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07 / 06

Lansing, Oakland teammates Nick Strack and Alec Greene: “We have high expectations.”

WRITTEN BY: Tori Twining
PUBLISHED ON: July 06, 2017

Photo: Skip Townsend

Oakland University teammates Nick Strack and Alec Greene have continued their soccer success together with Lansing United this summer.

Their Oakland teams were back-to-back Horizon League Champions in 2014 and 2015, and they are competing for a playoff spot in the National Premiere Soccer League’s Great Lakes Conference Division with only four matches remaining.

This is Greene’s fourth year with the team, having started with Lansing out of Holt High School in 2014, while Strack is in the midst of his first season. Having been teammates for three seasons at Oakland and roommates for two years, a sense of familiarity is found playing with each other this summer.

“Our chemistry and just knowing each other has definitely transcended to soccer, which is a big reason [Nick] came to Lansing,” Greene said.

Strack added: “Nate (United’s head coach) came and offered the spot to me and I knew Alec. It’s good because I’m away from my family, but I have a second family here.”

Throughout college, Greene and Strack have grown together on and off the soccer field.

“Freshmen year we both got redshirted,” Greene said. “We still practiced with the team every day, but after or during free time we would work on shooting, finishing, crossing with each other.”

Strack has been a key member of United’s backline this season, playing primarily at center back, while also seeing time at holding midfield. He was on the field for three of the four straight league game shut-outs to start the season, helping goalie Joe White break the United record of consecutive minutes without conceding a goal at 365 minutes. Strack has started all eight matches he’s played in and was credited with an assist in the 5-2 win against the Michigan Stars.

“A huge strength of Nick’s is he’s a beast, not scared of anything. He goes 100 percent into every tackle, every pass,” Greene said. “He’s calm on the ball. When I see him back there at the last line and he’s still calm, cool and collected, it’s special. He’s a great leader, role model and captain.”

Greene is an outside midfield for the Hoops who creates scoring opportunities with long runs and crosses into the box. After seeing action in reserve games and training during the club’s first two NPSL seasons, he fought his way into the starting lineup last season and has appeared in a team leading 22 straight league matches, proving to be a reliable option for head coach Nate Miller. He’s tallied two assists — one at home against the Milwaukee Torrent and one away against Grand Rapids FC. He has seen action in ten games, starting seven.

“Al is positive on the field. When stuff goes wrong I get more upset, while Alec will pick a guy up and tell them to focus on the next play,” Strack said. “I am a bit more loud and vocal, and Al harnesses me in a little.”

With Lansing fighting for one of two playoff spots, a winning mentality is needed. Strack and Greene can both look towards their success at Oakland for motivation.

“We know what we have to do,” Strack said. “I was never an upper class-men when we won at Oakland, and here I feel like we are, even though its my first year. It motivates me to do it on our own as role players.”

Greene, who embodies the club’s motto of “pride, passion and unity,” knows the next four matches will be crucial for himself, Strack and Lansing.

“We have high expectations,” Greene said. “Everyone puts in a tremendous amount of hard-work and effort, but getting to say you won is icing on the cake and makes it all worth it.”