After falling 1-0 at home to AFC Ann Arbor last week, Lansing United will get a shot at redemption on Friday night at 7 p.m. as it will travel to Holloway Field to take on its Great Lakes West foe.
While United enters the match nine points behind Ann Arbor in the GLW standings, three points on the road would put the club within two points of second place.
A key component of Lansing’s game plan heading into Ann Arbor? A much better start to the match after last Friday’s contest saw AFCAA possess the ball at an alarming rate during the first 15 minutes of action.
“I think the biggest thing we’ve got to do is come out hard,” United midfielder Michael Caccavo said. “The way we start is going to dictate how the game is going to go. If we can keep that up for 90 minutes, I think we’ll have a pretty good game.”
Despite Ann Arbor’s goal late in the match, United had firm control of the second half, a fact head coach Nate Miller said gives the team confidence heading into Friday night.
“The second half of that game was our half,” Miller said. “After the first 15 minutes they never really broke us down, so we take confidence in that.”
United is coming off of an entertaining 2-2 draw away at Detroit City FC after Alec Greene’s equalizer late helped the club earn a point. While Lansing has allowed the fewest numbers of goals in the Great Lakes West this season, it has also scored the fewest, leading Miller to make a few changes during training this week to help establish a greater sense of urgency.
“At this point in the season, it’s less about building and more about the urgency of now,” he said. “Understanding that there haven’t been any games this season that weren’t out of our reach gives us confidence.”
Miller is challenging his forwards, including Danny Brandt and Stevenson Storm, as well as his other players who have the ability to find the back of the net, to elevate their game to another level in the second half of the season.
Through seven NPSL matches, six different players have scored, but only one – James DeCosemo – has done it more than once.
“They need to step up not necessarily in their overall performances but in putting the ball in the net at the big moments when it counts,” Miller said. “I also need to step up and make sure they’re in the best position to make the difference.”
A strong week of training has helped as the team looks to take three vital points from the Great Lakes West leaders.
“We got after it, had some grit and went hard,” Caccavo said. “By doing that we’re getting more out of each other, which is what we need right now.”