by Graham Bellerby
My eyes were burning, my ears were ringing, and my lungs were on fire from the flares and smoke bombs as LUFC scored their first of four goals in a four-to-one victory over the Puget Sound Gunners this last weekend in Springfield, OR.
LUFC, or the Lane United Futbol Club, is a new soccer team in Lane County, Oregon. This team—which is the culmination of 13 years of dedicated work by local soccer fans and supporters—was finally picked up by supporters after the owners of the Eugene Emeralds bought out part of the team.
The team has direct ties to local areas in Lane County, both on and off the field. Not only is one of their star offensive players current Junction City High School student Rolando Velazquez, who is playing semi-professional soccer at seventeen years old, additionally, their athletic trainer is North Eugene’s very own Cesar Ocampo, who was a booster to the club, providing some of the first donation money the club acquired when they began fundraising in 2013.
Unfortunately for Oregon soccer players and fans alike, this team is not affiliated with the Portland Timbers, who have been a building success since their revival in 2001. LUFC will actually play the Portland Timbers U23 (Under 23) team in Salem at Sparks Field on July 1, and again on their home field at the Willamalane Center (32nd and Main in Springfield) on July 11.
LUFC is currently undefeated in the Premier Development league after three games. They played in a one-to-zero victory of the Seattle Sounders U23, a one-to-one tie against the Washington Crossfire out of Vancouver, and a four-to-one victory over the Puget Sound Gunners. Their next home game is going to be on Sunday, June 15, against the Kitsap Pumas. Between now and then, they will additionally play the Pumas on the road in their first road game of the season.
If you would like to learn more about LUFC, their official website is http://www.laneunitedfc.com