Key Weekend Awaits Lane United at Calgary
EUGENE — Lane United travels to Canada for an important weekend series that features large playoff implications at Calgary Foothills FC Friday and Sunday.
The Reds will play two in three days against 2016 PDL runner-up and current Northwest Division leader Foothills FC beginning with a 7:00pm match Friday at the Calgary Soccer Center.
Currently sitting in fourth place with eight points, Lane United is just one point behind third place Portland Timbers U-23 (9) and five points back of second place Seattle Sounders U-23 (13). Calgary sits atop the division with 15 points.
Lane United (5-2-2 overall, 2-2-2 PDL) is coming off a dominant 5-0 outing in a friendly against Southern Oregon Starphire FC Tuesday, a match that ran the Reds’ home goal differential to +18 at 20-2. Heading back out on the road to face a quality side like Calgary, Lane United will look to take some of what’s been working with them.
In its previous four away league matches the Reds have suffered from breakdowns in passing and giveaways at inopportune times that led to conceding goals. Left back Casey ChubbFertal has mentioned cleaning up those issues all comes down to training and playing with the same passion away from home that has led to being undefeated at the Les Schwab Sports Park.
“We need to have a strong mentality from the very start of the game, play with confidence and play our style,” ChubbFertal said. “We know playing on the road is very difficult, so we have to stick to our game plan and do what is needed to get a result. Another key is not looking ahead to the second game. We need to stay mentally locked in for the first game Friday.”
Calgary will present several challenges for the Reds to overcome, both with style of play and quality personnel. Lane United head coach John Galas is expecting more of a chess match than what he’s seen throughout the season thus far and knows they have players that will need to be contained as much as possible.
“They play good football and we’re looking forward to the style we will see this weekend,” Galas said. “They certainly have some dynamic players such as Ali Musse, Nico Pasquotti, and Kyle Jones is a tricky center mid. If Dominic Russo is back in the mix from his injury, he is a handful and Chris Rushworth is equally as dangerous.”
Calgary (5-1-0 PDL) has won three straight, all coming away from home, including a 1-0 result at Seattle and a weekend sweep at Victoria Highlanders FC by 1-0 and 3-1 marks. Lane United knows taking a step forward in the division and searching for a first league title begins with getting results against the defending champions.
“This will be a big challenge for us on the road, but it’s what you live for as a coach and player,” Galas said. “If we can get a result up there it will certainly help in our quest for a league title. They have tremendous talent and a wonderful team culture.”
If the Reds are able to get a result Friday night, that will go a long way for confidence heading into Sunday afternoon’s 1:00pm rematch. The same mentality away from the Les Schwab Sports Park has been what Lane United is searching for and a strong performance would certainly help as the season gets close to the home stretch.
“Calgary are proven winners in this league for a reason,” Galas said. “They know how to win games. That said, I think our boys are ready for the match and are very much looking forward to the encounter.”
Up Next: Lane United returns home for a match with in-state PDL rival Portland Timbers U-23 on June 22. Click here to get your print-at-home tickets and help the Reds stay undefeated at home!