Lane United FC is thrilled to announce the formation of a new select team with local youth club Eugene Timbers FC as a precursor to entry into the USL Academy.
The Lane United ETFC Select team is an elite level team open to all players in the area born in 2003-2007 to test themselves against the best in the region and get dedicated development focus and training sessions. The launch of this program is concurrent with ETFC’s formation of the WPSL Azul Training Academy on the girls side.
“For years our most ambitious and talented players’ nearest pathway – or look into competing on a professional level – has only been through Portland Timbers or Thorns teams and their youth academies,” said Joe Beeler, Technical Director of ETFC. “The distance and limited opportunity have meant that many of our talented players did not have an environment where they are exposed to some important developmental challenges needed to facilitate playing at the next level.”
Beeler is confident this new partnership will help bridge the gap between youth and professional levels for top local players, thereby “creating more opportunity to pursue their dreams and take their development a step further.”
“ETFC is excited to offer our most ambitious and talented boys and girls an opportunity to train and compete at a higher level and get some exposure to the Azul women’s team and the Lane United FC men’s team,” highlighted ETFC Director of Coaching Jurgen Ruckaberle. “In our partnership with Lane United FC, we will now have an opportunity for our top boys to get a look and exposure to a professional environment here in Eugene; no longer do our top players have to travel to far away communities to reach their dreams.”
Dave Galas, LUFC Managing Director, emphasized that developing the local soccer landscape is what Lane United is all about. “It has always been a goal of Lane United to use its position in the community to aid in the development of local youth players, and through this program we finally have that chance,” he stated. “Young fans at Lane United games have always looked up to the players on the pitch, but a local pathway to emulate their heroes has never existed.”
The plan is for the team to develop into a full USL Academy side next year. “By partnering with ETFC we have the ability to identify and foster the best talent in the area, and as we move toward the USL Academy, we have the ability to show that talent on a national stage and create a true pathway to the first team,” said Galas. “We even suspect that this summer we may see some faces from the Select land on some first team rosters.”
Tryouts will be held May 25 and May 27 at Civic Park in Eugene, and are open to all players born 2003-2007. For more information about the program, including a link to to register for tryouts, click here.