West Coast Conference Players Sign With Lane United

April 13, 2016

As the season gets closer, Lane United FC is excited to announce three more signings for the 2016 roster. Ben Willis, of Gonzaga University, and Dirk van der Velde and Matthew Coffey of the University of Portland will join LUFC for the upcoming PDL season.

Ben Willis started six games in goal his freshman year at Gonzaga University, earning a total of 18 saves during the season. He saw less playing time his sophomore year as fellow LUFC goalkeeper, Chris Lowrimore was featured heavily in the Bulldogs’ 2015 season. Willis hails from Federal Way, Washington where he played for his local high school and later for the Seattle Sounders U18 Academy. When asked about Willis, Coach John Galas said, “Ben is a quality keeper who will compete for playing time immediately. Having spent time with the Sounders youth academy and Gonzaga University he’ll bring a great level of professionalism and talent to the position. He continues our goalkeeper pipeline from Gonzaga and we are thrilled he will be with us this summer. He has been working extremely hard this spring with his Goalkeeping Coach Vito Higgins at GU and we expect him to be in top form when he arrives in early May.”

Entering his senior year at the University of Portland, Dirk van der Velde has featured heavily in the Pilots’ spring season. Van der Velde has played in two competitive matches against the Chicago Fire and Portland Timbers T2 this spring. Dirk joins Lane United FC for the third consecutive year. “I’m excited to welcome Dirk back to Lane United for his third season.  He understands our system and club culture well, and will be an instrumental part of our 2016 team” said Coach John Galas.

Matthew Coffey recently finished his junior season at the University of Portland. After missing most of the 2014 season due to an injury, Coffey was a strong presence in the Pilots’ midfield in the 2015 season, starting 12 games and earning one goal and two assists. Coffey played for Brighton High School in his hometown of Sandy, Utah where he was named Utah State Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Soccer for the state of Utah in 2013. Coffey also played for club team, Inter FC where he helped his team win five state championships. “Matt comes to Lane United FC with great club and college pedigree. He has a had tremendous amount of success at the club level and will bring a winning mentality to this team” said Galas.

“We continue to scout the WCC in hopes of bringing in quality players from this conference each year. All three of these players fit our club culture, values and playing style. They will immediately compete for playing time in their respective positions.”

Stay tuned for more roster signings and season info over the next two weeks.