Tag Archives: Crossfire
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)
EUGENE, Ore. — Lane United are back on the road this weekend with a two-game lineup in Washington. The Reds will begin the weekend by facing off against Seattle Sounders U-23s on Friday, June 3rd then will move on to face Washington Crossfire on Sunday, June 5th. The Reds are currently in third-place in the PDL Northwest Division, with 6 points for the season.
The Seattle Sounders U-23s had a late start to their 2016 PDL season, due to their participation in the U.S. Open Cup. Of the two league games they have played thus far, the Sounders U-23s have earned one win against Washington Crossfire and one loss against Kitsap Pumas. The Sounders will play nine games during the month of June to make up for the late start to their season.
Coach John Galas said, “Sounders U23 are, as usual, one of the top teams in the league. They are well coached, disciplined and organized defensively and will always be dangerous on the attack with Delgado up top. We haven’t had much luck on the road in last two years with the Sounders U23’s and we fully expect a tough match. They have quality and depth in every position, we will need to play extremely well to get a result on the road.”
Following their game on Friday, the Reds will have just one day of rest before taking on Washington Crossfire on Sunday at Lake Washington High School. Crossfire currently sits just ahead of Lane United in the Northwest Division table with seven points to Lane United’s six. Washington also faces a two-game weekend with their first match taking place on Friday against Portland Timbers U-23s.
“Crossfire are another tough group in this extremely competitive league” said Galas. “They have had some great early results, and we fully expect them to come at us. They do play the Timbers U23’s on the Friday night, so perhaps we’ll see a different group than the one we have scouted, but nonetheless, they will be as competitive as anyone in this NW Division.”
Lane United FC vs. Seattle Sounders U-23s
SUNSET STADIUM, Sumner, Wash.
June 3, 2016 (WEEK 5, PDL Game #5)
7:30 p.m. PT
Lane United travels to Washington for the first of two road games this weekend. The first game will be a matchup against Seattle Sounders U-23s. Lane United looks to break free from their streak of closely-fought ties with a win on the road.
REFEREE: Soo-Hui Um AR1 (bench): Christian Clerc AR2(opposite): Rachel Cabacungan 4th: Joshua Merfeld
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Lane United: 1 win, 3 goals … Seattle: 3 wins, 7 goals
AT SEATTLE (2 meetings): Lane United: 0 wins, 0 goals … Seattle: 2 wins, 5 goals
Lane United 0 wins
Seattle 2 wins, 1-0 (home) … 1-2 (at Lane United)
Lane United FC vs. Washington Crossfire
LAKE WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL, Kirkland, Wash.
June 5, 2016 (WEEK 5, PDL Game #6)
5:00 p.m. PT
Lane United continues their Washington road trip with a match against Washington Crossfire.
REFEREE: CJ Koll AR1 (bench): Manuel S Soledad B AR2(opposite): Benjamin Moore 4th: Vernon Winters
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Lane United: 1 win, 5 goals … Washington: 2 wins, 6 goals … 1 tie
AT WASHINGTON (2 meetings): Lane United: 0 wins, 2 goals … Washington: 2 wins, 5 goals
Lane United 1 win, 2-0 (home)
Washington 1 win, 3-1 (home)