Do Haeng Michael Kitchen

Writer. Attorney. Detroit City FC Til I Die.

*Spinning around the sun: my first year of indoor cycling.
** Joe Van Cleave’s YouTube channel.


*** Michigan Coronavirus Timeline – ClickOnDetroit.


**** Kaleigh Cohen Fitness.



NISA 2020 Fall Championship Tournament

By the Numbers

These are the statistics, as best as I could compile them, from the Tournament.  They were accumulated from the incomplete NISA Match Center for each game, with a bit of internet detective work and game video review to try to fill in the holes.  They are not the “official” stats.

As a whole, for the tournament, there were 42 goals scored over 15 matches, for an average of 2.8 goals per game.  Eight clean sheets were recorded.  The cumulative goal differential was +18 for an average of 1.2 goals per game.

Individually, there were 22 players who played every minute for their team in the tournament.

Leading goal scorers were:
Shawn Claud Lawson (DET) – 4 goals
Cristian Gordillo Moreno (LA) – 4 goals
Michael Bello (NAFC) – 3 goals
Matt Fondy (OAK) – 3 goals

There were 5 penalty kicks in the tournament, with only two of them resulting in goals (Steven Juncaj – Michigan Stars, Cristian Gordillo Moreno – Los Angeles Force).  Los Angeles keeper Hugo Gomez stopped two PK’s.

Cal United Strikers GP GS Min G A YC RC
Christian Thierjung 3 3 270 2
Steven Barrera 3 3 270
Chris Klute 3 3 270
Aydan Bowers 3 3 270
Shinya Kadono 3 3 270
Michael Bryant 3 3 270 1 1
Kevin Garcia-Lopez 3 3 225
Abraham Villon 3 3 225
Ikaika Fuerte 2 2 164
Omar Nuno 3 1 144 2 1
Evan Waldrep 2 1 130
Shane Kaemerle 2 2 90 1
Gonzalo Salguero 1 1 90
Duncan Capriotti 2 2 80
Tony Lopez 2 0 50
Kevin Jeon 1 0 45
Kyle O’Brien 1 0 19
Andy Contreras 1 0 17
Juan Pablo Ocegueda 1 0 16

Chattanooga FC GP GS Min G A YC RC
Nick Spielman 4 4 360
Shaun Russell 4 4 344
Kyle Carr 4 3 332 1 2
Alec Redington 4 4 330
Juan Hernandez 4 3 315 1
Darwin Lom 4 3 267 1 1
Ian McGrath 4 3 261 1
Cameron Woodfin 3 3 258 1
Jose Ferrraz 3 3 252
Brian Bement 4 2 226 1 2
Sean Hoffstatter 3 3 225 1
Ryan Marcano 4 1 215 1 2
David Koloko 3 3 199 1
Wilfred Williams 2 2 135
Erik Panzer 2 0 61
Clayton Adams 2 1 49
Matt Mozynski 1 0 30
Richard Dixon 1 1 28
Jowayne Laidley 1 1 28
Christopher Marshall 3 0 19

Detroit City FC GP GS Min G A YC RC
Tendai Jirira 5 5 450 1
Bakie Goodman 5 5 449
Kevin Venegas 5 5 415 1
Steve Carroll 5 5 405
Jean Antoine 4 4 360
Cyrus Saydee 5 4 355 1
Jimmy Filerman 4 4 348 1 1
Yazeed Matthews 5 5 345 1 1
Max Todd 5 5 341 1
Michael Kafari 4 3 300 1 1
Ibrahim Conteh 3 3 207
Connor Rutz 4 2 169 1
Shawn Claud Lawson 5 0 142 4
George Chomakov 3 1 138
Sebastian Capozucchi 4 1 137
Brandon Clegg 2 1 135 1
Parker Siegfried 1 1 90
Ryan Peterson 4 0 77 1 2
Evans Frimpong 1 0 1

Los Angeles Force GP GS Min G A YC RC
Hugo Gomez 4 4 360
Gregory Salazar 4 4 344 1
Cristian Gordillo Moreno 4 4 343 4 1
Spencer Moeller 4 3 343
Josue Espana 4 4 339
Jimmie Villalobos 4 4 315 1
Cyro Reis de Oliverira 4 4 289
Paolo Cardozo 4 4 279 2
Danny Trejo 4 4 264 1
Quinton Carey 3 2 254
Abraham Torres 3 3 189 1
Erick Villatoro 3 2 173 2 1
Jonatan Valle 2 1 97
Christopher Ribet 3 0 96
Franky Martinez 1 1 90
William Raygoza 1 0 63
Jesus Gonzalez 2 0 62
Moja Hale 2 0 14
Jonatan Partida 1 0 8

Michigan Stars
Gonnie Ben-Tal 3 3 270 2
Tatenda Mkuruva 3 3 270 1
Joseph Aidoo 3 3 270
James Abraham 3 3 270
Devon Amoo-Mensah 3 3 270
Kyle Nuel 3 3 261 2
Andres Chalbaud 3 3 259
Steven Juncaj 3 3 246 1 1
Tomas Bernedo 3 3 224 1
Alexander Satrustegui 3 3 177 2 1
Tekodah Lobsiger 3 0 86
Zachary Reynolds 1 1 77
Sebastien Des Pres 1 1 56
Brian Vang 2 1 54 1
Cameron Schneider 2 0 34
Remy Tazifor 2 0 25 1
Patrick Sullivan 1 0 11
James Pipe 1 0 11

New Amsterdam FC GP GS Min G A YC RC
Danny Vicente 3 3 270 1 1 1
Jesus Alvarez Riesco 3 3 270
Evin Nadaner 3 3 270 2
Oluremi Williams 3 3 239 1 1
Cordt Flaetgen 3 3 225
Danny Bedoya 3 3 225
Mahmoud Keita 3 2 224 1
Tobi Esche 2 2 180
Michael Natsu 2 2 180 1
Michael Bello 3 1 166 3 1
Tommy Yorston 3 3 135 1
Mahamed Keita 2 2 135
Aldo Munez 2 1 135
Carlton McKenzie 2 1 135 1
Saad Afif 1 1 90
Zaire Bartley 2 0 90 1
Yusuf Mikaheel 1 0 1

New York Cosmos GP GS Min G A YC RC
Shavon John-Brown 3 3 270 1
Pedro Galvao 3 3 270
Konrad Plewa 3 3 270
Matt Lewis 3 3 261
Danny Szetela 3 3 249 1
Ansi Agolli 3 3 225
Mattia Cella 3 3 225 2
Jesse Corke 2 2 180
Isaac Acuna 2 2 178
Aly Hassan 3 1 137
Leandro Geo Alves 2 2 122
Bledi Bardic 2 2 115
Kevin Tenjo 1 1 90
Charlie Ledula 2 1 76
Giuseppe Barone 2 1 70 1
Darwin Espinal 2 0 68 1
John Denis 3 0 65
Salvatore Barone 1 0 45
Dominick Falanga 1 0 9

Oakland Roots GP GS Min G A YC RC
Christian Herrera 5 5 450
David Abidor 5 5 450 1
Diego Casillas 4 4 360 2 1
Tarn Wier 5 5 342 1
Peter Pearson 5 4 342
Matt Fondy 5 4 337 3 1
Ariel Mbumba 4 4 316 1
Yohannes Harish 4 4 298
Johnny Rodriguez 4 3 255 2
Nana Attakora 3 3 252
Jack McInerney 5 2 250 1 1
Angel Heredia 5 2 216 1
Daniel Navarro 4 2 212 1
Niall Irwin 3 2 185 1
Nelson Blanco 4 1 178 1 1 1
Manny Gonzalez 4 1 157 1
Robert Hines 2 2 143
Seo In Kim 1 1 55 1

October 2, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament Final
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 2, Oakland Roots 1
Attendance: 1 (Smokey the Bot)

OAK Johnny Rodriguez (Nelson Blanco) 27′
DCFC Shaun Claud Lawson 65′
DCFC Ryan Peterson 84′

Yellow Cards
Cyrus Saydee (DCFC) 16′
Daniel Navarro (Roots) 77′
Tarn Weir (Roots) 80′
Niall Irwin (Roots) 89′

The two-week marathon of the tournament was ninety or more minutes away from completion.  Detroit had already earned the right to host the NISA 2021 Spring Tournament by virtue of the Oakland Roots departure from the league after this match.  But we’re Detroit, and the goal is to win the tournament to earn that future benefit and add another trophy to the shelf.

During the drive to the stadium I was experiencing mixed feelings.  It was a championship match, with the promise and potential of being one of those memories that becomes legacy.  As exciting as that was, I was also feeling sadness.  The empty stadium, neutralized for the tournament, triggered feelings of loneliness.  The joyous voices and faces of the Northern Guard would be missing.

Damn the COVID.

But I felt a warmth in my heart when I pulled into the parking lot and saw the return of flags, fence-banners, and Smokey the Bot, and the NGS crew who were setting things up.  Okay, yes, I teared up a little.


Oakland and Detroit met in the second match of the Group A round.  City had suffered a tough loss in the first match, and needed a win, which they earned, to stay in the competition.  It was the first of three straight for them walking into the final match. 

Oakland’s only loss to this point was the City victory, so there was the added incentive for them to win by beating Detroit and leave the league with a piece of silverware.

Oakland made three line-up changes from the team that started in the semi-final match against Chattanooga FC.  Daniel Navarro, Nelson Blanco, and Diego Casielles started in place of Nana Attakora, Angel Heredia, and Niall Irwin.


Oakland Roots
Christian Herrera – Keeper
Daniel Navarro – Defender
Tarn Weir – Defender
David Abidor – Defender
Nelson Blanco – Midfielder
Peter Pearson – Midfielder
Diego Casielles – Midfielder
Ariel Mbumba – Midfielder
Yohannes Harish – Midfielder
Matthew Fondy – Forward
Johnny Rodriguez – Forward


For Detroit, two changes were made to the starting line-up that defeated the Los Angeles Force in the semi-final.  Cyrus Saydee and Ibrahim Conte replaced Connor Rutz and Sebastian Capozucchi.  This was the same starting eleven that lined up against Oakland in their earlier victory against them.


Detroit City FC
Jean Antoine – Keeper
Steve Carroll – Defender
Tendai Jirira – Defender
Michael Kafari – Defender
Kevin Venegas – Midfielder
Jimmy Filerman – Midfielder
Bakie Goodman – Midfielder
Cyrus Saydee – Midfielder
Ibrahim Conteh – Midfielder
Max Todd – Forward
Yazeed Matthews – Forward



Johnny Rodriguez put Oakland ahead in the 27th minute, redirecting a cross from Nelson Blanco to give the Roots a 1-0 lead.

Just like the previous match, Oakland went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.  They almost made it 2-0 just before stoppage time, however it was ruled offside.

During halftime, City regrouped, just as they had in the previous match against the Roots.

In the 62nd minute, City pulled a double substitution, relieving Yazeed Matthews and Kevin Venegas for Shawn Claud Lawson and Sebastian Capozucchi.  It only took Shawn three minutes to sneak into the Roots zone, steal a clearing pass by Diego Casillas, then bury it past Christian Herrera to level the match.

In the 68th minute, Niall Irwin subbed in for Ariel Mbumba for the Roots.  In the 75th minute, Max Todd and Ibrahim Conteh made way for Ryan Peterson and Connor Rutz.  Oakland countered when Jack McInerney subbed in for Nelson Blanco in the 79th minute.

City broke the deadlock in the 84th minute.  A long clearance from a free kick given due to an offside, the ball bounced into the Roots zone.  As it continued its bounce toward the box, Ryan Peterson out-hustled the Roots defender then chipped the ball well over the head of Christian Herrera, which dropped into the back of the net.


With six minutes remaining, plus five minutes added time, the Roots threw everything at City.  In the 88th minute, Angel Heredia and Manny Gonzalez subbed in for Tarn Weir and Peter Pearson.  Two minutes into stoppage time, Evans Frimpong, who subbed in for Cyrus Saydee as stoppage time began, blocked a shot on the line labeled for the corner.  A minute later, Jean Antoine snatched the ball out of the air as a long pass was aimed for the head of a Roots player.  Five minutes in, Connor Rutz headed a Roots shot away that was on its way to the goal.  Back-to-back corner kicks in the final seconds were repelled.  The final whistle blew, and Detroit City FC was crowned the NISA 2020 Fall Tournament Champions!

NISA Commissioner John Prutch presented the trophies.

The Golden Ball trophy for MVP of the tournament was presented to City captain, Stephen Carroll!

And the tournament trophy to Detroit City FC.

NISA’s All-Tournament Team identified these twelve players:

Yazeed Matthews – Detroit City FC
Alec Redington – Chattanooga FC
Christian Theirjung – Cal United Strikers
Darwin Lom – Chattanooga FC
Omar Nuno – Cal United Strikers
Max Todd – Detroit City FC
Tatenda Mkuruva – Michigan Stars
Cristian Gordillo – Los Angeles Force
Shawn Claud Lawson – Detroit City FC
Seo In Kim – Oakland Roots
Hugo Gomez – Los Angeles Force
Matt Fondy – Oakland Roots

Not your traditional eleven-man line-up.  Were I to choose my starting eleven from the tournament, it would look like this.

Keeper: Hugo Gomez – Los Angeles Force
Defender: Tendai Jirira – Detroit City FC
Defender: Stephen Carroll – Detroit City FC
Defender: Nick Spielman – Chattanooga FC
Midfielder: Christian Theirjung – Cal United Strikers
Midfielder: Cristian Gordillo Moreno – Los Angeles Force
Midfielder: Bakie Goodman – Detroit City FC
Midfielder: Daniel Vicente – New Amsterdam FC
Forward: Shawn Claud Lawson – Detroit City FC
Forward:  Matt Fondy – Oakland Roots
Forward:  Yazeed Matthews – Detroit City FC
Honorable Mention: Omar Nuno: Cal United Strikers

There were so many good players in the tournament, selecting eleven was difficult.  And it was hard not to list all Detroit City FC players because of my bias.

Watching every match of this tournament, and seeing the caliber of play and teams, along with the commitment to community that all but one team brings, NISA is going to be an awesome league for the supporters and the communities they come from, especially once COVID is gone, and the supporter atmosphere returns.


September 30, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament Semi-Finals
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 1, Los Angeles Force 0

DCFC Max Todd (Connor Rutz) 29′

On February 28, 2020, Detroit City FC played its first professional match in Los Angeles against the Force.  A few weeks later, the NISA Spring Season was suspended, then cancelled due to COVID.  Detroit won the match, 2-0.

Only four players on the Force from that February match were on the team’s roster – James Alewine, Gabriel Silva, Jimmy Villalobos, and Armando Quezada.  Only Villalobos had seen minutes on the pitch.  This made the February match irrelevant to compare to this LA Force squad.  Like City, LA lost their first match of the tournament, and like City, they won the next two to place them in the semi-finals. 

Detroit entered the match with a line-up that almost mirrored the starting eleven from the must-win match against the Oakland Roots, with two exceptions.  Instead of Cyrus Saydee and Ibrahim Conte, Coach James inserted Connor Rutz and Sebastian Capozucchi.


Detroit City FC
Jean Antoine – Keeper
Steve Carroll – Defender
Tendai Jirira – Defender
Kevin Venegas – Defender
Jimmy Filerman – Midfielder
Bakie Goodman – Midfielder
Connor Rutz – Midfielder
Michael Kafari – Midfielder
Sebastian Capozucchi – Midfielder
Max Todd – Forward
Yazeed Matthews – Forward


For Los Angeles, they started the same eleven that started the previous match against the Cosmos.


Los Angeles Force
Hugo Gomez – Keeper
Erick Villatoro – Defender
Gregory Salazar – Defender
Abraham Torres – Defender
Spencer Moeller – Defender
Josue Espana – Midfielder
Jimmy Villalobos – Midfielder
Cyro Reis de Oliveira – Midfielder
Paolo Cardozo – Midfielder
Danny Trejo – Forward
Christian Gordillo Moreno – Forward


In the 6th minute, Max Todd drew a penalty by being taken down in the box.  However Hugo Gomez made the save for his second PK save in as many games.

In the 32nd minute, Detroit City earned a corner kick.  The ball floated into the box, where Sebastian Capozucchi got a foot on it, directing it to Connor Rutz.  Rutz out-maneuvered a Force defender, then passed the ball in to Max Todd who re-directed it past Hugo Gomez.

City went into halftime with the one goal lead.  Shortly after the second half began, Danny Trejo was subbed out for Christopher Ribert.  In the 58th minute, City made a double swap, bringing in Shawn Claud Lawson and Ryan Peterson for Yazeed Matthews and Max Todd.  Cyrus Saydee entered the match for Connor Rutz in the 63rd minute.  In the 83rd minute, LA made a final substitution bringing in Jonatan Valle for Josue Espana, and City’s final sub was Evans Frimpong for Bakie Goodman in stoppage time.

Los Angeles didn’t back down, but neither did City’s defense, and in the end, Jean Antoine’s first clean sheet as City’s keeper took Detroit into the finals.


It was odd seeing our goal on the Guest’s side of the scoreboard.  LA was the top seed, but will heading home.

A repeat of the second match of Group A will be the NISA 2020 Fall Tournament Final.  The best part is Detroit has already won.  The winner of the tournament final would host the 2021 Spring Tournament Champion to determine NISA’s 2020-21 Season Champion.  With the Oakland Roots moving on to another league, win or lose, Keyworth will be hosting the NISA 2020-21 Season Championship match.

Obviously, it’s better to go in as winners not as runner-ups to a team that moved elsewhere.

The full tournament can be found HERE.

September 30, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament Semi-Finals
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Oakland Roots 3, Chattanooga FC 2

OAK  Johnny Rodriguez 6′
OAK  Angel Heredia 19′
CFC  Ian McGrath 46′
OAK  Matthew Fondy 48′
CFC  Ryan Marcano 77′

The first semi-final match of the day featured Group A #1 Seed Oakland Roots vs Group B #2 Seed Chattanooga FC.  The winner would go on to the finals.  The loser would go home.

The match began in a chilly September light rain that ended by half time.


Oakland started the match with a starting eleven that lined up against Detroit City FC with three exceptions: Niall Irwin, Yohannes Harish, and Johnny Rodriguez started for Robert Hines, Diego Casillas, Jack McInerney.


Oakland Roots
Christian Herrera – Keeper
Nana Attakora – Defender
Tarn Weir – Defender
David Abidor – Defender
Angel Heredia – Midfielder
Peter Pearson – Midfielder
Niall Irwin – Midfielder
Ariel Mbumba – Midfielder
Yohannes Harish – Midfielder
Matthew Fondy – Forward
Johnny Rodriguez – Forward


Chattanooga FC made three changes to the line up that entered the Cal United match.  Clayton Adams, Ryan Marcano, and Brian Bement made way for Ian McGrath, Jose Ferraz, and Juan Hernandez.


Chattanooga FC
Alec Redington – Keeper
Nick Spielman – Defender
Shaun Russell – Defender
David Koloko – Defender
Juan Hernandez – Midfielder
Kyle Carr – Midfielder
Sean Hoffstatter – Midfielder
Cameron Woodfin – Midfielder
Ian McGrath – Midfielder
Jose Ferraz – Forward
Darwin Lom – Forward


Oakland drew first blood in the 5th minute.  From the center circle, Ariel Mbumba sent a ball long and toward the near side which landed for Matt Fondy.  Running it to the top corner of the box, Fondy sent the ball into the path of Johnny Rodriguez in front of the goal, who slotted it past Alec Redington to give the Roots a 1-0 lead.

Fourteen minutes later, Oakland struck again, as Angel Heredia sent a scorching drive from just outside of the box past Redington, doubling their lead.

Chattanooga was able to fend off the remaining twenty-six minutes of the half so the team could regroup during the break.  Chattanooga subbed in Erik Panzer for David Koloko to begin the second half.

Just a minute into the second half, Chattanooga pressed and earned a throw-in inside Roots territory.  Sean Hoffstatter threw it deep in the box, finding Ian McGrath’s head which vaulted the ball beyond the reach of the tall Roots keeper and into the back of the net. 

Game on.

But Oakland regained its two-goal lead just two minutes later.  The ball came in on goal and at the top of the box Alec Redington went to clear it.  However an on-rushing Matt Fondy blocked it, ricocheting Redington’s clear into the back of the net.

In the 55th minute, Jack McInerney subbed in for Matt Fondy.  An injury sustained by Alec Redington caused Matt Mozynski to replace the Chattanooga keeper in the 60th minute.  In the 72nd minute, both teams made substitutions.  David Navarro came in for Nana Attakora.  Chattanooga replaced Darwin Lom and Jose Ferraz with Ryan Marcano and Brian Bement.  The Chattanooga switch paid dividends when five minutes later, Ryan Marcano scored one of the prettiest team goals of the tournament.  Another throw-in deep in the Oakland end of the pitch was headed out by a Roots defender.  The ball fell outside of the box to Erik Panzer, who sent the ball in and to his right. Juan Hernandez back-heeled it to Brian Bement who sent it into the air toward the goal.  As it dropped, Ryan Marcano, whose back was to goal, bicycle kicked it past Christian Herrera into the back of the goal.  With 13 minutes plus a significant amount of added time to play, Chattanooga pressed for the equalizer.   

Christopher Marshall subbed in for Cameron Woodfin in the 87th minute.  But in the end, Chattanooga fell short.  Oakland advanced to the tournament final.


The complete tournament can be found HERE.

September 28, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament Group Stage, Game Twelve
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
New York Cosmos 1, Los Angeles Force 2

LA  Christian Gordillo Moreno (Jimmie Villalobos) 15′
LA  Danny Trejo 40′
NY  Shavon John-Brown (Darwin Espinal) 90+’

Yellow Cards:
Mattia Cella (NY) 44′
Danny Szetela (NY) 53′
Erick Villatoro (LA) 62′ 75′ (red card ejection)
Gregory Salazar (LA) 70′   

For Los Angeles, a win would put them through to the semi-finals.  For New York, a victory by four goals or more would put them in the semi-finals.  A draw would eliminate both teams. 

It had rained through the Chattanooga FC vs Cal United Strikers match, and between matches the traditional post-rain rainbow appeared behind the Supporters Section at Keyworth.  And the rain returned to participate in this final Group B match.

Los Angeles alters its starting line-up from its 3-2 victory over Cal United by inserting Erick Villatoro and Abraham Torres in place of Franky Martinez and Quinton Carey.



Los Angeles Force
Hugo Gomez – Keeper
Erick Villatoro – Defender
Gregory Salazar – Defender
Abraham Torres – Defender
Spencer Moeller – Defender
Josue Espana – Midfielder
Jimmy Villalobos – Midfielder
Cyro Reis de Oliveira – Midfielder
Paolo Cardozo – Midfielder
Danny Trejo – Forward
Christian Gordillo Moreno – Forward


For the Cosmos, Kevin Tenjo and Geo Alves step in for Justin Corke and Bljedi Bardic from the eleven who started in the Chattanooga scoreless draw.


New York Cosmos
Kevin Tenjo – Keeper
Pedro Galvao – Defender
Matt Lewis – Defender
Ansi Agolli – Defender
Konrad Plewa – Defender
Geo Alves – Midfielder
Danny Szetela – Midfielder
Mattia Cella – Midfielder
Bledi Bardic – Forward
Shavon John-Brown – Forward
Issac Acuna – Forward


Los Angeles owned the first half.  Their first goal at the 15-minute mark was Cristian Gordillo Moreno’s fourth-straight goal for the Force (recording a hat trick in their 3-2 victory over Cal United), firing it past Kevin Tenjo after receiving a pass from Jimmy Villalobos that split a seam through the Cosmos defenders. William Raygoza subbed in for Cyro Reis de Oliveria in the 27th minute.  Five minutes before the end of the half, Danny Trejo scored, picking up the wayward pass from Pedro Galvao to Konrad Plewa and blasting it into the Cosmos net.

Both teams made player changes as the second half began.  Aly Hassan and Salvatore Barone replaced Ansi Agolli and Bljedi Bardic for the Cosmos.  Christopher Ribet and Jesus Gonzalez subbed in for Danny Trejo and Jimmie Villalobos.  The Cosmos brought in Darwin Espinal and John Denis in the 56th and 78th minute for Geo Alves and Danny Szetela respectively.  Quinton Carey entered the match for Los Angeles, with Gregory Salazar withdrawn in the 74th minute.  A minute later, Erick Villatoro received his second yellow card of the match, giving the Cosmos a man advantage for the remaining fifteen minutes.  Villatoro’s first yellow card came in the 62nd minute when he took down Salvatore Barone (more like fell down and into Barone who went down like a domino) giving the Cosmos a penalty kick which Hugo Gomez saved. 


Finally, in stoppage time, the Cosmos scored their first goal of the entire tournament.

With this win, Los Angeles finishes at the top of Group B.  They will match up against Detroit City FC in the semi-finals.  Oakland Roots topped the standings in Group A and will face Chattanooga FC in the other semi-final match.

The full tournament is HERE.

September 28, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament
Group Stage, Game Eleven
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Chattanooga FC 1, Cal United Strikers 1

CFC Brian Bement (Darwin Lom) 12′
CAL Omar Nuno (Evan Waldrep) 32′

Yellow Cards:
Cameron Woodfin (CFC) 79′
Kyle Carr (CFC) 85′

Like Group A, every team in Group B has a chance to advance today with positive results.  Chattanooga has 4 pts, Cal United and Los Angeles Force each have 3 points, and the New York Cosmos have a point.  


Chattanooga made four changes to the starting eleven from their previous draw against the Cosmos.  Wilfred Williams, Juan Hernandez, Jose Feraz, and Ian McGrath made way for Clayton Adams, Sean Hoffstatter, Darwin Lom, and Ryan Marcano.


Chattanooga FC
Alec Reddington – Keeper
Nick Spielman – Defender
Kyle Carr – Defender
Shaun Russell – Defender
Cameron Woodfin – Defender
David Koloko – Defender
Clayton Adams – Midfielder
Sean Hoffstatter – Midfielder
Ryan Marcano – Midfielder
Darwin Lom – Foward
Brian Bement – Forward

Three line-up changes were made for Cal United from their 3-2 loss against the Los Angeles Force.  Gonzalo Salguero, Evan Waldrep, and Omar Nuno started in place of Ikaika Fuerte, Shane Kaemerle, and Duncan Capriotti.


Cal United Strikers
Steven Barrera – Keeper
Gonzalo Salguero – Defender
Christopher Klute – Defender
Ayden Bowers – Defender
Kevin Garcia-Lopez – Defender
Abraham Villon – Midfielder
Michael Bryant – Midfielder
Evan Waldrep – Midfielder
Omar Nuno – Forward
Christian Thierjung – Forward
Shinya Kadono – Forward

It was a wet start to the game, as autumn rain fell on Keyworth.  In the 12th minute, Darwin Lom cut in from his run with the ball along the far side, and put a pass behind the Strikers’ defenders that Brian Bement ran onto and fired past Steven Barrera to give Chattanooga the early lead.  After that, the play opened up with chances on both sides of the dampening pitch.

In the 32nd minute, Omar Nuno scored this, his second goal of the tournament, redirecting Evan Waldrep’s shot from just outside the box.

Both teams having found the back of the net, the rain didn’t stop the intensity of the match.

Chattanooga opened the second half subbing Juan Hernandez in for Clayton Adams.  In the 71st minute, Cal United introduced Kyle O’Brien into the match for Abraham Villon.  Chattanooga countered in the 73rd minute when goal scorer Brian Bement made way for Ian McGrath.  Christopher Marshall replaced Darwin Lom in the 83rd minute for Chattanooga and Cal United followed in the 85th minute with Tony Lopez swapping in for Evan Waldrep.  No one could break the plane of the goal so the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Chattanooga had 5 points in the group stage, and Cal United had 4.  With Chattanooga’s place secure, only a draw or a Cosmos victory over Los Angeles by less than 4 goals would advance Cal United into the semi-finals.

The complete tournament’s page is HERE.

With the rain letting up and the sun peaking out in time to set between the matches, the traditional rainbow appeared behind the Supporters Section of Keyworth Stadium.


September 27, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament
Group Stage, Game Ten
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 4, New Amsterdam FC 2

DCFC Kevin Venegas 9′
DCFC Michael Kafari (Yazeed Matthews) 13′
DCFC Shawn Claud Lawson (Ryan Peterson) 70′
NAFC Michael Bello (Carlton McKenzie) 73′
DCFC Shawn Claud Lawson (Ryan Peterson) 76′
NAFC Michael Bello (Mahmoud Keita) 84′

Yellow Cards:
Evin Nadaner (NAFC) 90+’

After the earlier match between Oakland Roots and Michigan Stars, only a victory would bounce the Stars out of the playoffs.  A draw helped no one.

Detroit City FC started the match with the same starting eleven as they did in their previous match – the 2-1 victory over Oakland Roots.

Detroit City FC
Jean Antoine – Keeper
Steve Carroll – Defender
Tendai Jirira – Defender
Kevin Venegas – Defender
Jimmy Filerman – Midfielder
Bakie Goodman – Midfielder
Cyrus Saydee – Midfielder
Michael Kafari – Midfielder
Ibrahim Conteh – Midfielder
Max Todd – Forward
Yazeed Matthews – Forward


New Amsterdam FC made two changes to the starting eleven that drew even against the Michigan Stars.  Saad Afif and Carlton McKenzie replaced Tobi Esche and Mahmoud Keita, respectively.

New Amsterdam FC
Mahamed Keita – Keeper
Saad Afif – Defender
Jesus Riesco – Defender
Oluremi Williams – Defender
Daniel Vicente – Defender
Thomas Yorstom – Defender
Michael Natsu – Defender
Evin Nadaner – Midfielder
Cort Flaetgen – Midfielder
Daniel Bedoya – Midfielder
Carlton McKenzie – Midfielder

Tendai Jirira sent a long ball into the box, which Jesus Riesco cleared into the path of Kevin Venegas, who placed the ball past Mahamed Keita and into the back of the net, giving City a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute.



Four minutes later, Bakie Goodman passed the ball forward, into the box.  Yazeed Matthews chased it down, and with the New Amsterdam keeper charging out to cut down a shot, Zee back-heeled the ball to a wide open Michael Kafari who passed it into the wide-open net.  City 2, New Amsterdam 0.

At halftime, both teams made substitutions.  George Chomakov, Shawn Claud Lawson and Brandon Clegg relieved Ibrahim Conteh, Yazeed Matthews, and Steve Carroll for City.  New Amsterdam brought in keeper Aldo Munez for Mahamed Keita, and Mahmoud Keita replaced Daniel Bedoya.  Zaire Bartley and Michael Bello also began the half, subbing in for Cordt Flaetgen and Tommy Yorston.

Max Todd made way for Ryan Peterson in the 65th minute.  This led to two goals by Shawn Claud Lawson.  After this near miss..

Peterson delivered another through-ball to Lawson, who put it past Munez to give City a 3-0 lead in the 70th minute.

Michael Bello scored 3 minutes later, but another 3 minutes later, Peterson found Lawson again, and City led 4-1.  Kevin Venegas would be relieved by Sebastian Capozucchi in the 83rd minute, just before a free kick to New Amsterdam.  From the free kick, Mahmoud Keita sent the ball across the goal and Michael Bello would score his second in the 83rd minute.

The group stage for Group A had finished.  Oakland Roots and Detroit City FC would advance to the semi-finals.

Oakland Roots 2-0-1 6 pts +3 goal differential
Detroit City FC 2-0-1 6 pts +1 goal differential
Michigan Stars 1-1-1 4 pts  +1 goal differential
New Amsterdam FC 0-1-2  1 pt -5 goal differential.

For all the games in the tournament, visit HERE.

September 27, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament
Group Stage, Game Nine
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Oakland Roots 1, Michigan Stars 0

Roots Seo In Kim (Manuel Gonzalez) 4′

Yellow Cards:
David Abidor (Roots) 59′
Tatenda Mkuruva (Stars) 90+’

A win for either team would put them in the playoffs, with the loser having to wait for the result of the Detroit City FC vs New Amsterdam FC match later in the evening.

Ten of the starting eleven for the Stars had started the previous match, including Alexander Satrustegui, who received a red card for two yellow cards he received in the previous match against New Amsterdam FC.  The rumor was one of the yellow cards was rescinded.  Replacing Brian Vang was Sebastein Des Pres.

Michigan Stars
Tatenda Mkuruva – Keeper
Gonnie Ben-Tal – Defender
Joseph Aidoo – Defender
Tomas Bernedo – Defender
Andres Chalbaud – Defender
Sebastien Des Pres – Defender
James Abraham – Defender
Devon Amoo-Mensah – Defender
Steven Juncaj – Midfielder
Kyle Nuel – Forward
Alexander Satrustegui – Forward

For Oakland, it was a six-player change from the starting eleven that lost to  Detroit City FC.  Daniel Navarro, Niall Irwin, Manny Gonzalez, Seo In Kim, Yohannes Harish, and Johnny Rodriguez started in place of Nana Attakora, Robert Hines, Angel Heredia, Peter Pearson, Matt Fondy, and Jack McInerney.

Oakland Roots
Christian Herrera – Keeper
David Navarro – Defender
Tarn Weir – Defender
David Abidor – Defender
Niall Irwin – Midfielder
Diego Casillas – Midfielder
Manuel Gonzalez – Midfielder
Ariel Mbumba – Midfielder
Seo In Kim – Midfielder
Yohannes Harish – Midfielder
Johnny Rodriguez – Forward


In the 4th minute, Manny Gonzalez delivered a corner into the box.  Seo In Kim rushed toward goal and back-heeled it past Tatenda Mkuruva, for this first and only goal of the match.

The message on the South Korean goal scorer’s jersey is the Gandhi quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Chances were had by both teams, though it seemed Oakland had the more dangerous ones.  In the second half, substitutions were entered by both teams.  Oakland added Matt Fondy (for Seo In Kim) in the 55th minute and Michigan swapped out Sebastien Des Pres for Tekodah Lobsiger in the 56th.  In the 65th minute, Cameron Schneider entered the match in place of Alexander Satrustegui for Michigan, and a minute later, Oakland replaced Johnny Rodriguez with Jack McInerney.  Oakland made three more subs within a minute of each other when Angel Heredia replaced Ariel Mbumba in the 72nd minute, and a double swap of Nelson Blanco and Peter Pearson for Yohannes Harish and Niall Irwin in the 73rd.  The Stars made a double substitution in the 79th minute, bringing in Patrick Sullivan and James Pipe for Tomas Bernedo and Andres Chalbaud.  But nothing disturbed the early goal by Seo In Kim, and Oakland won the match.

This gave the Oakland Roots 6 points and a +3 goal differential.  The Michigan Stars remained at 4 points, with a +1 goal differential.  A Detroit City FC win or a New Amsterdam FC win by 5 goals would eliminate the Stars from the competition.

The complete tournament can be found HERE.

September 25, 2020
2020 NISA Fall Tournament
Group Stage, Game Eight
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Cal United FC 2, Los Angeles Force 3

LAF Christian Gordillo Moreno (PK) 37′
LAF Christian Gordillo Moreno (Paolo Cardozo) 45+’
CAL Omar Nuno 58′
LAF Christian Gordillo Moreno (Paolo Cardozo) 69′
CAL Christian Thierjung (Omar Nuno) 74′

Yellow Cards:
Christian Gordillo Moreno (LAF) 28′

After the nil-nil Chattanooga FC vs New York Cosmos match, we were treated to a match that had the most goals score in the tournament thus far.

The Cal United Strikers and Los Angeles Force have played each other four times in the past year, with Cal United winning two, and the other two ending in a draw.

After defeating the New York Cosmos, Cal United decided to stick with the winning formula and same starting eleven.


Cal United Strikers
Steven Barrera – Keeper
Ikaika Fuerte – Defender
Michael Bryant – Defender
Chris Klute – Defender
Ayden Bowers – Defender
Kevin Garcia-Lopez – Defender
Duncan Capriotti – Midfielder
Christian Theirjung – Midfielder
Shane Kaemerle – Midfielder
Shinya Kadono – Midfielder
Abraham Villon – Forward

The Force replaced two of their starting eleven from their match against Chattanooga FC.  Franky Martinez and Spencer Moeller started in place of Jonatan Valle and Abraham Torres.  Torres was serving the suspension for the red card issued against him in the Chattanooga match.


Los Angeles Force
Hugo Gomez – Keeper
Franky Martinez – Defender
Spencer Moeller – Defender
Quinton Carey – Defender
Gregory Salazar – Defender
Josue Espana – Midfielder
Jimmie Villalobos – Midfielder
Cyro Reis de Oliveira – Midfielder
Paolo Cardozo – Midfielder
Danny Trejo – Forward
Cristian Gordillo Moreno – Forward

In the 37th minute, Josue Espana was taken down in the Cal United box, setting up a penalty kick which Cristian Gordillo Moreno converted, giving the Force a one-goal lead.

As the first half entered into added time, Paolo Cardozo sent a free kick into the box.  Cristian Gordillo Moreno flicked it with his head across the face of the goal, which bounced into the corner of the net, to double the LA Force lead going into halftime.

In the 58th minute, Cal United substitutes combined to score.  Evan Waldrep, who had subbed in for injured Duncan Capriotti in the 35th minute, ripped a shot from well outside the box, which struck the crossbar and fell into the box.  Quinton Carey guided the ball out of the box, however Omar Nuno, who replaced Shane Kaemerle at half time, muscled him off, brought the ball back in, and fired this shot into the upper corner of the net.

Eleven minutes later, though, Paolo Cardozo and Danny Trejo made a little give-and-go play outside the Cal United box.  Cardozo drew the Cal United defender toward him, then fed the ball to a wide open Cristian Gordillo Moreno to slot home his hat trick goal, giving the Force a 3-1 lead.

At halftime, Cal United had substituted Kevin Jeon for Kevin Garcia-Lopez, then brought in Andy Contreras in for Abraham Villon in the 73rd minute and Juan Pablo Ocegueda for the injured Ikaika Fuerte in the 74th.

In the 74th minute, Cal United had a throw-in on the sideline near the Los Angeles box.  It was launched and fell onto the rising heads of an LA and Cal player, popping the ball up and further into the box where Omar Nuno attempted a bicycle kick.  The shot went errant but toward the goal where Christian Theirjung was open to fire it home, cutting the Los Angeles lead.

Cristian Gordillo Moreno took his three goals and a seat at the 73rd minute, replaced by Jesus Gonzalez for Los Angeles.  Gordillo was a former Cal United player, so this will likely add fuel for the rivalry between these two teams.  Then the Force brought in four sets of fresh legs in the 82nd minute.  Erick Villatoro, Moja Hale, Jonathan Partida, and Christopher Ribet  came in for Danny Trejo, Paolo Cardozo, Josue Espana, and Cyro Reis de Oliveria, to defend the lead.  Cal United could not get the equalizer, and this exciting and entertaining match ended with Los Angeles’ first victory against Cal United.

Tonight’s match results kept all four teams in Group B alive going into the final day of the group stage.

Chattanooga FC 1-1-0 4 pts +2 goal differential
Cal United Strikers 1-0-1 3 pts +1 goal differential
Los Angeles Force 1-0-1 3 pts -1 goal differential
New York Cosmos 0-1-1 1 pts -2 goal differential

The entire tournament can be found HERE.

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