SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Lane United beat the Seattle Sounders U-23 by one goal in the inaugural game of its 2014 season Friday night in front of a packed house of fans at the Willamalane Center in Springfield.
The venue offered concessions, Oakshire beer on tap, fan gear and an evening sunset. The Red Aces, the team’s fan club, held the south section of the new 1,000-capacity bleachers, drumming, chanting, and setting off fireworks and plumes of red smoke.
In the 21st minute of the game, Midfielder Connor Bevans scored the only goal of the game with an assist from forward Rolando Velazquez.
During the second half, both teams either could not connect with the goal or were thwarted by each other’s goalkeepers. The half grew increasingly tense with the referees giving multiple yellow cards to players on both teams, including a red card to Seattle’s Clement Simonin in the 83rd minute.
After the game, Bevans, who scored the only goal of the night, said, “I felt very prepared for the game tonight. I have been here for a week and love the support of the fans.”
He also said he loved the energy of the team during their first game.
“I think we have a great dynamic on the team,” Bevans said. “We were prepared as a team and worked well together through the whole game.”
After the final whistle, three minutes into stoppage time, red smoke and young fans streamed onto the field to celebrate the win.
Head coach John Galas said he felt confident with his team throughout the game.
Galas said the goal for the next game against Washington Crossfire is to improve their play under pressure.
“We have to work on keeping the ball throughout the entire game and managing the game, even when the intensity from the other team rises,” Galas said.
Lane United plays Washington Crossfire Sunday, May 18, at 1 p.m. at their home venue, the Willamalane Center.