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05 / 01

United kicks off 2017 season with first training session

WRITTEN BY: Nick Barnowski
PUBLISHED ON: May 01, 2017

Lansing United’s fourth National Premier Soccer League season began Monday with the club’s first training session of 2017.

Featuring close to 20 players – with more scheduled to filter into the Lansing area throughout the next two weeks – United head coach/GM Nate Miller had his first opportunity to see the team he has spent nine months building.

“I think today was a good session,” said Miller, who led Lansing to a 4-4-4 NPSL record last season. “We’re still welcoming players to the club, so it’s about our coaching staff adjusting to the players we do have and about making them comfortable early on.”

Although Saturday’s home friendly against the Ann Arbor Football Club is approaching rapidly, Miller said this week’s practices will be more about setting expectations than going over tactics. United will train every day this week and will move its sessions back outside mid-week after heavy rainfall over the weekend.

“It’s so important to establish an environment and a way of working together while making it enjoyable and intense,” Miller said. “Guys have been traveling from all over the country to get here, so getting on the field together and communicating with each other in an intense way is key. It’s about team building and determining how we’re going to train and how to understand the expectation level.”

Monday’s session included a mix of local players and out-of-staters as well as returning players such as James DeCosemo, Stevenson Storm and Alec Greene. It also gave the coaching staff a look at a roster that Miller says is deeper and has more attacking ability than last year’s.

“I think guys the supporters will enjoy watching will be someone like Rafa Mentzingen,” Miller said, “and I know that everyone likes seeing guys like James (DeCosemo) coming back and scoring goals, and he looks the same, so that’s a good thing.”

United’s friendly on Saturday is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the East Lansing Soccer Complex. The club’s NPSL season begins May 14 on the road against the Milwaukee Torrent, with the first home NPSL match coming May 19 against FC Indiana at 7 p.m.