Lane United Hosts Victoria Thursday, Saturday
EUGENE — Lane United returns to the Les Schwab Sports Park Thursday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 12:30pm for two PDL Northwest Division matches against Victoria Highlanders FC.
The Reds (5-4-4 Overall, 2-4-4 PDL) are coming off a tough week after dropping two against in-state division rival Portland Timbers U23, however, there is still a lot to play for as LUFC sits at fourth in the table just three points behind third place Seattle.
Heading down the home stretch of Lane United’s fourth season of PDL play, this version of the Reds has a chance to make a name for itself. There are points to be had in front of them, including four important home league matches.
“Playoffs aside, we still have a lot to play for this season,” head coach John Galas said. “We have four more league matches at home and certainly want to finish strong. This group has the opportunity to be the best in LUFC’s short history.”
Earning that recognition starts with Victoria this week, a side that Lane United fell 4-1 against in the lone previous match of the season back in May. This time the Reds will get to face the Highlanders at home and on full rest, both things that should help get the team back on track.
It’s just the second road trip of the season for Victoria (2-5-0 PDL) after traveling to face TSS Rovers for two matches last week, winning 1-0 and falling 3-1 in the two-match set. Now Highlanders will have to make the long trip to the willamette valley for three matches in four days against Lane United and then Portland Timbers U23 Sunday.
Lane United head coach John Galas expects to see a lot of the same from Victoria compared to the last match minus a couple possible changes here or there.
“It’s basically the same group we saw earlier in the year,” Galas said. “They’ve introduced a few new guys, a few lineup changes, and we’ve seen Blair Sturrock pop up in several different positions.”
Both teams will be fresh for Thursday’s match, a different look than when the two sides met in May. Lane United was coming off a Friday night draw against TSS before having to face Highlanders for a Sunday afternoon matchup.
For the Reds this week is about putting a full 90 minutes together and taking care of business at home, something they have done all season save for last week’s match against Portland. Lane United holds a +17 goal differential in home matches, outscoring opponents at a 20-3 clip while winning five of six at the Les Schwab Sports Park this season.
“Playing them when we are both fresh will be a good test of where we are as a team,” Galas said. “Last time we met we were coming off of playing less than 48 hours before. We need to minimize turnovers, play our possession oriented game, and take our chances while playing a full 90 minutes.”