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05 / 18

Weekend Preview: Players, staff excited for Friday’s NPSL home opener

WRITTEN BY: Nick Barnowski
PUBLISHED ON: May 18, 2017

Fresh off a three-point weekend to start the season, Lansing United will return to the East Lansing Soccer Complex on Friday night at 7 p.m. for its NPSL home opener against FC Indiana. United will also play a home friendly on Sunday afternoon with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m.

“It’s exciting,” United head coach Nate Miller said. “Our fans are great and historically we’ve been really good at home. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

United has never lost in their NPSL home openers, drawing in all three of its matches to kick the season off at the ELSC. Last season, the club tied the Michigan Stars, 2-2, and played the Indiana Fire to scoreless draws in 2014 and 2015.

To earn its first win in a home opener, Lansing will have to maintain the positive momentum it picked up last weekend in Milwaukee. United amped up the pressure in the first half and it paid off, leading to goals in the 29th and 31st minutes from Tumi Moshobane and Rafa Mentzingen. The second half, though, featured courageous defending as Milwaukee kept a high-line and brought players forward in an attempt to equalize.

In preparation for Friday’s match, Miller placed an emphasis on learning from certain mistakes made in the season opener.

“It was all about our training this week and making sure we solved some problems with some things we didn’t necessarily do great against Milwaukee,” Miller said. “It was about sharpening some things up, continuing to welcome new players to the team and creating a working culture.”

James DeCosemo will make his return to the lineup Friday night after missing the match against Milwaukee due to a suspension that carried over from the final game of the 2016 season. Named captain of this year’s squad, DeCosemo enters Friday night second all-time in appearances (30) and goals (7) with United and will look to make an immediate impact in the final third.

With the addition of DeCosemo and the excitement around playing in front of the home fans for the first home league match, Friday night can’t come soon enough for coach Miller.

“Our guys are chomping at the bit and I think tomorrow they’ll show that.”