Lane United Head Coach Conner Cappelletti has left the club to embark on his next coaching challenge in his fiancée Stacie’s home state of Ohio. Cappelletti has taken a position with Cincinnati United Premier as a Head Coach, and the couple have relocated. Everyone at Lane United wish Conner and Stacie the best, and want to thank Cappelletti for his years of dedication to LUFC.
Cappelletti was the first player to call Lane United Managing Director Dave Galas when the announcement was made in June 2013 that there would be open tryouts for two summer exhibition matches at South Eugene and Sheldon High Schools. Cappelletti was out of town and wouldn’t be able to attend the tryouts, but he was definitely good enough to make the team, he assured Galas. That was definitely true, but neither of them could have known at the time that Conner would go on to become Lane United’s longest serving employee.
After the summer exhibitions Lane United was gearing up for its inaugural PDL season and Cappelletti was focusing on coaching. Already holding a USSF C license and coaching multiple youth teams with local club ETFC, he reached out for an interview to be Lane United’s first assistant. His work ethic, passion for the game, and thirst for knowledge were evident from the beginning, and the Galas brothers made the easy decision to hire him, with the club helping him to go on and get his USSF B license.
“I feel really fortunate to have had Conner with us from the beginning. As a younger coach, it was great to have his energy and perspective on things, and I think it helped making connections to some players who were much closer in age to Conner than either John or me” said Dave Galas. “Having played in PDL helped relate to players as well, but his soccer brain combined with his dedication is what really needs to be celebrated. He will be dearly missed.”
Cappelletti was also a real community asset, connecting closely with the local families who he worked with to coordinate homestay housing for players, a program he grew to unprecedented levels this past season. Always a fan favorite, those connections were present with the Red Aces supporters group as well, with numbers of them gathering to watch his three international caps for Guam on TV, despite kickoffs coming at 1 or 3 AM.
When Head Coach John Galas left for Tucson and the new USL League One, the opportunity for Cappelletti to step up to head coach presented itself and Dave thought the time was right. It proved to be a sound decision as Conner assembled and coached a fantastic group of players during the 2019 season. “It was the most disciplined, committed, and close-knit group of players we have ever had,” said Dave Galas “and that is entirely a reflection of our head coach.” Unfortunately, some bad luck against a very hard-working and organized Calgary side on the second to last weekend of the season forced Lane United to settle for tying its best record to date, and just missing out on the playoffs.
“I can’t even begin to try and explain how hard it was to make the decision to leave Eugene” said Cappelletti. “I can’t thank LUFC, and most of all Dave Galas, enough for everything they have done for me. It was an absolute honor to be able to coach LUFC and I would not be the coach I am today without them. I was with Lane United FC since the beginning and this club will always have a place in my heart. GO REDS!!!”
As Lane United prepares to embark on the 2020 season at the new Civic Park, a thrill to everyone at the club and the culmination of years of hard work, it will nonetheless be a bittersweet transition without Cappelletti on the sideline. The whole community wishes Conner the best, and hope we don’t have to wait too long for a visit. Perhaps he’ll join the Red Aces in the stands for a beer and cheer on his beloved Reds in their new home.