Den Ouden leaves the Dutch Lions with 8 goals in 10 games, an emotional exit for the 33 year old target striker.

Before this week, the Dutch Lions attack was a bit stagnant; as striker Geert den Ouden could only seem to find the net through PK's in the previous two weeks. While the midfield could not connect with the lengthy, talented striker.

However, in this week leading up to Geert den Ouden's exit for family matters, the lengthy 33 year old striker seemed to come alive for the Dutch Lions and the connection with midfield service was regained. What this led to in Geert's final week with the club was some thrilling link up play between Geert den Ouden and his wingers; as den Ouden played some excellent pass and move soccer with both wingers, the Dutch Bas Ent and the American George Davis IV, in both the Cincinnati Kings and Chicago Fire games from this previous week.

What Geert den Ouden left the Dutch Lions with in his final two regular season games was three goals from the run of play and a heads up assist that led to the game winner against the Chicago Fire. The game winner was the difference between keeping the Dutch Lions alive for a Great Lakes Division title this year and putting off trophy talk for next year.

Therefore, the timing of den Ouden's departure is cruel for both den Ouden, his teammates, and Dutch Lion fans. As the Dutch Lions appear to be once again clicking in the attack, and their vital chess piece must go. What goes with him is 8 goals in 10 games, which is good enough for third place currently on the PDL scoring charts out of 70 PDL teams! To put this more into perspective, eight goals puts den Ouden in third place on the scoring charts out of over 250 PDL strikers. Not so shabby, and not so easy to replace.

When showing den Ouden's hustle goals in the Cincinnati Kings game to FC Twente Advisor Rene Hake, Hake said, "Those are typical Geert goals." And, Geert was back to his typical self, and quite possibly nearing his Excelsior and ADO Den Haag type days of form with the Dutch Lions. So, it will be a tough task for the Dutch Lions to replace den Ouden (who could be back possibly in time for the PDL playoffs if the Dutch Lions are to make it that far). However, an emotional exit in the 90th minute from den Ouden, who appeared very emotional leaving the game, leaves a return this season likely up in the air.

The Dutch Lions will therefore have to look to resurging Ivar van Dinteren, or the Americans Steven McCarthy and Jeff Popella to fill the void. Or the Dutch Lions could place Hans van de Haar back at forward (who usually has played a defensive distrubutor role with the Lions this year before being injured); that's if van de Haar can come back from an injury that he suffered against the Rochester Rhinos in U.S. Open Cup. Van de Haar has been a striker at multiple Eredivise clubs.

However, no matter what player fills the striking shoes it will be very difficult for the Dutch Lions to replace den Ouden and his 8 goals in 10 games.

Head Coach Sonny Silooy had the following to say:
“We shall miss him. Geert is a good person. But private matters come first. We are human beings.”

We wish you luck den Ouden. Hopefully, whatever the family matter, it works itself out and you can lead the Dutch Lions to glory in the playoffs and in upcoming seasons.

den Ouden's departure in the news:
Parting Gift From Dutch Lions Striker Leads To Victory from Dayton Daily News writer David DiCenzo
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