Lansing United will close out the month of May with two important Memorial Day weekend road matches.
United heads to Indianapolis on Friday afternoon to take on the Indy Eleven NPSL in a friendly before traveling down M-59 for a visit to the Michigan Stars in Pontiac on Sunday night.
After allowing a game-tying, 89th minute goal to the Stars in last weekend’s home opener, United head coach Nate Miller said Sunday’s rematch with the Stars is “pivotal.”
“We have a huge opportunity with (last weekend’s match) fresh in our minds to make adjustments,” Miller said. “With the way the league is looking, it’s really close top to bottom, and I would call this match pivotal.”
Lansing comes into the weekend sitting tied for second in the Great Lakes West table with five points (1-0-2), two ahead of the Stars, who play Grand Rapids FC on Friday.
Despite holding a strong record historically against MSFC, the in-state foes gave United a hard time at the East Lansing Soccer Complex last Sunday. United’s attack looked strong at most points, especially in the first half, but the Stars turned up the pressure following Danny Cawley’s go-ahead goal in the 78th minute.
Former Lansing player Cody Archibald put home a rebound late to tie it up, giving both teams a point in the early season matchup. It was a draw that felt a little bit like a loss, but Miller feels his team rebounded nicely this week in training.
“There is no confusion about why it happened,” Miller said. “We made it really clear. As a team we’ve made a commitment to not get too high after a win, too low after a loss or too disturbed after a draw. We just keep moving forward and identify the factors and improve on them.”
Before heading to Pontiac, Miller will get a chance to increase the competition within the lineup with a match against a strong Indy Eleven NPSL side. Matches between the two have bene fiercely competitive in the past, with United going 1-0-3 against the team formerly known as the Indiana Fire.
“We wanted a quality NPSL franchise to play,” Miller said. “Lansing United has always had competitive matches against them and we wanted to continue that. It’s an opportunity to play some different guys and keep the competition going as well.”