Do Haeng Michael Kitchen

Writer. Attorney. Detroit City FC Til I Die.


July 25, 2015
Detroit City FC 1, AFC Cleveland 2
Breese Stevens Stadium, Madison, WI
AFCC  Antonio Manfut (James Haupt) 7′
AFCC  Brian Potocnik 75′
DCFC  Charlie MacInnes 76′
Attendance:  More of us than them.

Thursday morning I packed my bag and drove the tollroad-free 475 miles, from home to the La Quinta hotel in Madison, Wisconsin.  The journey began at 9:45AM, and I found the hotel buried in a huge mass of big box stores at around 7:00 PM (8:00 PM Detroit time).  I wasn’t in a hurry, but I also didn’t anticipate that the route avoiding the toll roads would include a long non-highway stretch out of Chicago north toward Milwaukee, and a construction detour outside Milwaukee to connect up with westbound I-94 to Madison.  I’ve driven by myself to Washington DC in the past, which is a hundred miles further, however this trip seemed longer for some reason.  Maybe the parking lot of I-94 in Chicago had something to do with it.


Checked into the hotel, I unpacked, making myself at home.


Taking a look at the view of big box stores, I noticed the hotel even had an asshole parking space.11700559_10152888401010826_1448724963124329824_o

Settled in, I then explored the Barnes & Noble and Half Price Books that were in this retail hub.  I know.  Some folks head out to find interesting taverns to partake in adult beverages.  My addictions are chocolate and books.

Friday’s events began at The Brass Ring Pub, just a couple blocks away from the stadium.  Game time was 3:00.  Who schedules a semi-final playoff match on a Friday afternoon at 3:00?  Perhaps a host who fears being outnumbered by a contingent of Detroiters?  Hah!  We gathered, grabbed lunch and hydration, then marched to Breese Stevens Stadium.

DSC00819 DSC00821 DSC00822 DSC00823 DSC00825 DSC00826 DSC00827 DSC00829 DSC00830 DSC00831 DSC00832 DSC00833 DSC00834

Once inside the old, classic stadium, the stands were nearly empty.  There were probably more people on the field, counting all the players, team staff, and officials than had paid to get in.  This is why you don’t schedule a match at 3:00 on a Friday afternoon.  But of the spectators, our supporters were probably fifty percent of the crowd.

We were against our Rust Belt Derby rival, AFC Cleveland.  We did our thing – chanting and taunting.  Placed in a very effective position, right behind Le Rouge bench, and with an otherwise quiet stadium, our voices carried.  Cleveland scored early, and the rest of the match was a battle.  Was there controversy?  Of course.

At one point during the first half, after Cleveland’s goal, the referee said something to the fourth official, who then came over to us.  He said that we had to knock it off or else they would kick us out.  Really?  Did a referee actually think he had that kind of power over us?

There was also an issue about the balls.  It appeared that Madison had only one league-regulation ball.  The officials determined that they were going to use DCFC’s balls, which Coach Pirmann pointed out were under-inflated.  Before the second half, there’s a photo of the officials inflating balls.

For the second half, I stayed near the Northern Guard, as Le Rouge attacked the net closest to them.  Cleveland scored a second, but Charlie MacInnes came back a minute later and punched the ball into the back of the Cleveland net to negate it.  The final fourteen minutes Le Rouge pushed, but could not bury a second to force a tie and extra time.

DSC00835 DSC00837 DSC00841 DSC00842 DSC00843 DSC00845 DSC00848 DSC00849 DSC00850 DSC00851 DSC00852 DSC00855 DSC00856 DSC00857 DSC00858 DSC00859 DSC00861 DSC00865 DSC00866 DSC00867 DSC00868 DSC00869 DSC00870 DSC00871 DSC00873 DSC00877 DSC00879 DSC00880 DSC00881 DSC00882 DSC00883 DSC00888 DSC00889 DSC00890 DSC00891 DSC00892 DSC00894 DSC00895 DSC00897 DSC00899 DSC00901 DSC00902 DSC00903 DSC00904 DSC00907 DSC00909 DSC00910 DSC00911 DSC00912 DSC00913 DSC00914 DSC00915 DSC00917 DSC00919 DSC00921 DSC00922 DSC00923 DSC00925 DSC00926 DSC00927 DSC00928 DSC00933

Charlie scores!!!!DSC00934 DSC00935 DSC00936 DSC00937 DSC00939 DSC00940 DSC00942 DSC00946 DSC00948

In the end, it was disappointing.  The boys in rouge put everything they had out on that pitch, but the soccer gods denied us advancement to the finals match on Saturday.  The handful of spectators and AFC Cleveland having left the scene of the crime, we were together – team and supporters – absorbing emotionally what had occurred.  Then, the jackass up in the press box played “Hit the Road, Jack” over the public address system.  The Supporters raised a finger to him, which he flashed back at us.  I tried to get a shot of it, but didn’t catch it.  The team left the field, but a few of the supporters took to the pitch to burn off a final burst of energy.

DSC00950 DSC00952 DSC00953 DSC00954 DSC00955 DSC00956 DSC00957 DSC00958 DSC00959 DSC00961 DSC00962 DSC00963 DSC00964 DSC00965 DSC00966 DSC00967 DSC00969 DSC00973 DSC00975 DSC00976 DSC00977

I checked out of the hotel on Saturday  morning, visited A Room of One’s Own, an independent book store joined with Avol’s Rare and Used Books in downtown Madison, where 25-minute limit parking meters collected revenue in front.  Who does that? Twenty-five minutes is what I usually need in the Fiction Section alone!  After lunch at The Brass Ring, I made my way home.  Was I sorry I made the trip?  Hell no!  Though another season closed prematurely, it’s another chapter in this long saga of the Detroit City Football Club, making myself and I’m sure my brothers and sisters in the Northern Guard Supporters eager to turn the page and begin Chapter 2016.

DSC00981 DSC00983bukowski DSC00984 DSC00985 DSC00986

One for our Madison NGS host, Mark Navarro  DSC00979


3 thoughts on “July 25, 2015: AFC Cleveland in Madison, WI, NPSL Midwest Regional Playoffs Semi-Finals

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: