Philip Lund’s soccer life started in Denmark around the age of three. “According to my parents, the first time the football hit my face, I cried and ran away,” Lund says. “I tried again when I was four and I’ve played ever since.”
At age 18 he signed with his hometown club, Vejle BK. After stints with Danish clubs Kolding FC and FC Fyn, Lund was noticed by Seattle Sounders assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson.
Lund’s first time in the Seattle-Tacoma area was not as long as he would have liked. Struggling with injury and little time on the field, he moved on after being released by the Sounders. After a USL season with the Oklahoma Energy, he traveled abroad and had stints with B36 Torshavn of the Faroe Islands and RB-Hicom F.C.of Malaysia. This season, he returns to the Pacific Northwest with the Tacoma Stars and the Major Arena Soccer League, bringing worldwide experience to complement his signature attacking flair.
Having played the world over, including Europe, Malaysia, and in the United States, Philip has noticed the differences between the regions.
“It’s a tough question, but everything is more technical in Europe and there is a higher tempo - you need to think faster,” he says. “Over here, it is more physical; you need a good engine and foot speed - not to say that is a bad thing.”
Since Lund has been around the world playing football, he has had the opportunity to experience many different atmospheres and cultures. “My favorite home stadium was definitely Seattle,” Lund says. “There are so many fans it becomes intimidating for the opponent. Away was (Indonesian Club) Borneo. There were 10,000 people at the game. We were winning, and the fans started to throw flares and trash at us. The referee had to stop the game have go to the locker room and get things under control. Being there you are a little afraid.”
As for the MASL, Lund says, “ShoWare Center is a good place. Other than that, the Milwaukee stadium (UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena) is my favorite. There was something about it, with the black turf. Hopefully, we can make ShoWare into a fortress.”
When the opportunity to come back to Seattle presented itself, Lund jumped at the chance:
“It was not difficult when Darren (Sawatzky) approached me. I enjoyed my time with the Sounders and wish it could have been longer. Seattle was the first place outside of Denmark I had lived and coming back was an easy decision.”
Adjusting to the indoor game can be hard, and at this level of play, it can be quite intimidating. However, Lund has started to make quite the impression on the MASL having played 20 games with 16 goals and 2 assists. Arena is a new style of soccer to Philip and he is still learning how to adjust.
“I am trying to learn and improve everyday,” Lund says. “I like that there are more opportunities to score. The more I play, the more I am understanding where to put the ball to create extra chances. You can learn on the training field, but playing in games is the only way to figure it out. I like the walls; I spent my first several practices just learning how to play off the back walls. My teammates would point to different spots and teach me what would happen as it hit each spot - sometimes you shoot to score and sometimes you shoot to pull the defense out of position and get the ball to a teammate.”
When asked for an example of how the indoor game is different, Lund replied, “(Goalkeeper Danny Waltman) will occasionally come up and join in the attack, so we cannot turn the ball over. But when he does that, somebody will always be open. When the other goalkeeper comes up, you need to be smart about it. You need to mark as many players as you can, but if you get the ball off him you can score from midfield.”
While Philip is open to returning to the outdoor field, he has enjoyed his time with indoor as it promotes quick thinking and constant action. However, it has been difficult to describe the game to his friends and family back home.
“All my friends do not understand what type of indoor game we have here,” he says. “We do not have this back home. All the people I have invited have loved it. If you love football, you’ll love the indoor game.”
The Tacoma Stars have two regular season games remaining, sitting one game out of playoff position. The next game is Friday, February 23, at 7:30pm at ShoWare Center in Kent.