakshire Brewing beer garden and cocktails from local distillery Thinking Tree Spirits.
SPRINGFIELD — Lane United battled PDL Northwest Division leader Calgary to a 1-1 draw Thursday at the Les Schwab Sports Park, earning their third point of the season against Foothills FC, the 2016 national runner-up.
After conceding an early goal to Calgary’s Chris Rushworth in the third minute, the Reds (6-5-5 Overall, 3-5-5 PDL) were able to turn time of possession in their favor and create chances looking for an equalizer.
Lane United had several chances to score after the goal from Rushworth. Jordan Jones, Akeem Ward and Nick Moon all had shots that were on target from inside the box and out, but couldn’t find a finish as Calgary keeper Dylon Powley made four saves in nine minutes.
Those opportunities finally culminated with a goal in the 39th minute from Jones, his seventh of the season. Nick Moon had a nice run up the middle and Jones alone in the box as he was able to put it away past Powley.
“The response was great after giving up the early goal,” Lane United head coach John Galas said. “We kept at it. I thought our possession and our build up was great. Our ability to get in behind a very organized defense was excellent and we got the goal back.”
Lane United has given Foothills FC (7-1-3 PDL) problems in all three meetings this season, including two draws in Calgary last month where the home side currently is riding a 15 match unbeaten streak.
After falling out of contention for the playoffs with a loss last week, Lane United’s goal in the final matches of the season has been to play hard and put pressure on the teams ahead of them who are still in the playoff hunt. They were able to do that Thursday.
“They didn’t know how to deal with what we were doing in the first half,” Lane United defender Akeem Ward said. “I was on their side (of the field) and the coach was confused. They didn’t know what to do. Then the red card came in the second half and it got a little chippy after that. Both teams were getting after it and it made the last three minutes feel like 10. We could have gotten a result, but sometimes that’s football.”
That red card came in the 63rd minute when Lane United’s Mitch LaGro was issued his second caution of the match. That led to physical play, confrontations with the referee and several more fouls from both sides that ultimately ended with another red card. This time shown to Calgary’s Nico Pasquotti in stoppage time when he received his second caution.
The ability of the Reds to break down a very organized Calgary side and make them look uncomfortable for much of the match was a good sign for the remainder of the season. Not only the friendly at home on Saturday and then on the road next week, but when Portland Timbers U23 visit for the PDL season finale next Sunday.
“It took us awhile as a club to figure out our identity and to understand it’s a 14 game season,” Galas said. “We can’t afford a draw against TSS or dropping points when we dominate Victoria. We win games like that and we’re talking about a playoff position for us right now with the quality we had on this field. I’m proud of the boys because they haven’t quit. You saw that tonight and you’ll see that next Sunday in the finale.”
After battling one of the best teams in the country to a third draw on the season the Reds sit at 14 points in the division, the most Lane United has tallied in its short four year history as a PDL franchise. Certainly something to build on as Lane United looks to make that 17 points on the season when Portland visits for the season finale next Sunday.
UP NEXT: Lane United hosts Berliner Weisse FC Saturday night at 7:30pm in the fourth and final home friendly of the season. Click here to get tickets and support your Reds!
EUGENE — Lane United hosts PDL Northwest Division leader Calgary Foothills FC Thursday at 7:30pm from the Les Schwab Sports Park in the penultimate league match of the season for the Reds.
Calgary enters Thursday riding a seven match unbeaten streak and currently sit one point ahead of Portland Timbers U23 in the league table, providing an opportunity for Lane United to have an impact on the division title race.
Lane United (6-5-4 Overall, 3-5-4 PDL) has matched up well in recent opportunities against 2016 PDL national runner-up Calgary, most recently recording two draws on the road just three weeks ago. A huge accomplishment against a side that hasn’t lost in 15 straight matches at the Calgary Soccer Center.
The two draws on the road last month and Saturday’s big 7-1 victory over Victoria Highlanders FC will go a long way to giving the Reds confidence as the match kicks off Thursday night.
“Heading into this week we just want to play well and get three points vs. Calgary,” Lane United head coach John Galas said. “Our task at hand is to make sure we are prepared, come out with the right mentality, attitude, and play for each other.”
Coach Galas has likened the matchups with Calgary (7-1-2 PDL) to more of a chess match than when the Reds face other clubs in the league. A big key being limiting chances for Calgary’s explosive forwards Dominic Russo and Ali Musse.
“We certainly need to be aware of Russo and Musse,” Galas said. “They are a balanced team and can hurt you in a variety of ways. That said, if we can limit Russo and Musse’s involvement in the game we’ll have a chance.”
Coming off Saturday’s performance against Victoria where the Reds scored seven goals, including five in the first half, the flood gates were broken as Lane United had been struggling to put away chances when given the opportunity.
As the season reaches its final weeks, the Reds have the ability to play free and put pressure on other teams in the PDL playoff hunt. That first opportunity comes Thursday against Calgary, a team that has a lot on the line in their three matches this week.
“Our boys enjoy the opportunity to play them every year and embrace the challenge,” Galas said. “It will be really great for these players. They need to play in those type of environments.”
The Reds face local select club Berliner Weisse FC in the final home friendly of the 2017 season at 7:30pm Saturday from the Les Schwab Sports Park. The friendlies have given Galas the opportunity to spread minutes around and see different groups together on the field, something he’ll continue to do this week, while also allowing some local players to get on the field and see what they can do against a side like Lane United.
Click here to get your tickets for this week’s matches and support your Reds!
EUGENE — There was a red wind blowing from the south all afternoon at the Les Schwab Sports Park on Saturday.
Isma Fernandez scored a hat trick as the Reds put away five first half goals to roll past Victoria Highlanders FC 7-1 in the second match in three days between the two sides.
A far cry from Thursday’s match when Lane United had 27 shots but couldn’t finish in a 1-0 defeat, the signature red smoke from the Red Aces filled the air seven times Saturday.
Lane United has often been able to put pressure on opposing sides throughout the season at home by scoring early and continuing to press. That benefited the Reds again against Victoria.
“When we score first we haven’t lost,” head coach John Galas said. “The message after Thursday was just to play the same brand of football and if we finished our first chance, we thought the game would come to us. I’m pleased with the effort, quality of finishing and having several players score.”
Forward Nick Moon recorded two goals of his own, his seventh and eighth of the season to lead Lane United in that category. Meanwhile, Joel Rydstrand scored his first of the year, a beautiful curling finish from 22 yards out after he received a great ball from Akeem Ward. Anthony Macchione put away the Reds last goal that gave Ward his second assist of the afternoon.
In this fourth Premier Development League season of play for the Reds, Saturday’s 7-1 result was the largest margin of victory in a PDL match during Lane United’s short history. A sign of how far the team has come since its inaugural season in 2014 that featured a 7-0 loss at home to Victoria.
The three points earned Saturday give Lane United momentum as division leader Calgary Foothills FC visit the Les Schwab Sports Park Thursday, July 6 for the penultimate PDL match of the 2017 season.
For the Reds, the remaining matches give a chance to keep growing as a team and carry over this confidence into the match against 2016 PDL runner-up Calgary, a side Lane United was able to record two draws against last month on the road.
“I think if we take care of the ball and keep the confidence going in, we can get at them a little bit,” Galas said. “It’s an important game for us. We’ve set a target of winning our last three games and putting pressure on other teams in the playoff hunt.”
Galas talked about how well the Reds executed game plans in the 0-0 and 1-1 draws against Foothills on the road and expects to see more of that from his guys next week.
Calgary will enter Thursday riding a seven match unbeaten streak after defeating Seattle Sounders U23 twice last week.
“It’ll be a chess match and will take a goal or two either way,” Galas said. “It will be really great for these players. They need to play in those type of environments. It’s going to be a good match. I’m excited for it.”
UP NEXT: Lane United hosts Calgary Foothills FC Thursday, July 6 at 7:30pm. Click here to get tickets and support your Reds!
EUGENE — Lane United outplayed Victoria Highlanders FC for much of the night at the Les Schwab Sports Park Thursday, but couldn’t finish chances inside the 18 on the way to falling 1-0.
The lone goal of the match came on a free kick from Victoria’s Sho Goto after a foul was called on Akeem Ward in the 76th minute. That was all the Highlanders needed thanks to keeper Simon Norgrove.
Norgrove recorded 10 saves on the night, several of them full extension. The Reds were able to find open shots throughout the match, including three clear cut opportunities in the opening minutes, but couldn’t find the net.
“We came off really strong and we had great opportunities early,” Lane United defender Jonathan Stadler said. “We took shots, created goal scoring opportunities — we did our job. I just think they had a lot of great defense and good saves from their goalkeeper. We couldn’t get that one to slip in.”
Lane United outshot Victoria 27-12 and controlled possession for the majority of the 90 minutes, the Reds just couldn’t find a way to beat Norgrove.
It will be a quick turnaround for the two sides as the second match in three days kicks off at 12:30pm Saturday afternoon. For Lane United (5-5-4 Overall, 2-5-4 PDL) they will need to put this one behind them and find ways to score.
“The biggest thing for us is to come out Saturday ready to compete,” Stadler said. “It can’t be a mentality where we lost and it’s another three points lost in our season. It’s what can we do better to create that goal scoring opportunity and put them away. We need to have the right mentality Saturday, that’ll be the main factor.”
Committing innoportune fouls has led to allowing set piece goals throughout the season. A problem head coach John Galas has routinely mentioned as a focal point in film sessions and training.
That came back to bite the Reds again Thursday as the lone goal of the match was conceded on a free kick after a foul.
“Everything we saw on video we saw tonight, we were prepared, we scouted and we had everything except for the goal,” Galas said. “We talked at halftime about not conceding set pieces and a rough tackle in a dangerous spot led to them punishing us. When you make those mistakes you get punished.”
With three league matches remaining at home, the Reds still have points available to move up the table. That starts with Victoria (3-5-0 PDL) on Saturday, followed by matches against top teams in the table Calgary and Portland Timbers U23.
“I’m proud of the effort and proud of the response from last game,” Galas said. “Points wise this could be our best season in history. The boys want that and they want to finish with wins. Hopefully we get the same mentality and energy Saturday and get three points.”
Up Next: Lane United hosts Victoria for match two Saturday afternoon at 12:30pm. Click here to get your tickets and support your Reds!