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Rudland to Coach at NPSL Combine; Three United Players Invited

WRITTEN BY: Nick Barnowski
PUBLISHED ON: December 17, 2014

LANSING — Lansing United general manager and head coach Eric Rudland will coach the Midwest Region team at the first-ever National Premier Soccer League combine, taking place in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., from Jan. 9-12. In addition, three Lansing United players — Brian Cunningham, Tyler Pasher and Cody Archibald — have been invited to participate at the combine.

The combine, which will be held at Broward Community College, will give Major League Soccer, North American Soccer League, and USL-Pro teams an opportunity to scout NPSL players. It will be held in conjunction with the MLS combine.

“This is a humbling and exciting opportunity for me,” said Rudland, who led Lansing United to the Midwest Region title in the club’s inaugural season. “I’m looking forward to working with the top players in our region in an effort to help them be identified by pro scouts. I hope to help put players in spots where they show well and play with confidence.”

The NPSL combine will consist of players from four regions: the Midwest, Northeast, West and South. Rudland has been working with the NPSL’s technical committee, headed by Chairman Kenny Farrell of the New Orleans Jesters and Co-Chairman Chris Hanlon of the Joplin Demize, to form a team of aspiring professional players to compete against the other three regions.

John Kowalski, head coach of the Fort Pitt Regiment, will assist Rudland. Kowalski led the Regiment to the Midwest Region championship game where they fell to United in extra time. He has MLS and NASL head coaching experience in addition to managing the Robert Morris University women’s soccer team.

“It will be a pleasure working with someone as experienced as John,” Rudland said. “He’s a first-class coach and his team had a great run this past summer.”

Cunningham, Pasher and Archibald all played integral roles in helping United reach the NPSL national semifinals.

Cunningham, who was named NPSL Player of the Week on July 9, scored three goals and had three assists with United this past season. His strong campaign with the club earned him an invitation to an USL-Pro combine in St. Louis, and he is attracting interest after having already played for Harbour View FC in Jamaica.

Pasher and named to the NPSL Supporters’ XI team and is coming off of trials with MLS’ Toronto FC and the NASL’s Minnesota United. Having primarily played midfield and forward with United, Pasher features as a left back when playing at the international level for Canada.

Helping lead the Oakland Golden Grizzlies to a conference title, Archibald was named to the All-Horizon League’s second team. He had two goals and an assist in his senior season at Oakland. He was the only defender to score a goal in the regular season for United and featured at both left back and center back.