May 20, 2016
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
NPSL Regular Season
Detroit City FC 1, AFC Ann Arbor 1
DCFC Alec Lasinski (Ali Al-Gashamy) 45′
AFCA Dario Suarez 48′
Hour Magazine, Metropolitan Detroit’s Monthly Magazine, celebrated its 20th Anniversary issue in May, and found room to cover Le Rouge.
And the morning of our first match at Keyworth Stadium, we were the front page, above-the-fold story in The Detroit Free Press.
I arrived in Hamtramck early, to grab a local dinner at the Motor City Sports Bar, then walked to the stadium. The first photo is a welcome sign on The Painted Lady, where the post-match party was held. It was my first visit to our new home, and snapped a few shots before the gates opened.
Then it was a walk over to the Fowling Warehouse on Conant Street. The place was packed with so many unfamiliar faces wearing the Rouge & Gold. Hamtramck Police blocked Conant to allow our supporters to gather and begin the march to the stadium.
Pre-Game. It seemed like a constant flow of people entering the stadium.
For eight months, we have been waiting for this day. The electric excitement sizzled as the Supporters Section filled to capacity.
The teams took to the field for the opening ceremonies and the Northern Guard Supporters’ tifo drop.
The starting eleven for Le Rouge was as follows:
GK Nate Steinwascher
D Zach Schewee
D Andre Morris
D Seb Harris
D Billy Stevens
M Brett Nason
M David Edwardson
M Cyrus Saydee
F Ali Al-Gashamy
F Alec Lasinski
F Tyler Moorman
AFC Ann Arbor started eleven men as well. “Who Are Ya?” is usually the response, however, for this historic occasion, I’ll list them.
GK Fabian Veit
D Bruno Oliveria
D Matt Braem
D Lars Eckenrode
D Jake Rosen
M Jack Smith
M Hector Morales
M Leigh Rumbold
F William Bayemi
F Yuri Farkas
F Dario Suarez
I must pause for a moment to compare and contrast our first match at Cass Tech on May 12, 2012 to this evening’s match.
I made my through the Supporters Section to get a shot of the home-side seating. It was crazy, taking a good ten minutes to get from one end to the other, the jumping, dancing, singing, swearing bodies shaking the decades-old foundation.
As the first half moved into its final minute, Alec Lasinski scored Detroit City FC’s first goal at Keyworth, after receiving a pass from Ali Al-Gashamy.
At halftime, I was standing near the entrance to the field on the family-friendly side when a couple came up to me to ask me about the game. They had just arrived, and said they could hear the crowd out on Joseph Campeau Avenue, where they had parked their car and walked in from.
In the second half, Brett Nason was red-carded for an aggressive challenge in the penalty box, resulting in Dario Suarez tying the match on a penalty kick. That didn’t spoil the party.
Tonight’s attendance: Seven-Thousand-Four-Hundred-Ten.
Almost seven times the attendance of our first match at Cass (1, 072).
Almost double the largest crowd we had at Cass (3,884).
The evening was surreal. It was Detroit City FC, but not like it was just a season ago. It was like standing in the middle of a movie. It was shock and awe.
The next day, both The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press covered us on the front of their Sports Sections, and The Detroit News featured us on the front page, above-the-fold.