Six More Reds Recruits Announced
Lane United FC was able to reveal on Monday the commitments of six more players, pending league approval, to the squad for the upcoming 2014 PDL season. Five recruits were also announced at the end of February, and head coach John Galas has said that more announcements are on the way in the coming weeks.
The current crop includes the club’s first two recruits who were raised in Lane County: Matt Arbogast, who lettered for four years at South Eugene High School and now plays at Oregon State; and Rolando Velazquez of Junction City. Three of Arbogast’s fellow Beavers — Chance Bergen, Brenden Anderson and goalkeeper Matt Bersano — will join the team, along with defender Casey Phillips of San Diego State.
Velazquez, who is about to graduate from Junction City High School, was a star in the Portland Timbers Academy for the past two years and was chosen to train with the U.S. U-17 national team in late 2011. According to Galas, he is “a young, explosive, technically gifted attacking player who can play in a variety of positions in the attack. This is a great opportunity to him to train and play with collegiate players as he embarks on his collegiate career in the fall.” Velazquez has been recruited by a number of Division I schools but has yet to decide where he will attend.
Arbogast, meanwhile, will return home from Corvallis to Eugene to play for the Reds. “Any opportunity we have to keep local talent playing at home, we are going to do that,” said Galas. The head coach added that Arbogast frequently came off the bench to feature for OSU during his true freshman season in 2013 and will relish more playing time over the summer.
Another player from the Beavers’ attacking corps will also feature for Lane United when “explosive” striker Chance Bergen joins the squad, said Galas. Bergen started in more than half of Oregon State’s conference matches in 2013 after transferring from SMU in his home state of Texas. “Chance has a proven track record of scoring goals coming out of the Houston Dynamo Academy,” Galas said, referring to his 2010 fall season, when he accounted for over half of the academy squad’s goals by netting nine times in 12 games. Galas said he is excited to see Bergen work with Lane United’s other forwards, Coco Navarro and Pancho Vizcaino.
Casey Phillips is known to Galas already from the Real Salt Lake Academy system, from whence he matriculated to the University of New Mexico and then transferred to San Diego State. He came off the bench to play in most games in the new surroundings in 2013, and Galas said he is confident that “Casey is familiar with the style of play we will employ here at Lane United.” He added that Phillips is “a versatile player who can operate in a variety of positions across the back line and midfield.”
Galas mentioned that he was thrilled to have landed a goalkeeper-center back pairing in Matt Bersano and Brenden Anderson who have each started the last 37 consecutive games for Oregon State, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season. Bersano played all but 24 minutes of the 2013 campaign, amassing a 1.14 goals-against average, which is among the best in school history. Like his high school teammate Phillips, Bersano’s face is already familiar to Galas, who was the director of goalkeeping at the Real Salt Lake Academy when Bersano trained there in 2010.
The center-back Anderson, who hails from Mollala, OR, “has an excellent on-field understanding with (Bersano) by virtue of them having played two full seasons together, and we really can’t ask for a better back-line foundation than that,” said Galas. He also complimented the well-rounded technical ability of Anderson, who grew up largely playing midfield and forward for ESUFC, an elite youth club based in Gresham, OR.
Out of the maximum 26 players on the roster, 11 have now committed to playing for Lane United in the coming summer, and more are on the way, said Galas. The club has added a roster page to the website with brief profiles of all the players who have committed so far and will supplement it with more players and more information as the season approaches.