VanderLaan helps pro soccer team reach national semifinals

Former Buccaneer a starting defender for Lansing United
Matt DeYoung
Jul 25, 2014

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.

Comments

Tri-cities realist

Has the NCAA changed its rules about allowing collegiate athletes to play "pro" (professional) sports?

Sounds like Jake is doing well, way to go!

Matt DeYoung

The college players on the team do not accept payment, which allows them to maintain their eligibility. This is a common practice among college soccer players to play for lower-level "professional" teams.

Tri-cities realist

Thank you for the clarification.

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