The Reds Lose 2-1 to Ballard FC, Despite Impressive Performance

“it’s who we are. It’s how we train and it’s the personalities we have on the field, that won’t change.”
-John Galas

Lane United FC displayed a spectacular performance this past Friday against the current USL League 2 Champions. Despite the 2-1 loss, the team had a lot of positive takeaways from the match, and feel confident continuing through the season. Going into Friday’s match, Head Coach John Galas commented that, “the boys were focused and they were definitely up for the challenge.” 

The Reds certainly rose to the occasion during the first half of play. The half opened up with Lane pressing intensely and maintaining successful possession. The team had many opportunities offensively and kept Ballard’s press and possession contained. When asked about the success of the Reds possession in the first half, Coach Galas said that, “it’s who we are. It’s how we train and it’s the personalities we have on the field, that won’t change.” Coach Galas went on to say that, “they buy into that style of play (the players), I think that’s why a lot of them are here. We don’t just kick it and run, we try to break teams down and play and think. I think you see that in our play.”

As the half progressed with both teams battling hard, Ballard would eventually get the opening goal with a cross from the right side into a dangerous area in which forward Austin Brummett would control well, striking the ball across frame just out of reach of defender Josue Biveghé’s boot. The Reds continued to battle despite the score and fought till the end of the half, continuing to move the ball and shift very strongly. 

Coming into halftime, it was clear the Reds needed to keep their energy and aggression high while staying composed. When asked what the mentality was like during halftime, midfielder Milo Wray expressed that, “we decided we needed to get into them a little bit more. We were showing them a little too much respect in the beginning. We needed to step into them and try to cause some problems for them.”

Milo Wray, Jacob Huth and Sergi Solans (photo by Jake Hopkins)

Coach Galas echoed similar sentiments when asked about his thoughts going into the second half. The head coach expressed wanting to see quality improve on the pitch overall. Addressing that the Reds needed to be sharper in the final third. 

The second half began similar to the first with both teams pressing and having terrific pockets of possession. Then, in the 48th minute of play, Wray battled to the box and ripped a cross that fell right on the head of striker Sergi Solans. Solans drove a powerful, unchallenged header into the back of the net, tying the game 1-1. While the play was a testament to the quality of possession the Reds were exhibiting, the joy was unfortunately short lived. In the 53rd minute of play Ballard was able to catch the Reds defense flat and earned themselves a second goal off of a well placed shot during a sharply executed counter-attack. Such a close score seemed to increase the passion of play on both sides. As the second half came to a close, the game turned very aggressive. Resulting in defensive center back Josué Biveghe receiving a red card after a challenge during a Ballard FC goal scoring opportunity. The Reds would continue fight while a man down, but would come short as the final whistle blew and the defending champions would celebrate their victory.

Civic Park (photo by Jake Hopkins)

While the loss was frustrating to the squad, they feel proud about their performance against such a strong team. The fans of both teams were treated to 90 minutes of quality, passionate football, and it was another LUFC BFC match to remember. When asked about the team’s performance in the second half, Coach Galas asserted that, “it was a good team performance. The scoreline didn’t really flatter that, but unfortunately, that’s football sometimes.” As the squad continues through the season, Wray stressed how important it is that the team “has to continue working hard and playing hard,” and that, “the game didn’t go our way, but we can take a lot of confidence from it.” 

The men, with still seven matches left in hand, have all to play for. They will head to Bellevue College June 21st against Midlakes United, who will do what it takes to steal back 3 points from the Reds.