Lane United Announces Commitments from Five Highly-Rated College Players
On the same day that Lane United FC released its schedule for the 2014 PDL season, the club’s directors also announced that five Division I NCAA soccer players had committed to play for the Springfield-based club in the upcoming season, pending league approval.
Coco Navarro of Marquette, goalkeeper Chris Lowrimore of Gonzaga, Julio Alarcon from San Diego State, and two Saint Louis Billikens, Francisco Vizcaino and Dirk van der Velde, will all play for the Reds in 2014, said head coach and sporting director John Galas.
Galas has coached both Navarro and Alarcon at the Real Salt Lake Academy. “Coco is a top recruit from the US Soccer Development Academy system, a hard-working, technical scorer who just had a great freshman campaign,” said Galas, referring to Navarro’s 2013 season at Marquette in which he started every match and was third on the team in points and second in assists.
At the other end of the field, Galas called Alarcon “a dominant one-on-one defender and a great organizer who really leads by example.” Alarcon was a member of the U.S. U-17 national team and a USSDA “Starting XI” player in 2011 and 12. Both he and Navarro were named by Top Drawer Soccer in the Top 10 Freshmen to Watch for the 2013 season, and neither disappointed, said Galas.
Galas said that though he has not coached the other three players personally, he has talked extensively on the phone with all of them and noted that they all come with glowing recommendations from their college coaches. Chris Lowrimore, the goalkeeper, is “expected to be the starter for (Gonzaga’s) 2014 season. He’s a big goalie (6’2”) who commands his box really well,” said Galas, himself a former college goalkeeper.
Regarding van der Velde, Galas mentioned that “He’s a little bit of a local kid, from Bend. He came highly recommended by Kyle Steinbaugh,” referring to the highly experienced Bend-based youth coach who has assisted Coach Galas with the Reds’ open tryouts. “He’s a technical right-back, with tremendous pace … He’s fit enough to get up and down the flank for 90 minutes, which fits our style of play in terms of what we’ll want from our fullbacks,” Galas said.
The final player on the list, Vizcaino, will arrive at Lane United on the heels of a strong season at Saint Louis, one of the top men’s college programs, where he started 14 games as a sophomore, tallying three goals and two assists. Galas is ecstatic at the possibility of Vizcaino and Navarro partnering up front for the Reds, saying that they both possess “a blue collar mentality with a lot of skill behind them. Pancho is crafty, creative, explosive and quick. He’s very similar to Coco—-they both can create something out of nothing based purely on work rate and both have a great level of technical sophistication and will work well with each other.”
All of these players should be able to move to the Eugene/Springfield area by the week before the season opener on May 16, said Galas, who said he is banking on the strength of his previous relationships with some of the players and the trust he has in the recommendations of his coaching network. “It’s easy to bring in guys that I know well already and trust already. Because of the time crunch, it’ll be quicker to instill the team philosophy on them if we’ve already got that level of trust with each other.”
Galas said that more commitments are likely on the horizon, both from college players and some international talent that he has been in contact with. “We have a ton of people on the radar,” he said. “We’re just getting started with the player announcements.”
Managing director Dave Galas also hinted at a major corporate partnership deal that is near closing and will be announced next week.