Lane United FC

Lane United FC is an American soccer club based in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 2013, the team currently plays in USL League Two, the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid.

Lane United
Full nameLane United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Reds
Founded2013 (2013)
StadiumNew Civic Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
OwnerRedside Sports, LLC
Managing directorDavid J. Galas
Head coachConner Cappelletti
LeagueUSL League Two
20193rd, Northwest Division
Playoffs: DNQ
WebsiteClub website

History

2013

Lane United was admitted into the USL PDL on July 18, 2013.[1] To raise local interest in the club, a team was quickly assembled for two friendlies during the late summer of 2013. The first match, held at South Eugene High School on 18 July saw the Reds lose to the Portland Timbers U23s, 0–3. The club then went on to earn its first victory against Southern Oregon Fuego 4–0 at Sheldon High School on 23 August, with midfielder Loren Hill notching the club's first-ever goal.[2][3][4]

2014

In early 2014, the club entered into an agreement to use the Willamalane Center in Springfield, Oregon as a home field through 2016. Construction on a new playing surface and grandstand began soon after the announcement.[5] Lane United also announced a three-year kit sponsorship with Oakshire Brewing, a local brewery based in the Whiteaker neighborhood of Eugene.[6] The club slowly added commitments from college players and eventually finished out the 2014 roster with signings from open tryouts in April.[7]

The season opened on 16 May against Seattle Sounders FC U-23, with Lane United earning its first league win on a goal from Connor Bevans.[8] The Reds earned subsequent good home results against the Washington Crossfire and the Puget Sound Gunners before falling into a skid, losing all six games in the month of June. The club seemingly regained momentum with a late draw against Timbers U23s on 1 July, but suffered narrow defeats against Vancouver Whitecaps U-23s, Victoria Highlanders, and Timbers in the final three games of the league season.[9] Lane United finished off the season with a home exhibition match against Vancouver Victory of the Evergreen Premier League, which the Reds won comfortably, 2–0.[10]

Lane United finished with eight points on the season, good for last place in the Northwest Division of the PDL.[11]

In December, Lane United was awarded PDL Rookie Franchise of the Year at the United Soccer Leagues Annual General Meeting.[12]

2015

Lane United began their 2015 season with a non-league home game against South Sound FC that ended in a 3–1 victory for LUFC.[13] The Reds' early victory was followed by two losses against Portland Timbers U23s and Kitsap Pumas, a 3–3 tie versus Puget Sound Gunners FC and two losses to the Seattle Sounders FC U-23 and the Washington Crossfire.[14] Midway through the season, Lane United reversed their early losing streak and went 3–1–1 with a tie against Calgary Foothills FC, wins over Vancouver Victory, Puget Sound Gunners FC, and Liga Unida XI, and a loss to Seattle Sounders FC U-23.

After a second loss to the Kitsap Pumas, LUFC went on a three-game winning streak versus the Portland Timbers U23s, the Washington Crossfire, and Bellingham United FC before ending the season with a loss to Calgary Foothills FC. The Reds ended the season 3–7–2 earning 5th place in the USL PDL Western Conference Northwest Division.[15] Lane United FC forward Timmy Mueller was named to the USL PDL's All-League team for his outstanding season that included nine goals in eleven games.[16]

2016

Lane United's 2016 season began with a win for the Reds when they defeated the Portland Timbers U23s 1–0, in their first game of the season at Tualatin Hills Athletic Center. They continued earning points at home and on the road with three consecutive ties vs Kitsap Pumas (0–0), Victoria Highlanders (0–0), and Portland Timbers U23s (3–3), before recording their first loss of the season to the Seattle Sounders FC U-23 (2–1).

The Reds rallied after that loss, earning a draw two days later against Washington Crossfire (0–0), and wins against South Sound FC (non-league friendly) (1–0), Seattle Sounders FC U-23 (3–1), and Calgary Foothills FC (1–0). The Reds lost a bit of momentum in the later half of the season, beginning with a loss at home to Calgary Foothills FC (1–0) and followed by a draw against non-league rival Club Jalisco (0–0), and a 1–0 loss at home to the Portland Timbers U23s.

The last four games of the season had a lot riding on them with a chance for Lane United to earn a spot in the Northwest Division Playoffs and the US Open Cup. Lane United kept their playoff hopes alive with a 1–1 tie against Washington Crossfire on the road but their dream was cut short by a 2–1 loss to the Kitsap Pumas four days later. The Reds ended the season with a 2–2 draw against the Victoria Highlanders and a 3–1 loss to the Washington Crossfire to finish sixth in the PDL Northwest Division.[17]

Crest and colors

The crest is a traditional circular badge design, with the club name wrapped around a central emblem. Inside the circle is the red image of a fir tree, which can be found in abundance throughout the Pacific Northwest. Below the tree are three red lines representing the Willamette River, the major waterway that flows between Eugene and Springfield. Underneath the imagery lies the number 2013, signifying the club's founding date.

The traditional home kit is a red shirt and socks with white shorts, the source of the club's nickname. On away days the club wears a white shirt with black shorts. Lane United wears a simplified version of the crest on its shirts, featuring the tree and three lines alone. The letters "LUFC" underline the emblem.

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt partner
2013 Adidas Ninkasi Brewing Company
2014–Present Oakshire Brewing

Grounds

After playing at two different high schools during the summer of 2013, the club entered into an agreement with Willamalane Parks and Recreation District to play at the Willamalane Center in Springfield through the 2016 season. The spartan facilities include a FieldTurf playing surface, metal grandstand with seating for approximately 1,000 spectators, and permanent outdoor field lighting.

Lane United is a member of the Eugene Civic Alliance, a consortium of local community groups and businesses that recently acquired Civic Stadium in south Eugene. Previously home to the Eugene Emeralds, the Civic Alliance aims to modernize the ground for use by Lane United Football Club and construct a fieldhouse on the property for use by a local youth sports organization.[18] Club officials have stated the need for a home venue with a higher attendance capacity in order to grow the club and eventually join the United Soccer League as a fully professional side.

Civic Stadium was destroyed in a fire on 29 June 2015.[19] However, the Eugene Civic Alliance aims to reuse the site, erecting a multi-use stadium with Lane United as a primary tenant as well as other amenities.

Support

By September 2013, an independent supporters group had formed, known as the Red Aces . The group achieved non-profit status and were subsequently granted a small ownership stake in the club itself.[20] Aside from supporting the team during games, the Red Aces were advocates for the club's acquisition and renovation of Civic Stadium in Eugene.[21]

On matchdays, the Red Aces can be found at the south end of the Willamalane Center grandstand, displaying tifo and encouraging a raucous atmosphere.[22]

Ownership

The club is owned by Redside Sports, LLC, a limited liability company formed in the summer of 2013 to finance the franchise. The chief stakeholders in the group are: David G. Elmore, owner of the Eugene Emeralds and several other minor-league sports teams in the American West, and local businessmen Frank Nakatsuma and Joe Hawes. Several minority shareholders and the Red Aces supporters group also control the LLC.[1]

Players and staff

Technical staff

Position Name
Managing director Dave Galas
Head coach Conner Cappelletti
Assistant coach Chace Zanaty
Operations coordinator Levi Johnson

Year-by-year

Year Division League Regular Season Playoffs Open Cup
2014 4 USL PDL 8th, Northwest Did not qualify Did not qualify
2015 4 USL PDL 5th, Northwest Did not qualify Did not qualify
2016 4 USL PDL 6th, Northwest Did not qualify Did not qualify
2017 4 USL PDL 5th, Northwest Did not qualify Did not qualify
2018 4 USL PDL 3rd, Northwest Did not qualify Did not qualify
2019 4 USL League Two 3rd, Northwest Did not qualify Did not qualify

References

  1. "Lane United FC Joins PDL". United Soccer Leagues (USL). July 18, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  2. "Lane United FC goes pro by joining U-23 Premier Development League". Eugene Register-Guard. July 19, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  3. "Lane United FC Gets Pivotal First Win, 4–0 Over Southern Oregon Fuego FC". Eugene Daily News. August 24, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  4. "Lane United FC Win First Game Ever; 4–0". LaneToday.com. August 23, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  5. "Willamalane Center Will Host Reds Through 2016 – Lane United FC". www.laneunitedfc.com.
  6. "Lane United FC announces three-year partnership with Oakshire Brewing". Lane United FC. February 11, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  7. "Players". Lane United FC. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  8. "Lane United opens with win". Eugene Register-Guard. May 17, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  9. "Lane United FC – 2014 Results". Lane United FC. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  10. "Lane United FC 2, Vancouver Victory 0". Lane United FC. July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  11. "2014 Standings". Premier Development League. Archived from the original on August 7, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  12. "USL Honors Outstanding Teams, Executives" (Press release). Retrieved 2014-12-29.
  13. "Lane United FC". News. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  14. "Lane United FC". News. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  15. "USL PDL". USL PDL Standings. Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  16. "Lane United FC". News. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  17. "USL PDL".
  18. "Eugene officials ready to close Civic Stadium deal". The Register-Guard. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  19. "Eugene's Civic Stadium lost to history". The Register Guard. 29 June 2015.
  20. "Red Aces – Lane United FC". www.laneunitedfc.com.
  21. "YMCA and soccer boosters rally in support of stadium plans". The Register-Guard. January 19, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  22. "Red Aces". Lane United FC. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
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