July 12th, 2024

LFC men enjoying a strong start


By Lethbridge Herald on June 25, 2024.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Football Club’s men’s team are off to a torrid start in  the Alberta Major League Soccer season and much of the success is contributed experienced players returning.

LFC is a top the league standings with a 6-0-2 record and have not lost in regulation yet this season.

“I think for the most part it comes down to returning players and we’ve had this kind of almost the same base group for the last three years,” said Mark Meerkerk, LFC head coach.

“For the last three years that I’ve been involved, it’s been those same guys. So I think having those same guys and getting to work with those same guys has contributed to a lot of our success.”

Ball moving has been the team’s strong suit this far in the season.

“It’s a huge part of the game obviously and we have five or six threats up top, which once they have the ball, we have a good chance of scoring.  So having talent basically all through the line-up is a huge part of why we’re doing so well,” said Meerkerk.

LFC’s focus has been since the onset of the season was to jell the mixture of  talent from the college and university players together and work with them.

“So making sure that those guys are on the ball and those guys are(continuing) to grow for their careers moving forward in college and university,” said Meerkerk.

“The idea is that we’re helping the college and university because of their buy into this program helping those players develop too and be sharp.”

While Meerkerk thinks it would be great to not have no losses the rest of the way, the test will come on an upcoming road trip to Edmonton play the top two north teams in the Scottish and the Green and Gold.

“So just learning how to play against the top two stronger teams in the province and going from there,” said Meerkerk.

“I mean our focus is just on how we play every day and we don’t change based on other teams coming into our building or us going over there. Our plan is our plan and if the other team has to change in order to beat us then that’s what they got to do.”

Meerkerk is somewhat surprised the team is sitting atop the AMSL standings but not with the strong start.

“I was expecting to be one (or) two in the south for sure,” said Meerkerk.

Meerkerk wants to see the team take an even keel approach and not to think too far ahead.

“The struggle is just to keep everybody even keel and  keep it game by game,” he said.

Two teams from each division make the year-end playoff provincial tournament.

The LFC men are 10 points clear of the Calgary Callies United in the South Division lead and four points clear of the Green and Gold for the overall league lead.

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