Today marks the first match of the club's third season as The Mighty Oak will play a closed-door friendly against Northwood University at High Velocity Sports in Canton, MI.
AFC Ann Arbor Members, including General, Premium and Youth, will be allowed to attend Friday's match as a special "Members Only" perk. The match will take place in High Velocity's bubble field which has very limited space for spectators and members are highly encouraged to bring their own seating.
Premium members can use their +1 perk tonight, as well as all remaining friendly matches.
Although league play doesn't begin until early May when AFC AA will travel to Milwaukee, Coach Rudland is looking to use these early friendly dates as an opportunity for players to build chemistry, adapt to his system and style of play and to help raise fitness levels.
"Tonight we're looking for three things in our first friendly match of 2017. First of all, this is an early opportunity to enhance our fitness against a very good Northwood side. They are at the tail end of their spring season, where we are just getting started, so they will test us physically. Secondly, our staff is excited to evaluate a few trialists and new signings who will feature in the match. A number of them have looked good in training, but it will be great to see them in a real match. Lastly, we have spent the majority of our first week of training implementing a new defensive structure and mentality. We want to see if we can take what's been done on the training pitch and apply it to the match," said Rudland.
As a handful of players haven't arrived for the 2017 season, a limited roster will see action tonight in Canton.
About AFC Ann Arbor
AFC Ann Arbor completed a very successful inaugural campaign in the Midwest Region of the National Premier Soccer League finishing 2nd in the conference while earning the club’s first playoff berth. The club’s third season kicks off in May as The Mighty Oak look to continue their winning ways under Head Coach Eric Rudland. Youth, General and Premium Memberships for Season Tree can be purchased here.