Reds Host Calgary, Final Home Friendly
EUGENE — Lane United hosts PDL Northwest Division leader Calgary Foothills FC Thursday at 7:30pm from the Les Schwab Sports Park in the penultimate league match of the season for the Reds.
Calgary enters Thursday riding a seven match unbeaten streak and currently sit one point ahead of Portland Timbers U23 in the league table, providing an opportunity for Lane United to have an impact on the division title race.
Lane United (6-5-4 Overall, 3-5-4 PDL) has matched up well in recent opportunities against 2016 PDL national runner-up Calgary, most recently recording two draws on the road just three weeks ago. A huge accomplishment against a side that hasn’t lost in 15 straight matches at the Calgary Soccer Center.
The two draws on the road last month and Saturday’s big 7-1 victory over Victoria Highlanders FC will go a long way to giving the Reds confidence as the match kicks off Thursday night.
“Heading into this week we just want to play well and get three points vs. Calgary,” Lane United head coach John Galas said. “Our task at hand is to make sure we are prepared, come out with the right mentality, attitude, and play for each other.”
Coach Galas has likened the matchups with Calgary (7-1-2 PDL) to more of a chess match than when the Reds face other clubs in the league. A big key being limiting chances for Calgary’s explosive forwards Dominic Russo and Ali Musse.
“We certainly need to be aware of Russo and Musse,” Galas said. “They are a balanced team and can hurt you in a variety of ways. That said, if we can limit Russo and Musse’s involvement in the game we’ll have a chance.”
Coming off Saturday’s performance against Victoria where the Reds scored seven goals, including five in the first half, the flood gates were broken as Lane United had been struggling to put away chances when given the opportunity.
As the season reaches its final weeks, the Reds have the ability to play free and put pressure on other teams in the PDL playoff hunt. That first opportunity comes Thursday against Calgary, a team that has a lot on the line in their three matches this week.
“Our boys enjoy the opportunity to play them every year and embrace the challenge,” Galas said. “It will be really great for these players. They need to play in those type of environments.”
The Reds face local select club Berliner Weisse FC in the final home friendly of the 2017 season at 7:30pm Saturday from the Les Schwab Sports Park. The friendlies have given Galas the opportunity to spread minutes around and see different groups together on the field, something he’ll continue to do this week, while also allowing some local players to get on the field and see what they can do against a side like Lane United.
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