Lane United FC will be back in action at home tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. to try and redeem themselves against Portland Timbers U23. On June 11th, an injury-riddled Reds squad fell 2-0 to the visiting U23s.
The U23s will be fighting to stay atop the Northwest Division standings, where PDX FC trail them by just three points. Lane United are looking to turn the season around with a big win, as this season has been blighted by misfortune.
Easily the biggest issue for Lane United this year has been injuries. Wingers Habib Binate and Jesus Velazco remain out for Friday's match, while midfielders Harper Neubeck and Tommy Case are both done for the season. Edoardo Merci, who scored his first goal of the season on Sunday against OVF Alliance, is out with a foot injury.
Goalkeeper Albert Escuin is expected to be back between the posts after recovering from a sprained finger. Although Kieran Brown has been excellent in Escuin's absence, the Spaniard's form this season has been undeniable.
Defender Michael Hatcher, who was a solid mid-season addition for the Reds at center back, is probable for tomorrow's match. The same could be said for defender Matt King—both players earned Man of the Match honors in their respective debuts earlier this season.
Since the aforementioned match on June 11th, Lane United's last two home matches have been filled with excitement. A 3-0 win against OVF Alliance on June 18th marked the Reds' first win of the season, while a tight 2-1 loss to PDX FC on June 25th came down to the wire.
The Reds are coming off a thrilling 2-2 draw in Albany against OVF last Sunday during a record-setting heat wave. Goals from Merci and Ed Port flipped a first-half deficit into a first-half lead, but OVF equalized and both teams ran out of gas in the second half.
"It always seems our goals are self-inflicted by not being in position or not marking," said Lane United head coach Jason Carney. "It's very rare that you see somebody carve us up [for] a great goal. And then the goals that we score, it's like 'whoa, those are real goals.'"
Coach Carney's leadership will have to be from afar this week while he travels to Florida as two of his FC Portland Girls' sides takes part in the national championships. In his stead, Lane United Managing Director Dave Galas will be making his USL managerial debut. Dave's brother John Galas has filled this role in the past for the Reds, and will be in attendance cheering on Dave in a bit of a role reversal.
Join us on Friday to catch this much-anticipated matchup! Tickets for the match can be purchased here.