July 21, 2019
NPSL Midwest Region Final
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 2, Cleveland SC 2 (2-3 PK)
DCFC Shawn Lawson (Tendai Jirira) 40′
DCFC Max Todd (PK) 45′
CSC Tom Beck 52′
CSC Antonio Manfut 60′
Red Card – DCFC Will Perkins 75′
Red Card – CSC Tom Beck 75′
CSC Michael Derezic – Goal 0-1
DCFC Max Todd – Goal 1-1
CSC Marijo Musa – Save 1-1
DCFC Seb Harris – Miss 1-1
CSC Corbin McAvinew – Goal 1-2
DCFC Moussa Gueye – Goal 2-2
CSC Daniel Koniarczyk – Save 2-2
DCFC Steven Carroll – Miss 2-2
CSC Vinnie Bell – Goal 2-3
DCFC Shawn Lawson – Miss 2-3
Cleveland. This is not the AFC Cleveland team, that began in 2012 like us, re-branded. That Cleveland team, which we faced three times in semi-final matches (2012, 2013, and 2015) was terminated from the NPSL due to its financial situation after the 2017 season. A number of AFC Cleveland players sought an investor and found one who established Cleveland SC.
In their semi-final victory over the Rochester Lancers, they were brutal, earning them seven yellow cards and a red.
18′ – Antonion Manfut Yellow
31′ – Tom Beck, Yellow
37′ – Coletun Long, Yellow
40′ – Marijo Musa (keeper), Yellow (for challenge which removed Rochester Lancer player from match)
49′ – Vinnie Bell, Yellow
75′ – Michael Dare-Eh-Zitch, Yellow
99′ – Admir Sole-Yeh-Vick, Yellow
110′ – Admir Sole-Yeh-Vick, Red (ineligible for today’s final)
They come into the match having won the East Conference with an 8-win, 2-loss record with 29 goals scored and 9 conceded.
It was a long, tense forty minutes until Shawn Lawson put City on top.
Just before the close of the half, Max Todd was taken down in the box, which led to his penalty kick.
A 2-0 lead going into the locker room at halftime, I was feeling very optimistic. It felt different than the 2-0 lead we had on AFC Ann Arbor in the 2017 Midwest Region Final, though it was very similar in that the two goals were scored late in the half (35th and 45th minutes). But this was a City team that had only six goals scored against them all season.
However, like the 2017 Final, our opponent equalized with goals at the 52nd and 60th minutes. Then both teams went down to ten men when City’s Will Perkins and Cleveland’s Tom Beck were shown red cards at the 75th minute.
Unfortunately, there would be no memorable Mondi-with-the-right-foot moment this day. Instead, Cleveland played for the draw, and in penalty kicks, City fell short.
There is no reason for us or the team to lower our heads over this. The season was coach Trevor James’ first at the helm. He rooted discipline and work ethic with the flexibility to adapt the team’s strategy within a match which proved successful. We lost only two matches – this one in penalty kicks and the home opener in the final play of the game. We were either equal or ahead for all but 54 minutes between the 34th and 88th minute of the July 5th match against Grand Rapids. And let’s not forget nine-plus consecutive games (844 minutes) of scoreless opponents. If this is a preview of things to come, then we’ve got much more in the future to cheer about as Detroit City FC becomes a professional team.
City Til I Die!