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05 / 29

Kick This Around: A Lansing United Blog

WRITTEN BY: Jeremy Sampson
PUBLISHED ON: May 29, 2014

Matt Brown is not a conductor.

Admittedly, the Lansing United striker has never been a captain before. He’s learning on the job. And one of the things that falls to him is delivering the last inspirational message to the starting 11 as they huddle on the field just before kickoff. His idea has been to use the club’s core values – pride, passion, and unity – and drive those home with a chant in unison.

Pride? No question. Passion? Check.

Unity? Well…

All 11 seem to get the first set OK, but they’re supposed to repeat the words three times. And that’s where it all breaks down. It ends up sounding…honestly, pretty bad. Let’s just say Simon Cowell would be rolling his eyes. As they finished stumbling through it just before their match at Michigan Stars F.C., Brown told his team “we HAVE to work on that this week, lads”.

The good news is that unity is no problem once the ball is kicked.

With availability issues ranging from summer job requirements to injuries and suspensions, head coach Eric Rudland has already dipped deep into the large team roster. He freely admitted that Sunday night’s back four started patchwork at best, with Ryan Keener still not available and Ben Lamb serving a suspension from the Detroit City F.C. match.  Then James Robinson was pressed into the starting lineup after Jake VanderLaan had to be withdrawn following the warmup.

But the pleasantly surprising Austin Dunn was a colossus at center half, making a hatful of clearances and solid tackles. Cody Archibald was more than capable moving into the middle, and despite surrendering 12 shots, they stood firm in front of Zach Bennett.  The keeper was counted on to make five saves, and the only time they were breached was on a pinpoint diagonal ball that led to a shot just squeaking over the line in the 66th minute.

It was the first goal from open play by an opponent in 336 minutes.

No matter who the 11 are on the field, their communication has been evident between the lines.  Leigh Rumbold’s voice is always audible as he provides the energy in midfield.  And once he starts talking, others pick up their parts of the conversation.  For a team that has made so many changes through four matches, it has been an important facet of keeping everyone on the same page.  That’s where the unity has really shown.

So the next time you watch Lansing United in a training session or a match, keep an ear open for the communication on the field.  It’s a great way to see how well they are developing all those core values of the club.

Just don’t ask them all to talk at the same time – especially just before kickoff.

Story written by Dave Ellis, posted by Jonathan Yales