2017 Player Announcements: Week One

February 13, 2017

Lane United has started announcing players for the 2017 PDL season. Each week we will release a new group of players as the season gets closer. All announced signings are pending league approval.

Mitch LaGro

College: Creighton

Position: Defender

Height: 5-11

Weight: 160

Class: Junior

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Twitter: @MitchLaGro

2016 season with Creighton: Selected BIG EAST All-Conference Second Team after starting all 23 matches and missing only 40 minutes of action for the Bluejays. Scored his first career goal against No. 12 Loyola-Chicago and helped the Creighton defense record a shutout against the previously unbeaten Ramblers. Named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3 after the Bluejays beat Loyola-Chicago 3-0 and played to a 1-1 draw with St. John’s. Scored the first goal of the match for Creighton against Tulsa in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

LaGro says: “I’m excited for another opportunity to play with Lane United because of the highly competitive atmosphere during training and the experience playing at a quality level during the summer.”

Coach Galas says: “I’m excited to welcome Mitch back to the club for his second year, he’s a proven winner and leader on and off the field. I think his experience at Creighton University this past fall has certainly helped in his development not only as a player, but also as a person. As a club, we are delighted to continue to aid in Mitch’s development as a player and we’re looking forward to great things from him this summer.”  

Akeem Ward

College: Creighton

Position: Defender

Height: 5-6

Weight: 140

Class: Sophomore

Hometown: Vienna, Virginia

Twitter: @ajisdope10

2016 season with Lane United: Ward appeared in 10 games on the season and was fourth on the club with 825 minutes played. He was a leader on the Lane United defense that notched five shutouts, while also recording four shots moving up into the attack.

2016 season with Creighton: Played in 11 matches, recording 10 starts. Started in eight consecutive matches before suffering a season-ending foot injury on Oct. 7 against Butler. Notched his first career assist vs. DePaul and followed with his second against No. 12 Loyola Chicago. Played five complete matches and Creighton went 7-1-2 while outscoring their opponents 21-4 during his 10 starts.  

Ward says: “I’m really looking forward to getting back with the coaching staff as well as being around the fans again. Both groups were a big reason on returning to Lane United. Everyone made me feel very welcome and I can’t wait to get back and get to work for the Reds!”

Coach Galas says: “I am delighted to welcome Akeem back to the club for the 2017 season.  He is such a talented player on both sides of the ball and provides us with exactly what we need from our outsides backs. Akeem is a tremendous 1v1 defender, and absolutely loves getting forward and involved in the attack.  Bringing in another quality player from Creighton University and partnering him with teammate Mitch LaGro across the backline will provide us with great consistency with two players who really understand our system.  I am excited to get to work with Akeem again this season and help him to continue to develop.”

 

Jordan Jones

College: Oregon State

Position: Forward

Height: 6-2

Weight: 174

Class: Senior

Hometown: Pacific Grove, California

Twitter: @jordantjones12

2016 season with TimbersU23: Jones appeared in eight games while logging 437 minutes for the TimbersU23’s in the PDL last season. He took eight shots and scored two goals.

2016 season with OSU: Voted to Pac-12 Second Team. Named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Nov. 7 after scoring three goals in two games over the weekend. Jones’ game-winner goal against San Diego State was a top goal of the NCAA soccer season, landing at No. 7 on ESPN Sportscenter’s Top-10. Started 15 games and played in all 18 for the Beavers while recording 1170 minutes. Led the team with six goals and contributed two assists. Second on the team with 43 shots. Added a team-high 23 shots on goal and 14 points.

Jones: “I’m excited about getting quality training with a professional atmosphere and coaching staff with Lane United. At the same time, I’m looking forward to playing for the most passionate fans in the league again.”  

Coach Galas: “One of the issues we faced last year was scoring goals. Box to box we were a wonderful team, but we lacked quality in the final third. Adding Jordan Jones to the roster for the 2017 season solves that issue. He is a proven finisher in both the PDL and the Pac-12. He’s a strong, athletic, striker and we are delighted to have him join our program again. It was tough to see him play for the TimbersU23’s last year as he scored against us at Providence Park in our 3-3 draw. I think our fans will be equally excited to welcome him back to the club.”

 

Matthias Binder

College: Oregon State

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5-7

Weight: 150

Class: R-So.

Hometown: Bad Fischau, Austria

Twitter: @BinderMatthias

2016 season with Lane United: Binder appeared in seven games for the Reds, recording 527 minutes on the season. He was credited an assist on May 24 in a 3-3 draw with the Portland Timbers U23’s at Providence Park. Added two shots on the year.

2016 season with Milwaukee: Started all 18 games on the season for the Panthers while logging 1287 minutes. Recorded 15 shots, seven of them on goal, including a season high three on September 21 against Northern Illinois. Assisted on a goal September 24 vs. Belmont and November 10 vs Illinois-Chicago.

Binder: “I’m really looking forward to coming back to LUFC for the 3rd straight year and getting back on the field with the coaching staff and a group of very talented players. The last two summers were an awesome experience to compete on a high level every day, continue to develop and get ready for the college season. Unfortunately we didn’t make the playoffs the two years I’ve been a part of LUFC, but I’m positive we will achieve that goal this season. It’s going to be great having the Red Aces support and cheer for us at home and away games again. I can’t wait to get back to Eugene with Coach Galas and the boys.”

Coach Galas: “Matthias is a box to box midfielder who will give us tremendous quality in the center of the pitch.  He can play as a 6, 8, or 10, and he understands our system and club culture very well.  This will be his 3rd campaign with LUFC, and we are delighted to welcome him back to Eugene.  Unfortunately last summer his season was cut short due to injury.  I know he is looking forward to contributing more this season as he prepares for his first PAC-12 season with the Beavers.”