Soccer has been growing in the United States for years, and the number of professional teams is exploding. Fans in Eugene and Springfield are beneficiaries of the expansion. The Lane United Football Club begins its second season Friday.
Lane United is a semi-professional team. Most of the athletes are current top-tier college players. This year, there’s also a group of club players from Spain. Spokesman Chris Burke says the mix makes for a quality game:
Burke: “The level of play that you see on the field is, I’d say, probably higher than a Division I college game. So this is basically the best level soccer you can see outside of the Portland Timbers in Oregon.”
Dave Galas is Lane United’s manager. He says the team hopes to play at Civic Stadium as soon as it’s ready:
Galas: “Which, from talking to the engineers, project managers, etcetera, would be 18 months minimum construction time, so we still need to fundraise before that.”
This year and next, the Reds play at Willamalane in Springfield. Their home opener is Friday at 7:00 pm.