As we mentioned in our last post, we wanted to give some attention to Lansing United’s unsung heroes, guys who are vital to the team, but maybe don’t get the attention of the guys scoring goals. This piece is the first in a series of a few articles looking at a few of these key players.
Here’s some thoughts from Stefan McMillan on United midfielder Greg Timmer:
Goals win matches, which is generally why the attacking players tend to receive all the plaudits. But what about the players who operate behind them? What about the players that keep things ‘ticking’? For Lansing United that player is Greg Timmer. Timmer may be small in stature but he boasts a tremendous range of passing and has been a key player for United this season. In terms of minutes played this season, excluding starting GK Zach Bennett, Timmer is only behind Austin Dunn and Matt Brown for minutes played. That just goes to show the faith put in him by Coach Rudland. You won’t find him high on the stat sheet under goals or assists and that’s to be expected due to his deeper role. What he really does effectively isn’t easily measured and may tend to go by unnoticed. For example, if United had a stat for pass completion percentage I’m almost certain he’d be at the top of that list.
His greatest asset is his mind, much like Xavi or Phillip Lahm (in his new central midfield role this season for Bayern/Germany). And just like the aforementioned players, Timmer keeps it simple with his crisp, clean and intelligent passing. He’s the type of player that knows what he wants to do with the ball well before he has possession of it. His head is always on a swivel as he is constantly moving and looking for an opening to either provide an outlet for one of his defenders or start an attacking move in the middle. Aside from his excellent passing ability, he also doesn’t slack on his defensive duties as a holding center midfielder. He is not afraid to get stuck in, recover the ball and then launch an attack with a decisive pass from a deeper position, almost in a Pirlo-esque manner.
So, the next time you’re at a United game, before you’re dazzled by Brian Cunningham’s footwork on the wing, or Brown’s prowess in the 18, pay a little extra attention to the ‘little maestro’ that is Greg Timmer and admire his simple yet beautiful game.