The Mighty Oak enter Saturday’s contest as the #2 team in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). AFC Ann Arbor look to avenge their only loss of the season when they host Lansing United at Hollway Field (Pioneer High School) at 7PM.
Coach Rudland, who coached Lansing United from 2014-15, and his team are preparing for Saturday’s match just like any other contest, but with more familiarity of their opponent than earlier in the season.
He added, “Our first match vs Lansing was defined by conceding early, and even though we had a flurry of chances in the second half we came up short. Each match is always different so we are preparing for them based on our updated reports and taking into consideration our personnel, form and the fact that we will be at home.”
While Lansing has dropped their last two matches (to Kalamazoo FC and Grand Rapids FC), Ann Arbor enters Saturday’s match undefeated at home in 2017 while holding their position at the top of the table all season long. Visiting Lansing United are still in post-season contention entering Saturday’s Match as the 3rd place side in the conference.
AFC continue to show immense depth both offensively and defensively, which allows them to rotate players without impeding the chemistry of the team. Since the May 26th away match at Lansing United, Ann Arbor has registered 17 goals from 9 different players. Jesse Muskwe, Kyle Breitmeyer, Yuri Farkas, Alec Lasinski, Kaleb Jackson, Jimmy Fiscus, Hector Morales, James Vaughan and Amadou Cisse.
Defensively, Ann Arbor will see Sam Zisette, Ben Thornton and Matthieu Braem all returning to the line-up after minor injuries. The return of these key defenders accompanied by the exceptional goalkeeping of TJ Tomasso adds even more depth to a backline that has tallied five clean sheets in just ten matches.
"The message to the men is plain and simple, day in and day out we must get better. Our training mentality has been leaps and bounds above where it was last year and I think the men all feel a hunger to keep pushing forward as a group. We have to approach each match like we are playing against the top team in the league and continue approach each match one at a time," said Rudland.
Gates open at 6PM for the 7PM kick, and tickets are available to purchase at a discounted rate online until 2PM Saturday. Tickets will also be available at the gate Saturday ($10 adult/$6 youth/ Kids 1, 2 and 3 are free). Click here to purchase tickets.
Getting to the match
Due to construction, southbound South Main Street will be closed at Pauline Boulevard. Follow detour signs and enter Pioneer HS parking lot via back entrance off of Seventh St. Northbound travelers on Main Street can still use the main entrance and using this entrance is highly encouraged if possible.