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04 / 04

Open Tryouts Impress United Coaching Staff, Players

WRITTEN BY: Nick Barnowski
PUBLISHED ON: April 04, 2015

More than 40 players attended Lansing United’s open tryouts on Saturday in a bid to earn a spot on the club’s roster.

The players were split up into four teams, with each team playing three scrimmages at the East Lansing Soccer Complex’s practice fields.

Head coach/GM Eric Rudland said the session could be considered the unofficial start of the season and that he was happy with the quality of competition.

“There are definitely some guys who came out here today who could compete for a roster spot,” United’s second-year coach said. “Last year, numbers wise the quantity was greater but I thought the quality this year was very good.”

Among those in attendance was Josh Horne, a defender/midfielder from Prairie State College. Horne, who was invited to the session by Rudland, expects to play for the club this summer and came away impressed with the level of play.

“It was more than I expected,” the Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, native said. “I haven’t played since January, so it was a little shaky at the start, but I’m glad to get back.”

Horne said he expressed interest in playing for a number of teams this summer, but dialed in on United after Rudland contacted him back. He had five goals and six assists in 14 games with Prairie State in the fall.

“(United) is one I kind of looked at and thought it was going to be hard to get a response from,” he said. “But I can’t wait. I’m counting down the days now, it should be a good season.”

In addition to those trying out, many players from last season’s United roster were out on the field. James DeCosemo, who played in 11 games for the club in 2014, simply said he just wanted to get out and play again.

“I haven’t played since the fall so it was good to get some minutes on the field and see how far I’ve got to go fitness wise,” the Northwood University midfielder said. “It was good to see a lot of the boys out there.”

United players who joined DeCosemo included Julian Myers, Marco Bernardini, Pat Rose and Dominic Hart. Boyzzz Khumalo assisted Rudland while Austin Dunn caught some of the action from the stands.

Rudland said that having United players on the field at the same time as those trying out helped set the expectation of what it takes to make the team.

“It was great for us as a staff to have some returning players come in,” he said. “It was a good baseline for the players as well as the staff.”

The tryouts were one of the last pieces to the roster puzzle. With the start of the season quickly approaching, DeCosemo, much like the Sons of Ransom who sang for the players on Saturday, can hardly wait.

“It’s all I’ve been thinking about since December,” he said.