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05 / 10

United Concludes Preseason with 1-0 Loss to GRFC

WRITTEN BY: Jeremy Sampson
PUBLISHED ON: May 10, 2015

“It’s great for soccer in the state of Michigan to have these clubs popping up and creating local rivalries.”

United head coach/GM Eric Rudland can see the day that Lansing United and Grand Rapids FC develop a healthy rivalry.  Over 700 fans at Archer Stadium saw that too, but the first ever meeting between the sides in a friendly match was not really about the 1-0 loss to GRFC.

“We’ve already started getting ready for (the) Wednesday night (U.S. Open Cup match), and evaluating players for that match,” Rudland said. “Each player has had a crack and a chance to show our coaching staff what they can do, so we’re really looking at that as our goal.”

A three-shot flurry by United in the 29th minute was the best chance for either team to open the scoring in the first half, which concluded with no score for either team. The second half saw the tables turn for the best opportunity.

Lansing keeper Quinn McAnaney handled the ball outside the box in the 49th minute, giving GRFC a free kick just 20 yards from the goal. McAnaney redeemed himself with a stellar save on the resulting shot which was headed towards the upper corner of the United goal.

In the 70th minute of play, Domenic Barone converted on a break over the outstretched arms of McAnaney for the only goal of the match.

“I thought we had a good response in the second half right after we conceded,” Rudland said. “We had a good flurry of chances to finish the match, and we had a lot of guys who just got here this week so there were still some positives.”

United was presented with a number of set pieces in the final 15 minutes, but no one came closer than a shot from Matt Brown that was tipped over the crossbar by GRFC keeper Beau Prey on a free kick.  Without much time to work with their new teammates, Lansing was unable to string together any plays outside of dead ball situations.

“We should have scored in the first half,” Dean Trailways Man of the Match Cholo Petit said after his first match for the club. “It’s hard to get in a flow with all the new guys. I did like all the 11 players on the field, we ran the whole game and chased every ball, so I like that in a team.”

“The difference was taking advantage of scoring opportunities,” Rudland said. “We created a number in the first half. We didn’t put them away…overall chances I think we had a ton, but we didn’t take that final moment to put the ball away.”

United will face GRFC at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids, Michigan again on June 27.

Photos: Hoffman Photography

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