Aug. 1, 2008
Bruges, Belgium - Former LMU goalkeeper Patrick Lane has signed a professional contract with Belgian club Cercle Bruges, the club announced Thursday. Lane had been training with the team for the past three weeks and was offered the contract before he was due to return to Los Angeles for the Lions' preseason training.
"First and foremost, I would like to thank LMU for playing a major role in my development," Lane said. "I spent two years learning first-hand how to become a better goalkeeper under Coach [Mathes] Mennell and Coach [Paul] Krumpe taught me how to be a better teammate. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me."
Lane was LMU's starting goalkeeper during the 2007 season, his first on the field after redshirting the 2006 campaign. In 16 starts, Lane posted a 1.66 goals-against-average while making 58 saves and recording three shutouts. For the past five years, he had been participating at Brad Friedel's Premier Soccer Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, where Cercle Bruges had first noticed him. Lane was invited to Europe in July to train with the club in England and Belgium.
Lane's contract was contingent upon him passing a physical, which he did on Wednesday. The club stated that he had signed a one-year contract but no further terms were disclosed.
"It has been a pleasure to watch Pat's development over the past two seasons," Krumpe said. "We appreciate his effort and commitment to LMU and wish him luck with this fantastic opportunity."
Cercle Bruges is preparing to enter its sixth consecutive season in the Jupiler League, Belgium's top flight. The team has won the league four times and placed fourth last season, its best post-war finish. The club features Belgian national team members Thomas Buffel and Stijn De Smet, the latter of whom is currently representing Belgium at the Beijing Olympics.
Cercle Bruges is currently in Holland participating in a preseason tournament hosted by AZ Alkmaar. The club opens its 2008-09 season on August 15 at home against 2007-08 runners-up Anderlecht.