Matt Bersano the Latest Red to Train in Spain
Following in the footsteps of his teammate Daley Stevens, Lane United FC goalkeeper Matt Bersano is enjoying a spell of training in Valencia, Spain, prior to the upcoming PDL season. Along with his high school teammate and FC Tucson midfielder Brian Hoyt, Bersano has practiced already with several teams — Atlético Saguntino, CF Cullera and UD Alzira — in the Spanish terçera (third) division, and is expected to move up to a team in the segunda B within the next week. He will return to the U.S. in early April and begin training with Lane United shortly thereafter.
Bersano’s exploits are the latest to highlight the connection between Lane United and the city of Valencia. In the 2014 inaugural Lane United season, the Reds drew four players from Valencia, including Josep Baldoví, who went on to lead the midfield and garner the second-most minutes overall despite missing the first game of the season. In November and December of last year, Eugene native and Lane United fullback Stevens spent time training with several clubs in and around the Spanish city. And just last week, John and Dave Galas, the Lane United directors, embarked on a scouting trip to Valencia that resulted in six European players committing to play for the Reds this summer (they will be fully introduced on this blog and on the roster once their paperwork clears).
“It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to expand our reach across the Atlantic to Spain,” said Lane United sporting director and head coach John Galas. “Global Sportainment Group, who put on the tryouts, and SoccerMedia were great hosts and the level of professionalism in which this event was run was first class. We’ve already had a great and fruitful relationship with both groups and we’re looking forward to more in the years to come,” he added.
Bersano, who graduated from Oregon State this winter after captaining the Beavers to an outstanding PAC-12 record and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2003 in the fall, has barely given himself time to relax in the off-season. He spent the MLS preseason in training with Sporting Kansas City, then immediately departed for Spain soon after. After the Lane United season, which starts in early May and could extend as late as early August, he will be attending Penn State University and using up his final year of NCAA eligibility to play for the Nittany Lions.
The Lane United FC season kicks off on May 8 with a home match against South Sound FC. Open tryouts for the team take place this weekend at the Willamalane Center in Springfield and are free to watch for the public.