After an 11-day break, Lansing United will return to NPSL play with two midweek road matches against the Madison 56ers and Minnesota TwinStars.
The team departed for Madison, Wis., early Tuesday morning in preparation for Wednesday night’s match against the 56ers. It will be the club’s first venture outside of Michigan in the 2015 season, and picking up six points on the road is what head coach/GM Eric Rudland is striving for.
“We’re good at home, but we need to be just as good or even better on the road,” said Rudland, who holds a 12-3-6 record as United coach. “We need to make sure we’re sharp for the matches, technically and tactically.”
It will be the first-ever meeting between United and both the 56ers and TwinStars. United is coming off of a 1-1 draw at home against the Fort Pitt Regiment on June 5, which moved the club’s record to 2-0-2. Lansing is one of two teams in the Midwest Region without a loss (Indiana Fire) and has conceded the fewest number of goals (two).
It will also be the first time United will play competitive matches on back-to-back days since last July’s Midwest Region semifinal and final.
The United coach said playing two matches in 48 hours would be more of a mental challenge than a physical one.
“I think that’s a lot of what our preparation will be about,” Rudland said. “I think the guys will be prepared and hopefully we’ll have good performances.”
The 56ers sit second in the Midwest Region table with 10 points (3-1-1), while the TwinStars are currently last with one point (0-4-1). The two teams played each other on June 13 with Madison coming out on top, 3-1.
Wednesday’s match against Madison is set for 8 p.m. Eastern at Breese Stevens Athletic Field. Thursday’s match will now begin at 7 p.m. Eastern at Robbinsdale Cooper High School.
“The guys are looking forward to a big week for the club,” Rudland said. “Hopefully they respond well and we can get six points on the road.”