Lane United FC have only three matches remaining on their 2021 USL League Two schedule. Two of them will take place this weekend.
On Friday, July 9th, the Reds will travel north to take on Portland Football Club at Eastside Timbers Sports Complex at 7 p.m.
Lane United's final match at Civic Park will kick off two days later on Sunday, July 11th at 7 p.m. against OVF Alliance, who LUFC defeated 3-0 at home last month.
The Reds head into Friday’s match against PDX FC with revenge on their minds. It will mark the fourth meeting between the two teams this season, with all three previous ties narrowly tipping in PDX FC’s favor (5-4, 1-0, and 3-2). Each match has been a wild affair, with late drama and plenty of chances both ways in all three games.
This season has been chock-full of unforeseen setbacks for the Reds, including the extended absence of head coach Jason Carney, who remains stuck in Florida due to Hurricane Elsa after coaching youth teams in the National Championships.
Managing Director Dave Galas, who filled Carney’s role in last Friday’s 4-2 loss to Timbers U23, will be stepping in once again for Friday’s match.
"Making a coaching change—even a temporary one—midseason is always tough", Galas remarked on Friday. "There were some unlucky goals and if a couple bounces go our way, it could have been a different result."
The Reds will also be without leading shot-stopper Albert Escuin, who is having travel issues of his own and won't return from Florida in time for kickoff. Kieran Brown will draw the start between the sticks, and he performed well when called into duty on June 25th and 27th.
Winger Habib Binate has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a partially torn ACL and torn meniscus, and has returned home to have an operation. Jesus Velazco remains out with concussion symptoms, while Tommy Case (knee) and Harper Neubeck (jaw) both remain out.
Defenders Matthew King and Michael Hatcher are both fit—Hatcher returned to the pitch as a second-half substitute last Friday. Midfielder Edoardo Merci is questionable as he recovers from a foot injury.
José Carlos González, who bagged a brace last Friday to bring his season goal total up to six, has one goal and one assist against PDX FC so far.
"In my last game I know I didn't do as I should," Gonzalez said after last Friday's penalty conversion. "I missed a PK in my last game against PDX, so I think it was a good chance to prove myself and to try to help the team."
Another exciting note from Friday's match was the emergence of midfielder Yeonhyuk Kwak, who made the hockey assist to González for the opening penalty in his debut.
"We're getting players back, we're getting some new players, some quality players," said Galas. "Kwak showed tonight that he's a quality player. So to have those kinds of players in the squad means we can focus more on playing the ball."
No matter what happens this weekend, these matches will be ones to remember! Tickets for Sunday's home match are available here. See you there!