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05 / 08

Weekend Preview: Saturday’s in-state matchup against GRFC

WRITTEN BY: Nick Barnowski
PUBLISHED ON: May 08, 2015

Lansing United has spent the majority of this week’s training sessions preparing for its third friendly of the preseason.

After taking down AFC Ann Arbor, 3-0, the club will face Grand Rapids FC Saturday at 8 p.m. Like last week, United has put a focus on building its roster while also getting ready for a team that has yet to play an official match.

Both AFC Ann Arbor and GRFC play in the Great Lakes Premier League, which was created in 2014 and sits on the fifth-tier of the U.S. Soccer pyramid.

“For us, it will be a really good opportunity to see guys play,” head coach/GM Eric Rudland said. “What we’re trying to do is build a team and give some guys that first experience of playing at home for us.”

After getting 16 players time on the field against AFC Ann Arbor on May 2, Rudland is hoping to evaluate the rest of his roster against GRFC.

The team sheet for Saturday’s match features seven players who did not dress against AFC Ann Arbor, including returning defender Ben Lamb, who is expected to play.

“It’s good to see everyone again and nice to have coaches who want to work through tactical stuff,” said Lamb, who trained with United for the first time this season on Tuesday.

United’s second week of training featured more new faces, but team chemistry does not seem to be an issue.

“We’ve got a couple of characters – Stephen (Owusu), Julez (Julian Myers) and Brownie (Matt Brown) – and it seems like a decent bunch so far,” Lamb said.

With United’s first round U.S. Open Cup match coming up next Wednesday, Rudland has been calculated in prepping for both GRFC and RWB Adria.

“We’ve gotten more tactical in regards to different situations the last couple of days,” said Rudland, who owns a 10-4-3 (W-D-L) career record as United coach. “We’re really focusing on defensive set pieces and really being organized.”

NEW FACES: A number of new players made their training debuts this week, including Quinn McAnaney, Wes Mink, Josh Horne, Esteban Russell, Marcelo Petit, Ross Lindsay, Jordan Kalk and Adam Ender Misirly.

GRFC: In its two preseason matches, GRFC has defeated the Grand Valley State University club team (8-0) and Aquinas College (2-0).

TICKETS: Tickers are still available online for both Saturday’s match against Grand Rapids FC and the May 13 U.S. Open Cup match against RWB Adria.