Lane United Scores Early, Often in Win Over Sounders U-23
By Keeler McJunkin
EUGENE — Lane United has been unbeatable at home thus far in 2017. The Reds have put pressure on visiting sides by scoring early goals and continuing to press after getting a lead on the scoreboard.
Those trends continued Friday at the Les Schwab Sports Park as Lane United defeated PDL Northwest Division co-leader Seattle Sounders U-23 by a 4-1 score. The four goals coming against a club who had allowed just one in its four previous PDL matches.
The Reds (4-1-2 overall, 2-1-2 PDL) got on the board in the sixth minute when Casey ChubbFertal hit a left-footed cross from 22 yards out to forward Nick Moon inside the box. Moon finished with a beautiful diving header that went top right near post and gave Lane United the early advantage again.
“Chubbs played a beautiful ball to me, I ended up getting my head on it and finishing perfectly,” Moon said. “I was excited to get the first one on the board and really get us going.”
That opened the floodgates for the Reds and was a big confidence boost to take an early lead on one of the top clubs in the division. Lane United controlled possession for the majority of the next half hour which limited chances and opportunities for the Sounders to find an equalizer.
Before Seattle could get close to scoring Casey ChubbFertal found one for himself. He blasted a clinical low curler that snuck in far post from the left side of the box 14 yards out. That goal really deflated the Sounders as they fell behind by two scores and gave Lane United even more energy.
The third Lane United goal of the first half came on a set piece from Matthias Binder on an extra time free kick. Binder took a curling shot over the Sounders wall from 21 yards out, freezing keeper Paul Christianson who couldn’t even try to get to the ball in the top corner.
“I think we put the pressure on them right away and really went at them in the first half,” ChubbFertal said. “Three goals is fantastic in a whole game, so in a half it’s perfect.”
Seattle would get one back in the 55th minute off a goal from Derek Johnson, but that was all the Sounders U23 were able to manage. A big credit to the defense of the Reds who limited chances all night.
“We were able to keep the pressure up throughout the game,” ChubbFertal said. “We let one slip there early in the second half, but we did well to control most of the rest of the half.”
Lane United’s final score came courtesy of Jordan Jones in the 79th minute. He found an open net in front of him off a pass from Anthony Macchione and walked in the goal to reach the final score of 4-1.
Reds’ head coach John Galas has stressed the need for his club to put together more of a complete match and he saw that start to come to fruition Friday. A combination of his players getting more time on the pitch with each other and quality training.
“We showed great character tonight and this game gave us a little of everything,” Galas said. “Seattle possessed at times, had set pieces and they threw numbers at us. We still need to work on transition. I think our quality on the break wasn’t as good as it could have been. We’ll keep working in training, next week is our focus now.”
Lane United faces Seattle Sounders U-23 on the road next Friday in what will be a tough challenge for the Reds to come away with points. A key will be putting together an away performance like LUFC has shown at home throughout the season.
Earning points on the road will go a long way to determining playoff teams in the PDL Northwest Division. Lane United sits in a good spot with several games against the top half of the division still remaining on the schedule, including three against leader Calgary Foothills FC.
“It starts in training,” Casey ChubbFertal said. “It’s a mentality and we need to start games like we did tonight. We know it’s tough on the road with the away fans and playing away from home, but we’re working towards that and seeing the progress as games go. So hopefully we can bring that attitude next Friday.”
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