Mighty Oak Monday (Week 6)

The Lansing game was a return to a familiar place for you. Prior to the match, were there any overwhelming feelings as a former coach of Lansing United once you entered East Lansing Soccer Complex?

The approach to last Friday's match was no different than the others on our schedule from a football standpoint. I was really looking forward to playing at the East Lansing soccer complex, as it's a grass pitch and one of the nicest in the league. I knew our men would enjoy the surface and the environment. It was great to see familiar faces at the match and reconnect with people who I have not seen in a while. Just like most clubs in the league, we are friends before & after the whistle blows, and the match was competitive & entertaining. 

Bruno secured the victory on Friday with a stellar corner kick. Did the 3 points earned in Lansing taste a little bit sweeter than our previous results being a victory against your former side?

It was a perfectly shaped ball from Bruno. Some may say it wasn't a shot, but we have seen him do that in training numerous times. Bruno has been a top man for us so far, I believe he has logged every minute for the club so far this season and has become a staple in our back-line along with Frenchy (Braem). Obviously the 3 points were crucial for us in the title race.

The team sheet for Sunday's game in Dayton saw some new faces and even some new players earning starts for The Mighty Oak. Can you speak to some of the challenges and strategies a manager deals with in short turnaround matches like this weekend?

With this past weekend being our first double NPSL weekend we thought it was best for the club to give a few other players a run in the first 11. The change wasn't due to players not preforming, rather it was an open door to play fresh legs on the back end of a hard match vs. LanU. I thought our men responded well with us creating a few really good scoring chances in the first 1/2 vs. Dayton & defensively we looked secure the whole match. All in all it was good for us to see what some of the other players on our roster can do in a competitive NPSL match, as we have to prepare to deal with another double weekend in July.

A spark for the Mighty Oak from the jump was striker JP Rylah who earned only his second start of the season against Dynamo on Sunday. Can you speak to how valuable having such a deep roster has proved to be especially in the attacking role positions?

I thought JP was really dangerous for us on Sunday. He has come on as a sub for us previously and with Sunday being his first NPSL start he took advantage of the opportunity. Yes, we are very fortunate to have a few quality players in each position, which bodes well for making changes when necessary. As we have seen in our matches, when we do make substitution changes those players have the capability to make an immediate impact. 

A deflating PK converted by Dayton resulted in a 1-1 draw on the road, but The Mighty Oak were still able to retain a point out of the trip and earn 4 total points over the weekend. With our club still sitting first in the table, can you add to how important road points are in this league?

Road points are critical in the league title race. Our men have exhibited a very professional approach when we travel. With only 2 home matches remaining, we know how important it will be to keep good form on the road.