LUFC Men Kick off the 2024 Season with Friendly Against Lane Community College (3-0)

“It’s been a long six months for me. Battling cancer, coming back, being cancer free, and finally getting to do what I love doing, with guys I care about.” -John Galas, Head Coach

Lane United FC debuted this Friday with a fantastic performance against Lane Community College resulting in a 3-0 scoreline. The excitement getting to be back on the pitch was evident in both the players and the coaches. Head Coach John Galas described the process and the mindset coming into this match. Explaining how, “We’re just excited to finally play. We got our guys together for four days, it’s a quick turnaround. But we’re excited to finally play and see where we are at as a group. Just happy to be out here!”

John Galas, Head Coach (photo by Barbara Minkler)

Striker Griffin Rea also spoke on his feelings surrounding the friendly and stepping back onto the pitch competitively for the first time in two years. With a laugh, Rea described, “I was pretty nervous, like I said I haven’t played in a long time, but I think there were a lot of positives.” The striker went on to say post-match that there was, “lots to build on, but it was so much fun. I’m just so happy to be able to play again.”

The match opened up with an aggressive tempo set by the Reds, which would ultimately prove to be successful. Right winger Charlie Lacy scored early in the fifth minute of play off a cross outside the box by striker Griffin Rea. When asked about the success of the crosses during the match, Rea credited the success to chemistry on and off the pitch. Saying that, “Charlie Lacey and I played together a lot in high school, so we have good chemistry. We talked before the game actually and said that if we can connect in any way it would be good.”

Griffen Rea, Forward (photo by Barbara Minkler)

As the match progressed with both teams having opportunities on net, the heat seemed to be factoring into the flow of play. When asked about the shift in play after the first early goal, midfielder Tate Richards commented how, “It’s important that once the first goal goes in that you try to get more and obviously stay hungry. Then the play dropped a bit in quality, and that’s just because everyone was getting a bit tired and they (The Titans) were a good team, good opponent, so it was difficult for us to be accustomed to the way that they moved in midfield, but in the second half we showed that it didn’t faze us at all.”

The Reds proved to be unfazed during a very dominant second half. Two goals scored within the first ten minutes of the second half, one scored by Yoshiki Igarashi and another scored by Rea. Both coming off crosses, they put the Reds up by three. After a long half of maintaining possession, utilizing wingers, and generating attacks through crosses, the Reds proved to be victorious as the final whistle blew.

After the match, Coach Galas felt proud of what he saw on the field during Fridays’ friendly. When asked what his biggest takeaway from the match was, the coach noted areas of play he’s seeking to improve going forward. Coach Galas went on to say, “Look, you saw when we struggled technically, we were rough in patches, but it’s to be expected. These guys haven’t played together before. The biggest thing was how we respond, how we react to mistakes, and then how do we implement the game plan.”

Tate Richards also spoke on his aspirations going forward for the squad as they continue into the season. Richards asserted, “I feel like we can compete competitively, especially when we add the players that we have left to come in and push as high as we can, which I feel we can do. “

The Reds will continue to grow and improve their chemistry next Thursday, May 16th, at home against Deportivo Rose City at 7:30 p.m.

Tate Richards (left), Midfielder (photo by Barbara Minkler)