After scoring zero goals in their home opener, Lansing United seemed to have no trouble finding the back of the net on Sunday night against the Michigan Stars, especially their captain, Matt Brown.
Brown traveled 3,696 miles from his hometown of Dordon, England to play soccer for United, and he showed the crowd why team owner, Jeremy Sampson, and manager, Eric Rudland, wanted him on the team.
“I think Matt Brown had a great performance, so it was good to get our attacking rhythm going and start to build on what we started to build on in that first kind of 60 minutes of the match on Friday,” Rudland said.
United set the tempo for the game by coming out and attacking the Stars’ defense with three shots on goal within the first 10 minutes of the game.
In the 23rd minute, United’s offense found the back of the net and recorded their first goal in team history as Brown beat a Stars defender at the top-left of the 18-yard-box and drilled his shot into the lower-right corner of the goal.
Eight minutes later, United midfielder Godwin Addai sent a through ball to Brown which forced the Stars keeper, Marcel Schmid, to come out and cut down the angle. Before he could close him down, Brown chipped the ball over Schmid and into the back of the net to put United up 2-0.
“We brought in some guys tonight and I think they performed pretty well tonight, and that is encouraging for us as a staff to know we have some options,” Rudland said. “Playing two matches in a weekend, obviously you gotta have some players that have fresh legs for that second game, and I was really proud of the guys who didn’t play on Friday that came in today who made a big difference.”
United tallied another goal in the 47th minute when United goalkeeper, Zach Bennett, struck a free kick from United’s defensive third into the Stars’ defensive third where the ball found Brown off a bounce, who then proceeded to head the ball over Schmid to complete his hat trick.
Twenty minutes later, United tacked on their fourth goal when midfielder, Adam Clauss, dribbled his way through five of the Stars’ defenders, took a shot inside the 18-yard-box that was deflected and fell to the feet of United forward, Zach Pagani, who poked it past Schmid to make it 4-0.
“I mean it’s not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination. Again, I thought our rhythm and possession was better tonight,” Rudland said. “There was some better off-the-ball movement, but again we still have to be able to do that stuff a little bit quicker, a little bit cleaner and we can’t give away the ball in our own half.”
United are off until May 23 when they play Detroit City at Cass Tech High School in Detroit, Mich.
“Going into the Detroit game this week, it’s a lot of talking about what that environment is going to be like for us to play in… For us it is obviously trying to figure out who that best 11 is to start that game so we will evaluate the performances from this weekend along with our two first team matches,” Rudland said.
Brooks Laimbeer is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports.
Photo: Lansing United