Lane United FC will host Portland Timbers U23 at 7pm on Friday, June 11th, at Civic Park in their third match of the 2021 USL League Two season.
Nothing has been easy in the early going for Lane United. Four goals weren’t enough to earn a point in the first competitive match at Civic Park last Friday. Furthermore, the team was unable to hold onto a second consecutive lead in Albany on Sunday, losing to OVF Alliance 2-1.
OVF’s two goals came from corner kicks, something that Reds’ players and head coach Jason Carney emphasized in post-match interviews.
“I thought we were the better team,” Carney lamented, calling the two opposing scores “poor goals to give up.”
“Obviously we need to work on set pieces,” remarked midfielder Henry Cromack, who has scored three goals in two matches this season. “Two set piece goals is unacceptable and if we don’t clean that up we can’t expect to win any games.”
Read the full match recap from the match against OVF here.
Defender Matthew King, who had to watch from the sidelines against PDX FC, received Man of the Match honors for his stellar second-half performance in his first appearance for the club.
“Overall I think we definitely improved from the last match,” said King. “From watching that [PDX FC] game and then seeing what we’ve done now [against OVF], I can only see us improving from here on out.”
An injury bug has also bitten the Reds, who have had short turnarounds between matches as well as managers.
Taichi Sakomizu (ankle) and Sigi Valencia (hamstring) have both been dealing with injuries since the beginning of the season.
Midfielder Tommy Case and defender Jordan Jackmon have both missed time due to injuries after playing in the first match.
Winger Jesus Velazco picked up a concussion in training and Edoardo Merci is dealing with knee tendinitis, though the latter looks ready to go for this weekend.
In addition, midfielder Harper Neubeck was sent to the hospital after a high-speed collision with the OVF goalkeeper last week. He was diagnosed with a concussion and non-displaced, fractured jaw in two places.
Case and Neubeck will likely miss the rest of the season, while Jackmon is expected to miss a couple more weeks with a high ankle sprain.
The club is still adding new players to beef up the roster, having signed the following onto the team in recent days:
A New Opponent
The Reds will face Portland Timbers U23 for the first time this season. After Friday, every team from the Northwest Group will have played each other once—in total, each team will end up facing every other team four times.
The Timbers U23s defeated OVF Alliance 3-0 on Matchday 1, followed by a 3-3 draw against PDX FC on Sunday. They are currently atop the standings with four points and a goal difference of +3.
An Exciting Atmosphere
Civic Park is yet to see a Lane United victory, and this could be just the occasion. The players certainly felt the energy of the home fans in the first league match.
“The whole team is very grateful to the fans,” said striker José Carlos González last Friday. “I think we are stronger [with them behind us].”
Winger Ed Port added that the atmosphere “helped us so much...I think with these kinds of fans, we can beat anyone on our day.”
Tickets for the match are available here. No walk-up tickets will be sold at the box office, however you can purchase tickets at the gate on your phone via a QR code we’ll have handy.