VanderLaan helps pro soccer team reach national semifinals

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:52 PM

Success on the soccer field is nothing new for Jake VanderLaan.

The Grand Haven High School graduate has been on strong teams throughout high school and club soccer, and now plays collegiately at Oakland University.

This summer, VanderLaan connected with the newly formed Lansing United soccer club, and the team has surpassed expectations.

After winning the Great Lakes West conference crown, Lansing United went on to win the Great Lakes West regional championship. That means the team is one of four remaining in the National Premier Soccer League.

“At the beginning of the season, we all had expectations of doing well and making a statement that we’re going to be a strong team,” VanderLaan said. “We didn’t have the thought that we’d be winning the league, going on to win regionals, and being one of the last four teams left. That’s a big surprise. We worked really hard to get here, so it’s well deserved.”

The team will compete in the NPSL semifinals on Sunday against the New York Red Bulls Under-23 team at Red Bulls in New Jersey. That match is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The other two semifinalists are Chattanooga FC and Sacramento Gold.

The semifinal winners will meet on Aug. 2 at a date and location to be determined.

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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