Tag Archives: Players
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.”
By Keeler McJunkin
Former Lane United FC standout Khiry Shelton is making his presence felt during his second year as a pro with NYCFC of the MLS after being selected second overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
Shelton played in 17 games while recording seven starts during his rookie year, but the forward already has 11 starts to his name and has played in 19 games this season while scoring three goals and assisting on nine others.
Last Friday Shelton had three assists after getting the start in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Fire that moved NYCFC into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference and helped them clinch their first-ever MLS playoff spot.
Shelton has one goal and five assists in his last four games with the club and his nine assists rank second on the team, only one behind maestro Andrea Pirlo.
“The season has been great so far,” Shelton said. “I’m learning a lot from the coaching staff and other players around me. You always have nerves and the spotlight in the first season, it’s all new to you. I’m becoming smarter and learning little things to help me get more time on the ball.”
A big change for Shelton has been playing with legends of the sport like David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard. He hasn’t allowed himself to get star-struck around them, but has been soaking in the experience of taking the field with them.
“Growing up you watch these guys on tv and want to be in their position,” Shelton said. “To be able to play with them is amazing. There are times I sit back and it really hits me, but at the same time it’s business, they’re my teammates and we have a job to get done.”
Even though he’s playing on the big stage in New York City inside an iconic place like Yankee Stadium, Shelton hasn’t lost track of how he got there and who helped him along the way. He said his time with Lane United helped him get to where he is today.
“John Galas and our assistant coach Conner (Cappelletti), just the whole organization in general were able to help me get my name out there even more,” Shelton said. “We were training almost every day and the group of guys John brought in helped me showcase my talent. I was able to get my confidence up and be around really good players.”
Shelton said Lane United head coach John Galas had a big impact on him both on and off the field by not only teaching the athletic side of playing the sport, but also the mental aspect of what you need to be doing as a player to be successful.
“He’s a player coach,” Shelton said. “He gets what he wants out of his players whether he has to be hard on them or kind of comfort them. He’s able to do both. He’s like a father figure, if you ever need anything he’d easily be the first person you can call.”
Not only has Shelton been seeing more time on the field with NYCFC, he’s a current member of the USA Under-23 national team and was called up to the senior United States squad for friendlies against Iceland and Canada earlier this year.
Playing for the national team has been quite a different soccer experience for Shelton than he’s seen with any club team in the past.
“I got to play with a lot of the players who have been with the national team for awhile and I got to train with them a lot,” Shelton said. “That was an amazing experience. When you’re with the national team instead of your club cheering for you, you have people from all over the United States cheering for you. That was pretty awesome.”
Earlier this season venerable midfielder and now current NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira said he thinks Shelton can be one of the best players in the MLS before his career is done. While those are big words coming from Vieira, Shelton knows he has the talent to get where he wants to be as a player.
“The things he (Vieira) has done as a player and the things he accomplishes are amazing,” Shelton said. “I know what I can do, but it’s all about me willing to put in the work. I need to stay focused and not think about what I can be, just be me right now. He’s a great coach and he’s been hard on me, but at the same time I know it’s because he wants the best out of me.”
As the MLS playoffs are getting closer, Shelton and his NYCFC teammates are looking to continue their strong play as of late and really make a push to go deep into the postseason.
“We’re a team that knows we can score at any point in time with the talent and determination we have as a team,” Shelton said. “We’ve been doing well and we want to continue to do well.”
By Keeler McJunkin
Lane United FC goalkeeper Ben Willis is using the experience he gained in goal over the summer with the Reds to get his college season with Gonzaga off to a strong start.
The Bulldogs (5-2-1) began the season with a five-match unbeaten streak, including two wins over nationally ranked teams with a 4-2 victory over then No. 16 Seattle University at home and a 3-1 win over then No. 20 American on the road in Washington, D.C.
After the unbeaten start and two wins over ranked teams, Gonzaga came in at No. 20 in the NSCAA poll last week, the first time they’ve been ranked since the 2007 season.
Willis, who has started all eight games in goal for the Bulldogs this season is off to a strong start himself. The junior has given up just nine goals and ranks third in the conference with 26 saves and a 1.09 goals against average.
After sitting behind former LUFC goalkeeper Chris Lowrimore during his first two seasons in Spokane, Willis is taking advantage of his time on the field in his third year with the Bulldogs.
“Getting the game experience with LUFC this year that I didn’t have after being behind Chris for two years was big,” Willis said. “I went into this summer with the mindset I needed to work my butt off to become the starter at Gonzaga. If I wasn’t working hard all summer with Lane and I didn’t have the coaches I had there, I don’t think I’d be starting with Gonzaga now.”
Willis not only took game experience with him after his first season with Lane United, but also spoke highly of the atmosphere and coaching he received while in Eugene.
“Coach Galas is so relaxed in what he does with all of the players,” Willis said. “You can tell when he’s serious, but also tell when he’s laid back. I think that created a good atmosphere throughout the team to show that we have to work hard, but at the same time we’re still there to have fun and enjoy what we’re doing.”
Part of seeing more time on the field as a starting keeper is taking on a leadership role and directing teammates from goal, something Willis worked on over the summer with LUFC and also as the college season has gotten underway.
“I’ve been told by a lot of coaches that I see everything and need to be able to lead from the back,” Willis said. “That’s the biggest thing I have worked on and also focusing on the little things. Make the simple saves I should and also have the mindset to make the saves my team needs me to save.”
Willis and the Bulldogs don’t want to let up after the unbeaten streak to start the season, he and his teammates aren’t happy with just a strong start. They want to get better as the year goes on.
With a tough conference season getting underway soon, they’ll have to be ready every night they take the field.
“We have a motto that’s ‘Keep Climbing’”, Willis said. “We’re not happy with No. 20, we want to keep going and keep the undefeated streak alive. The atmosphere here is great right now with five wins and a tie to start the season, but we’re not satisfied yet. We want more.”
Lane United FC is thrilled to announce the signing of four new players from Creighton University. Defender Akeem Ward, defender/midfielder Mitch LaGro, midfielder Joel Rydstrand, and forward Ricky Lopez-Espin will join the Reds for the 2016 PDL season.
Akeem Ward recently transferred to Creighton from Hastings University. He featured in a spring exhibition game with Creighton against the USL club, Swope Park Rangers. During his freshman season at Hastings, Ward started in 20 games and earned two goals and five assists for the season. Ward attended Shattuck Saint Mary’s college preparatory school where he played for their US Development Academy soccer team.
Mitch LaGro is coming off his freshman season at Creighton University where he played in eleven games for the Bluejays. Prior to his college career, LaGro played for the US Development Academy club, Solar Chelsea FC. During his three seasons with the club, Solar Chelsea earned a place in the USSF playoffs and the Dallas Cup semifinals every year.
Freshman midfielder Joel Rystrand was a breakout star during the Bluejays’ 2015 season. Rydstrand was named to the All-Big East Freshman Team for his outstanding freshman season playing in 23 games, scoring three goals, and earning two assists for the Bluejays. A native of Almunge, Sweden, Rystrand played for the IK Sirius Academy and attended a 22 player camp with the Swedish National Team.
Ricky Lopez-Espin saw a lot of playing time during his sophomore season at Creighton. He played in 23 games, scoring five goals and earning one assist for the season. Like Ward, Ricky played for Shattuck Saint Mary’s where he led the USSDA in goals for the 2013 season with 21. Ricky was also invited to participate in a US Men’s National Team U-20 camp.
“For us to bring in these quality players from arguably one of the top men’s college programs in the country is a massive step forward in our ability to recruit nationwide. All four of these players bring a competitive edge, a winning culture in the locker room and sheer quality to the field. They have great character, a professional approach to the game and will no doubt be fan favorites this upcoming season.”
Two Post University players have signed on with Lane United for the 2016 PDL season. Midfielder Armando Filho will join Lane United for the third consecutive season and center back Stefan Tomasevic will play his first season with the Reds.
After being plagued by an injury during Lane United’s 2015 season, Armando Filho was one of Post’s top players during the fall 2015 season, earning second team All Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference honors. Filho played in 17 of the Eagles’ games during his sophomore season, scoring one goal and earning three assists. Originally from Cataguases, Brazil, Filho was a member of the Lane United roster during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. His experience and leadership qualities will provide a valuable asset to his team both on and off the field. “Armando will bring his infectious personality, great character, professionalism, and quality to us again this year. He is a player who understands our culture as a club, and he has that rare ability to make players around him better.” said Coach John Galas.
Stefan Tomasevic just completed his sophomore season at Post University where he started in 20 games and netted six goals for the season. Tomasevic helped his team win the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Division II championship with a goal in the 73rd minute of the final. A London, England native, Tomasevic will join Lane United for the first time this season as a center back. When asked about Tomasevic, Galas said, “Stefan has been working extremely hard this past year. His physical stature and fitness level, combined with his aerial presence will certainly help us shore things up in the back, but also provide us a threat on all set pieces.”
“Both Stefan and Armando have done an exceptional job at Post University under coach Haley. I am delighted to bring in these two young men this summer and help them prepare for yet another successful fall campaign” said Galas.
Lane United FC is excited to announce that five members of the Oregon State Men’s Soccer team have signed with Lane United FC for the 2016 PDL season. Matt Arbogast and Rolando Velazquez will return to Lane United for a second season with the Reds. Zach Dickey, Nathan Braaten, and Sam Tweeton will join Lane United for the first time this season.
Matt Arbogast recently completed his junior season at Oregon State where he earned Pac-12 Academic Honorable Mention for his efforts on the field and in the classroom. He started in 11 of the Beavers’ games, and played in 14 games total. Arbogast is a Eugene native who graduated from South Eugene High School where he led the team with 13 goals and 10 assists in a season. “I’m excited Matt is returning home this summer to play for Lane United FC once again. Having yet another quality player developed here in Eugene is a tremendous asset to our program. Unfortunately Matt has been plagued by the injury bug in each of his two previous seasons with us, so we are hoping he can remain healthy all summer in preparation for his senior year at OSU in the fall. It will be nice to have him playing in front of his home crowd this summer.”
Rolando Velazquez recently finished his sophomore season at Oregon State. Rolando was unfortunately injured the majority of his sophomore campaign. Rolando returns to Lane United for his third season. Best known for assisting on Lane United FC’s first ever goal, Rolando brings an exciting possession style and attacking mindset to Lane United this summer. A Junction City native, Velazquez played for Junction City High School where he was named First Team All-League and Most Valuable Player. “Much like Matt, Rolando suffered from injury last summer which really limited his time with us. I am thrilled he is healthy and returning to us this summer.”
Zach Dickey joined Oregon State in the winter of 2016. The freshman goalkeeper will feature for OSU in the fall 2016 season and for Lane United in the 2016 PDL season. Dickey is a native of Frisco, Texas where he played with the Dallas Texans and US Soccer Development Academy club, Solar Chelsea SC. At six-foot-five, Zach’s height will provide him with a key physical advantage in the goal for Lane United. “We’re excited to welcome Zach here this summer. He comes highly recommended by Coach Simmons at Oregon State. Although Zach will head back to Texas in late June, I’m thrilled to have him here with this group. He will provide us tremendous competition at this position.”
Nathan Braaten played in 18 games as part of Oregon State’s program during his freshman season in 2015. Originally from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Braaten played club soccer for the Colorado Rapids. He also played for Real Colorado where he served as a team captain from 2010 to 2012 and helped his team win multiple league championships. “Nathan will be an exciting addition to this year’s team. He comes from a great club program and has gained invaluable experience this past fall season at OSU. He will be another welcomed addition to this year’s team.”
Sam Tweeton started in 17 games for Oregon State during his sophomore season in 2015. His work in the Beavers’ defense helped the Beavers record six clean sheets and earned him an assist against UCLA on October 2nd. A Fort Collins, Colorado native, Tweeton played club soccer for Real Colorado where he earned All-Conference XI and was team captain. “Having someone of Sam’s ability join our back line this summer will certainly help. Sam is a technical, physical, battle tested CB. His club playing experience, along with his PAC-12 experience has made him one of the top defenders in the PAC-12, I’m exited to have the opportunity to work with him this summer.”
“I’m delighted to welcome these five players from Oregon State. Coach Simmons has done a tremendous job with that program, and it is reflected in the quality of players he brings in year in and year out. These players will certainly help us in competing for the league tittle, and it will be a privilege to work with them this year.”
Stay tuned for more information on roster signings and the upcoming 2016 season!
Lane United FC is thrilled to announce the first round of signings to our 2016 Roster. Local players Daley Stevens, Aidan Johnson, and Casey ChubbFertal will join the Reds for the 2016 PDL season. LUFC fans will recognize Stevens and ChubbFertal as they were members of the 2015 roster and Stevens has been with the club since 2014. Newcomer Aidan Johnson was born and raised in Eugene and currently attends college in California.
Midfielder Daley Stevens is a Eugene native who has been involved with LUFC since 2014, featuring prominently in the documentary film series First Touch about Lane United’s inaugural season. He recently graduated from the University of Oregon where he played for and coached the Men’s Club Soccer Team. Daley also coaches youth soccer with Eugene Timbers Fútbol Club. Coach John Galas said, “Daley is an exciting, versatile player that can play in a variety of positions for us. He’ll provide us with great leadership this year as he is entering his 3rd season with us. He understands our system and style well and we are thrilled to have him back this campaign.”
After a highly successful season with the University of Redlands, midfielder Casey ChubbFertal joins LUFC for a second straight year. Chubbfertal was a standout player in the Bulldogs’ 2015 season, earning him Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) First-Team honors as well as National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-West Region second-team honors. “Much like Daley, Casey can play in a variety of positions for us this year. He had a remarkable fall season with Redlands, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming him back this season. He is a tremendous athlete that will really push for playing time this year” said Galas.
Midfielder Aidan Johnson completed his freshman year at Claremont McKenna College where he featured in 17 games and scored three goals. Johnson played for South Eugene High School where he was known for his dedication and love of the game. Galas said, “I’m delighted to have Aidan with us this season. Last year he trained with the team when he was available and did a fantastic job. Having a college season under his belt now, I’m excited to see how he has developed and what he can do for us this season”
When asked about Lane United’s first three signings Coach Galas said, “Having these local players come back to play PDL is a credit to the local youth clubs here in Eugene who have developed them. As a small market club, having the ability to rely on quality homegrown players is paramount to our growth and overall success as a club. Our objective is always to keep the best local players coming back to Eugene to play PDL each and every year, and these three players will no doubt do a fantastic job in representing this club this summer.”
Last weekend, Lane United held open tryouts for the 2016 season. Trialists from across the country attended the two-day tryouts with the hopes of earning a place on LUFC’s 2016 roster. Participants attended two sessions per-day on Saturday and Sunday, culminating in a scrimmage versus Corban University’s Men’s Soccer Team on Sunday afternoon.
When asked about the tryouts, Head Coach John Galas said, “I was generally pleased with the weekend. I thought the trialists where professional, they worked hard, and showcased well. Having them finish the trials with a match vs Corban University is always a nice way to evaluate them and I thought they competed well against one of the best teams in the region. We certainly appreciate Corban including us in their spring schedule, and think it adds great value to our tryouts.
Coach Galas and Assistant Coach Conner Cappelletti will evaluate each player’s performance to determine who will be a good fit for this year’s roster. A select number of trialists will be called back to participate in a pre-season game versus Oregon State so that both coaches can continue to evaluate their performance both individually, and with other members of the team. Check back here for further roster updates and player news as the season gets closer.
We are excited to announce that registration for Lane United FC’s 2016 Tryouts is now open! Tryouts will take place March 19th-20th at Spencer Butte Middle School. Sessions will run 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm. Participants are required to attend all four sessions. All players must pre-register in order to participate in tryouts. To register, click here.
Lane United FC is excited to announce that we are partnering with Fit for 90 for the 2016 season. Fit for 90 is a highly researched player monitoring system that aims at recognizing and preventing injuries before they become serious. The system tracks and identifies signs of stress, fatigue, and under-recovery among players and notifies the medical and coaching staff to ensure that each player’s recovery time is optimally calculated for their specific needs.
The health and safety of our players is one of Lane United’s highest priorities and we are eager to begin implementing this new system in the 2016 season. With the Fit for 90 system, players log their daily fitness levels by completing a short readiness questionnaire. This 2-3 minute survey evaluates their health status by having players record their sleep patterns, stress levels, fatigue, mood, and other factors. The system runs these responses through a readiness score algorithm that will indicate each player’s risk of injury.
Fit for 90 was founded by Dr. John Cone, a Sports Science Consultant for the USSF who has a wide range of experience coaching and playing soccer at the professional and college levels. When asked about the new partnership with Lane United, Cone said, “We are extremely excited to be delivering player monitoring to Lane United for the coming season. We have had great successes with the US Women’s National Team, some MLS and NCAA college programs. We are thrilled to be adding a quality PDL club to our growing list of clients.”
When asked about this new system, Head Coach John Galas said, “We are thrilled to partner with Fit For 90 for the upcoming season. Dr John Cone and his staff are on the cutting edge of player monitoring and periodization. Their program will offer our medical staff, coaches, and players vital information on how to best manage a very competitive and demanding season.” With this new software Lane United will be able to strengthen our commitment to providing our players with top-quality training while providing our fans with unforgettable game-day experiences.
For more information on Fit for 90 visit their website.