Reds Travel to Face Timbers U23 Monday
EUGENE — Lane United travels to Salem for a PDL Northwest Division rivalry matchup with Portland Timbers U23 Monday night at 7:00pm from McCulloch Stadium.
The Reds (3-1-1) are coming off a 3-1 victory at home Friday against TSS FC Rovers, earning three points and moving up the Northwest Division table into third place.
Going on the road against a quality club like Timbers U23 (1-1-0) will force Lane United to play to its strengths for the full 90 to earn points. The Reds were able to show quality possession of the ball early on Friday night before falling off towards the end of the first half and finally re-establishing their style of play in the final 45.
“We came out with great intensity and great energy in the first 10 minutes then we started to let the game go a bit,” Lane United head coach John Galas said. “I was happy to see us recover in the second half and get back to how we want to play the game.”
The Reds are undefeated at home thus far through three games in the 2017 season, allowing just one goal while putting away 11 of their own. Comparatively, the quality of play was a bit off on Lane United’s first road trip of the season to Canada. Trouble keeping possession and giveaways at inopportune moments led to a 4-1 defeat at Victoria Highlanders.
Both Galas and assistant coach Conner Cappelletti stressed the need for simple plays and not forcing the ball into small windows looking for the perfect ball after the defeat in Victoria.
“You have to be a little more decisive and read the game accordingly,” Cappelletti said. “Sometimes the easiest pass is the one that’s five yards away right in front of you. Obviously everyone wants to play that perfect through ball to someone’s head or foot, but it’s a lot easier said than done. You have to make the play that’s in front of you.”
Earning away points will be important down the road as Lane United looks to earn its first-ever PDL Playoff berth this season. Galas mentioned after Friday’s victory that you must obviously win at home, but getting points on the road will push you over the top in the table.
The Reds will look to show more of the play at McCulloch Stadium Monday night that has led to quality results at home.
“This is a massive test for us on the road, we’ll have priority on defending and we need to limit their chances and frustrate them as much as possible,” Galas said. “If and when we get our chances we must capitalize.”
Monday’s match is the first of two this week against the the two teams with MLS parent clubs in the PDL NW Division. Seattle Sounders U23 visit the Les Schwab Sports Park Friday night and earning points this week could go a long ways in shaping the rest of Lane United’s season.
“Anytime you head out on the road to play one of our two MLS teams in this division it’s a tremendous challenge,” Galas said. “They’ll be organized defensively and dangerous going forward both in possession and on the break. Our 4-3-3 will have to work tremendously hard to get a result on the road.”