The Lansing Common soccer team officially begins its second season at 7 pm Saturday, on the road against BiH Grand Rapids as part of the inaugural Grand River Open Cup.
The Robins will open up their home and Midwest Premier League slate against Tulip City United SC at 6 pm May 21 at Eastern High School Stadium.
Coach Josh Oakley returns after leading Common to a runner-up finish in the East Division and winning 10 league matches last season. Oakley has a number of returning players, including two team captains.
Here’s a look at five players to keep an eye on this season.
The midfielder, who’s the team captain and the oldest player on the roster, was LCFC’s second-leading scorer a year ago, tallying seven goals.
When he’s not playing for Common, Birge is an assistant coach at his alma mater, East Lansing High School. Birge played for four years at Alma College from 2012-16 and has other semi-pro experience, including Oakland County FC.
“He’s an unparalleled leader,” Oakley said. “I’ve worked with a lot of guys in all my years of coaching and Julian is one of the best. He leads by example – the way he takes training, the way he goes about his business and the fact he’s been with other semi-pro clubs.
“What he brings is irreplaceable, in my view.”
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Brandt, who has plenty of length at 6-foot-3, is a senior at Western Michigan and is battling to be the Broncos’ starting goalkeeper in the fall. The Torrance, California, native started one game for WMU last season but was the Broncos’ No. 1 keeper throughout the spring season. And that includes a win over Michigan State on April 3, a match in which Brandt started between the sticks.
“He comes to us this year really trying to be the No. 1 at Western Michigan, ”Oakley said. “What he’s going to give us is range. He’s going to be able to get to some things with his size. “
The Haslett grad and Eastern Illinois senior was Common’s best player in the first half of the 2021 season, Oakley said.
Sherali, one of the captains this season, scored two goals for LCFC last year.
This past season at EIU, Sherali played in all 15 matches, starting five. He finished the season with four shots and two shots on target.
“He’s very skillful on the ball, deceptively quick and a great server of the ball,” Oakley said. “He’s the one we’re going to count on a lot to organize us. And he’s a player that has a fair amount of flair, so he’s going to be fun to watch. ”
Sylvain, who is currently a senior at Holt, will play collegiately at Detroit Mercy in the fall. But before that, he’ll get a chance to shine for the Robins. Lansing Common got a taste of what Sylvain’s capable of last summer when Sylvain – playing for LK St. Clair – scored four goals on LCFC.
Sylvain tallied 22 goals and earned first-team all-state honors from the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association this past season for Holt, and finished his prep career with 44 goals. He’s also a finalist for the LSJ Player of the Year.
“He’s a good local player, just a lot of gifts for that young man,” Oakley said. “He’s young like a lot of our players and destined for a big future in the game. I’m excited to see what he can do. ”
The Okemos graduate and Western Michigan junior can play in either the midfield or at forward. Usiak scored two goals in MWPL play and three goals in all competitions last year for the Robins.
Usiak has made six appearances in two seasons with the Broncos, three each in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
“He’s probably the guy that made the most goals for us last year,” Oakley said. “He created a lot and there were a couple of players on our team that were the beneficiaries of Ty’s great work on 1-v-1s and had a lot of assists. I expect him to keep doing that this year. ”
Lansing Common 2022 roster
(Announced roster as of Wednesday afternoon. Subject to change)
Name College Hometown
Ali Alamery N / A East Lansing, MI (East Lansing / Michigan Wolves)
Ethan Brandt Western Michigan Torrance, CA
Holden Clark Indianapolis Haslett, MI (Haslett)
Shad Cunningham Northern Michigan Lansing, MI (Waverly)
Aidan Antcliff Purdue Fort Wayne Okemos, MI (Okemos)
Zane Arnold Lawrence Tech Linden, MI
Travis Hamers Schoolcraft (graduated) South Lyon, MI
Kevin Payne Niagara Jackson, MI
Spencer Powe Detroit Mercy East Lansing, MI (East Lansing)
Nick Robinson Trine DeWitt, MI (DeWitt)
Ameer Shetiah Purdue Fort Wayne East Lansing (East Lansing)
Victor Toune Spring Arbor DeWitt, MI (DeWitt)
Anthony Burton Northwood East Lansing, MI (East Lansing)
Julian Birge Alma (graduated) East Lansing, MI (East Lansing)
Avery Dreasky St. Bonaventure DeWitt, MI (DeWitt)
Kai Francisco Hope East Lansing, MI (East Lansing)
Mitch Haines Spring Arbor Portage, MI
Landon Hungerford Niagara DeWitt, MI (DeWitt)
Panashe Kahari N / A Lansing, MI (Eastern)
Jake Lockerbie Alma Gull Lake, MI
Munir Sherali Eastern Illinois Haslett, MI (Haslett)
Daniel Silva N / A Saginaw, MI
Mark Wischmeyer Otterbein Bloomfield Hills, MI
Noah Herring Olivet Lansing, MI (Waverly)
Fady Omar N / A Haslett, MI (Haslett)
Josh Rosendale Olivet Holt, MI (Holt)
Ramzi Shaheen Temple Lansing, MI
Guershom Sylvain Detroit Mercy Lansing, MI (Holt)
Ty Usiak Western Michigan Okemos, MI (Okemos)
Jack Voight Spring Arbor South Lyon, MI
Lansing Common 2022 schedule
* home game at Eastern High School Stadium
Date Opponent Time Competition
May 14 BiH Grand Rapids 7 pm Grand River Open Cup
May 21 * Tulip City United SC 6 pm Midwest Premier League
June 3 West Michigan Bearings 7 pm Midwest Premier League
June 12 * Michigan Jaguars 5 pm Midwest Premier League
June 15 Detroit Union 7 pm Midwest Premier League
June 18 * Cedars FC 6 pm Midwest Premier League
June 25 Grand Haven Admirals 7 pm Midwest Premier League
July 1 * Tulip City United SC 7 pm Grand River Open Cup
July 9 * BiH Grand Rapids 6 pm Midwest Premier League
July 15 Livonia City 8 pm Midwest Premier League
July 17 Michigan Stars U-23 6 pm Midwest Premier League
July 23 * Inter Detroit 6 pm Midwest Premier League
Contact digital sports reporter Phil Friend at 517-377-1220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Phil_Friend.