Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tyrel Lacey made his Eliteserien debut at home last Sunday versus IK Start, as the last place Oslo club stunned their visitors, who entered the match in fifth place in the league standings.
The native of Jenks, Oklahoma helped the club secure just its second win of the season, leaving Lacey beaming in the aftermath of such a successful professional start.
"The guys in front of me made my job and debut easy," Lacey told YA shortly after Sunday's victory. "I am excited to begin my career here at Lyn and also for the opportunity to begin my career as a starter quickly out of college."
If Tyrel Lacey's first start for FC Lyn is a sign of things to come, then the future is certainly bright for the young goalkeeper, who recently joined the team straight from college.
A netminder since his youth team days, Lacey elected to stay near his hometown to play his college soccer with the University of Tulsa, where he backed up current Celtic goalkeeper Dominic Cervi, until becoming a starter his senior year, garnering various conference and NCAA distinctions.
Shortly after graduation, the ex-Golden Hurricane arrived at a crossroads. Given the chance to pursue opportunities in MLS, he chose instead to venture across the Atlantic for a shot to play in Europe.
Lacey readily points out that what might have been considered a quandary for many, was in fact a slam dunk decision to come to Europe for him.
"I was drafted by the New England Revolution in the MLS SuperDraft, but opted to finish school and then pursue my dream of playing overseas to begin my career," Lacey said. "I came over for a week in March with Queens Park Rangers which helped open up a few opportunities for the future. I then graduated and trained with the Seattle Sounders to freshen up before heading over here in June."
The 23-year-old's adventure would just be starting upon his arrival to the old continent, as trials in England opened doors in France which Lacey says he ultimately parlayed into his successful training stint with Lyn.
"Coventry City wanted to see me so I spent my first few weeks there," he explained. "It went very well and has opened up future prospects for England while also getting my name out a bit more on this side of the pond. I then spent a few weeks with French Ligue 1 team Boulogne before coming to Lyn."
Lacey says the chance to trial with the Norwegian team intrigued him.
"When the opportunity came up, I knew it was a club that has a rich history and would be a great place to begin my career."
Lacey's arrival in the Norwegian capital coincided with the squad's friendly match versus legendary English Premier League club Liverpool where the Sooner State resident was tasked with impressing against the likes of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.
Despite the match being televised around the world to millions of viewers, Lacey insists that he never felt any nerves and disputes the notion that it was unwise to trial versus the five-time UEFA Champions League winners.
"It was a good experience to begin my career against such a club. The game and level felt very comfortable and I felt at home playing against Liverpool."
The former Conference USA standout would end up allowing a respectable two goals to Rafa Benitez's squad, thus earning Lacey a contract with Lyn.
Now with the Eliteserien in its home stretch, the starting goalkeeper says his primary focus is to help the club climb out of the cellar and avoid relegation to the 1. Division.
"As a young goalkeeper, my first concern is helping a team and gain experience through a starting position. I am excited to be out on the pitch with the guys and I'm confident I can help our team succeed," concluded Lacey.
Lacey and Lyn try to make it two wins in a row as they hit the road to take on first place and undefeated Rosenborg this weekend.