Match Report: Lane United Tie Club Jalisco in Non-League Exhibition Match
June 24, 2016
Lane United FC drew 0-0 at home on Friday night with Club Jalisco, a side that plays in Springfield’s men’s league, Liga Unida. Boasting several former Reds as well as a few players from outside of the Eugene-Springfield area, Jalisco provided stout opposition. Last year, a similar exhibition match against a Liga Unida All-Star XI had been a breeze for the Reds, who won 8-0 at a jog, but this year’s local opponents were significantly better organized and refused to allow Lane United many clear looks at goal.
Lane United head coach John Galas said afterward that the result was “a great sign for grassroots soccer, and the quality of players in this area. Getting 500-plus people [the official attendance was announced as 525] out to a local exhibition is just fantastic. They were organized defensively, which is good for our guys down the road when we play Victoria, another very defensive team, on July 11.” Lane United’s best chances came in second-half stoppage time, when the game was finally a little stretched, with Mitch LaGro and Nathan Braaten both getting good looks in the penalty box. LaGro’s right-footed blast from the right side of the area went wide, and Braaten’s turn-and-shoot was denied by Jalisco’s second-half goalkeeper, Andrew Campos, diving to his right.
But for the most part the Reds found themselves up against a compact and disciplined Jalisco side, who were not without the occasional goal threat of their own. Their main striker, Aden Farina, came the closest to scoring of anyone for either team when he cut inside his man and curled a shot off the far post in the 44th minute. At other points he showed a refined ability to possess and distribute the ball in traffic, freeing former Red Deion Jones down the left wing on a few occasions. Jones, Edgar Gomez in midfield and Luke Connolly in defense were the former Lane United stars to suit up for Jalisco; a former practice squad player, Paul Beach, unfortunately distinguished himself for Jalisco by being shown a straight red card for a knee-high, studs-showing tackle on Jose Carlos Terron near the end of the first half. Galas said that both benches and the officials reached a compromise on the fly, removing Beach from the game but allowing Jalisco to replace him with another player, Alex Baker, to keep the match at even strength. “The game was about 80-20 possession in our favor at that point, and them going down to 10 men wasn’t going to make it more of a spectacle for the crowd. That’s who this match was all about anyway—the crowd and the local soccer community, which is really something remarkable for an area this size.”
Lane United’s next match is against PDL opposition in the Portland Timbers U-23s, at home on Wednesday, June 29 at 7:00 PM. The teams have already played each other twice, with the Reds winning 1-0 in their first PDL match of the season on May 7 and securing a dramatic comeback draw in Providence Park, 3-3, on May 24. Lane United currently sit third in the PDL Northwest Division table, at 13 points, while the Timbers are last with six points.