Do Haeng Michael Kitchen

Writer. Attorney. Detroit City FC Til I Die.

October 29, 2019
NPSL Members Cup
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 0, Milwaukee Torrent 1
Attendance:  5,720 happy folks

Milwaukee Santiago D’Imperio 65′

FINAL RECORD 8-1-1 = 25 Points
First Place/Champions!

Goals For:  17
Yazeed Matthews 5,
Cyrus Saydee, Danny Deakin, Ryan Peterson 2,
Macrello Borges, Stephen Carroll, Jalen Crisler, Richard Bryan, Shawn Lawson 1
Own Goal by Milwaukee

Goals Against: 4
Clean Sheets: 6

 

We will sing for you City
Til we finish the fight
There’s going to be a party Detroit
No one’s sleeping tonight!

This day was just festive.  We were the NPSL Members Cup champions with the final match of the competition to play.  So we had to finish the fight, but the partying had begun long before the opening kick.

Matt was right.  The last time I experienced something like this was in 1997.  It has been a long 22 years.  Of course, the 2017 NPSL Midwest Regional Final was epic.  But being crowned the league champion holds significant weight, especially when one of the tournament’s participants was the legendary New York Cosmos brand.  To have this full day, with a match to play and a Clubhouse to take the party to following the on-field ceremonies, was well worth savoring.

Prior to the match, Detroit City FC legends Seb Harris and Dave Edwardson were honored.  Their dedication and contribution to the growth and development of this team and organization will never be forgotten.  It is appropriate that they share in this celebration, too.

 

Half time.  No goals, but plenty of pints consumed in the stands.

Milwaukee scored in the 65th minute.  With City not finding a goal, the Northern Guard had a lot of smoke to disperse, and, well, it went off near the end of the game, causing a significant delay.

 

The first order of business was presenting the Black Arrow Award.  The Black Arrow was the nickname of Gil Heron, a Jamaican footballer who lived in Detroit and became the first black player for Celtic F.C., and is awarded annually to Detroit City FC’s Most Valuable Player.  The previous winners were

 

2012: Keith Lough and Josh Rogers
2013: Zach Myers
2014: Cyrus Saydee
2015: David Edwardson
2016: Tommy Catalano
2017: Tyrone Mondi
2018: Stephen Carroll

After a season like this one, which was a strong team effort by every individual, there was one young man who scored the most goals this season and is the career leader in goals scored for Detroit City FC…

 

 

After all this, the party continued at the Detroit City Clubhouse and well into the night.  I left the camera in the car, for I had some partying to do with my friends.

I begin this page not with the stats from this match, but from the match four days earlier when Detroit City FC traveled to New York to play the Cosmos.  It was the most important match, for the Cosmos had a record of 6-2-0, 20 points and City was at 6-1-0, 19 points.  A Cosmos win would almost assuredly put us out of reach for the title, even though we had a game in hand.  A draw would keep things tight and interesting with a single point separating us with the Cosmos having one remaining game and City having two.  A City win, however, placed us in charge of our own fate.

October 12, 2019
NPSL Members Cup
Mitchel Athletic Complex, Uniondale, New York
New York Cosmos 1, Detroit City FC 2
Attendance: ?

DCFC  Cyrus Saydee (Yazeed Matthews) 8′
DCFC  Yazeed Matthews (Danny Deakin) 30′
Cosmos  Matt Lewis 82′

I attended the watch party as well as the 1st anniversary party of Rebel Cycle Studio, where I have been taking spin classes.

With that crucial victory, the team returned to play another weeknight game against the Stars, this time within the confines of their tin can.  Three points, and we’re the NPSL Members Cup champion.

October 16, 2019
NPSL Members Cup
Ultimate Soccer Arenas, Pontiac, MI
Michigan Stars 0, Detroit City FC 1
Attendance: 99% Rouge and Gold

DCFC Yazeed Matthews (Tendi Jirira) 66′

At halftime, the match was scoreless.  The tension rose as every Rouge & Gold supporter (which was darn near everyone in the cement and aluminum container) waited for that deciding goal.

The Goal:  Bakie to the left flank where the rushing Tendai Jirira touched the ball forward three times before delivering back to the middle where Yazeed did what Yazeed does.

In 1997, I photographed the Detroit Vipers Turner Cup championship. An ultimate dream come true.

Tonight, after the final whistle, this felt so much better. Yes, it was cool to be on the ice and in the locker room at the Palace with the Vipers afterward, hanging out with the team that was my favorite. But it was the team and their families in that locker room. No one else.

This was something bigger. Deeper.

Looking around, there were so many friends I’ve come to know, appreciate, and love over the past eight years. So many smiles on the faces of my favorite people.

My parents always promoted the individual sports. They prefer watching golf. It’s all about the person. To them, in team sports when someone else makes a mistake you lose. “It’s all on you in golf.”

But when you win in golf, you celebrate alone.

Tonight, Detroit City FC and the Northern Guard Supporters celebrated together.  How sweet that feeling is.

 

October 8, 2019
NPSL Members Cup
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 2, Michigan Stars 0
Attendance:  3,307

DCFC Ryan Peterson (PK) 65′
DCFC Richard Bryan (Ryan Peterson) 85′

Record: 6-1-0 = 19 points, 2nd Place

Really?  The Michigan Stars in the NPSL Members Cup?  I thought we were done with this pretender back in June.

This was a new adjustment.  Playing in October, on a school night.  The mid-week match brought an attendance that was stadium-filling, back at Cass Tech.

On the plus side, the limited edition print was a cool one.  It’s the one hanging on the left, celebrating our radical edge.

 

Unfortunately, due to the low turnout, we didn’t have a pre-march speech.

 

A dominating first half, Detroit City FC did just about everything but score.

In the 65th minute, one of the Stars’ defenders played the ball with his hand inside the box, giving City a penalty kick.  Up to the spot stepped Ryan Peterson.

Then, with five minutes remaining in the match, Richard Bryan cemented the victory with this left-footed shot.

 

With this victory, and third shutout in a row, City’s record raised to six wins and a draw.  The New York Cosmos held first place wit a six-win, two-draw record.  In four days, City and Cosmos would meet head-to-head in New York, after which City would have two remaining matches and New York with one.  The winner of Saturday’s match would almost certainly be crowned the NPSL Members Cup tournament champion at the conclusion of the competition.

 

October 5, 2019
NPSL Members Cup match
Finley Stadium, Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga FC 0, Detroit City FC 1
Attendance:  3,307

DCFC Jalen Crisler (James Vaughan)

Record:  5-1-0 16 points, 2nd Place

Y’know, this Chattanooga road trip, though a long Friday ride (10 hours, 46 minutes from home to the hotel, one-way), is becoming my favorite.  On this trip, I discovered a warehouse-like used book store (McKay), Winder Binder (books, records, and Chattanooga FC merch), and a to-die-for creole crab benny (deviled crab cakes and fried eggs over grilled cornbread topped with creole hollandaise) brunch at Beast and Barrel.  I also stretched the legs at the Chattanooga Zoo.  A smaller zoo than most, it had some cool exhibits.  My favorite the Himalayan Pavilion that included two snow leopards and a bonded pair of white-cheeked gibbons (the female, Mason, below).

So chill in the Tennessee sun.

It’s not often I need sunscreen in Detroit in October, but on this Saturday I used up the rest of my supply.

Prior to the match, we met up with our Chattahooligan friends, and mingled prior to our short, ninety-minute period of taunting.

 

The match was huge.  This is Chattanooga’s ninth match of the ten in the Members Cup, and would need to win this and their last for any hope of winning the cup.  City, on the other hand, still had five games, including this one, and were breathing down the necks of the New York Cosmos for the top spot.

 

It was a scoreless first half.  Neither team gave an inch because neither team wanted to give up any points.

In the 77th minute, City earned a corner kick.  James Vaughn set it up, and, well, let the video reveal the rest.

City took home the three-points.  However, the Cosmos defeated Milwaukee by a 2-1 score, still holding a four-point lead in first place.  These three points, and two games in hand, City’s match next Saturday in New York would be huge in deciding the NPSL Members Cup championship.

September 28, 2019
NPSL Members Cup
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 3, Napa Valley 1839 FC 0
Attendance:  5,414

DCFC Ryan Peterson (Cyrus Saydee) 13′
DCFC Yazeed Matthews (PK) 28′
DCFC Shawn Lawson (Danny Deakin) 67′

Record:  4-1-0 = 13 points, 2nd place

Late September, and it’s getting chilly.  But with Napa Valley 1839 FC in town, there would be plenty of smoke to warm us.

Napa Valley 1839 FC was formed by four guys in 2016 as an NPSL team (sound familiar?).  During the classic NPSL season, they earned a record of three wins, six losses, and two draws, finishing 6th in the 8-team Golden Gate Conference.  They stepped in to participate in the Members Cup after all the other California teams disappeared, and are the only West Coast team in this competition.  And it hasn’t been easy.  They come in with a win and six losses in seven matches, including our 4-0 victory in their wine country.

 

A functioning new lens finally arrived, and this was the first night to test it.  I scored a few more shots with it as I gave it a good work-out on its opening night.

Ryan Peterson got us off to a quick start again, scoring in the 13th minute.

Then, Yazeed Matthews doubled the lead with a penalty kick conversion after being taken down in the box at the 28-minute mark.

At half time, one of Detroit City FC’s biggest announcements was made.  In 2020, Detroit City FC would have a women’s team!

Shawn Lawson concluded the scoring in the 67th minute.

You know, when your opponent is a team that had its roots similar to your own, and they appreciate the atmosphere you create, you can’t help but like them.  In snapping these photos of the Napa Valley 1839 FC players appreciating the Northern Guard Supporters, I heard a few calls over my shoulder, encouraging them to join NISA, too.

About a month later, Napa Valley released a limited-edition kit which took a stand against gun violence, the proceeds of which went to Alaina’s Voice Foundation.

 

 

September 21, 2019
NPLS Members Cup
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 1, New York Cosmos 1
Attendance: 6,297

DCFC Stephen Carroll (Danny Deakin) 47′
Cosmos Darwin Espinal 56′

Red Card – Cosmos Issac Acuna 71′

Record 3-1-0 10 points, 3rd Place

The New York Cosmos.  Once, a legendary North American Soccer League titan, with the game’s greatest player, Pele, on its roster.

Unfortunately, I did not get to see (live) the team play against the Detroit Express.  However, there was an epic friendly held between the Cosmos and Express at the Silverdome, where Trevor Francis scored not one, but two hat tricks (6 goals) against the mighty Cosmos.  The final goal in the 8-2 win was Francis’ favorite.

It was something I’d always wanted to do…I ran with the ball from the centre circle, passed a couple of players, and as I came to the 18-yard box, a Cosmos player shouted shoot!  It was (Franz) Beckenbauer…and I remember the look of astonishment on his face as I let one go with the right foot and it hit the roof of the net.  (Trevor Francis: anatomy of a £1 million player by Rob Hughes with Trevor Francis, World’s Work Ltd, 1980)

However, that was an era ago, and now the Cosmos struggle to find a league for its brand.  Having played two more games than us, they held the top spot with 13 points to our 9, making tonight’s match huge.

 

 

Cosmos supporters brought smoke, too.

After rain and lightning delayed the opening of the match, the teams came out and played a quality game.  The Cosmos were dominant, but the fantastic goaltending of Nate Steinwascher kept us in it.

Scoreless at the half, it took just two minutes for Stephen Carroll to give City the lead.

Nine minutes later, Darwin Espinal equalized.  And though City created some opportunities toward the end, the teams each walked away with a goal and a point.

 

September 14, 2019
NPSL Members Cup
Hart Park, Wauwautosa, WI
Milwaukee Torrent 0, Detroit City FC 1
Attendance: Light

DCFC Own Goal (Steffan Boehm) 53′

Red Card: Milwaukee Sebastian Ciccheri 73′

Record: 3-0, 2nd Place.

Indulge me a moment:  On the way to Milwaukee, I had to stop in Chicago to visit the American Writers Museum.  There was an exhibit of typewriters, specifically typewriters used by American writers.

My personal favorite was Orson Wells’ 1926 Underwood 4-Bank.  Portable and earthy with its faux wood grain finish.

If you’d like to see more of the exhibit and the museum, I wrote about it in the Typewritten Pages section of my website.

I went to the Milwaukee Zoo on Saturday morning, to stretch my legs for the match.

Milwaukee Torrent visits have been fun in the past.  Our first was a chartered bus trip, which was a hoot, and the second was a Friday night game, making it more difficult for Supporters to spend the day traveling.  However, I took the time off to take the long route around last year – driving north and through the Upper Peninsula for an overnight stay, then south to Milwaukee, completing the circle by returning home the conventional way through Chicago and eastbound I-94.

With the sun setting earlier, the night-time shots are getting harder.  On this night I was to have in my hand a new lens that would (hopefully) make matters better, however after an adventure with UPS delaying its arrival, the lens that was shipped did not work and needed to be shipped back.

At the stadium, the atmosphere was subdued.  The home side was sparsely populated, and not many Rouge Rovers made the trip.  We’re now playing in months we hadn’t had to before, and in some cases in distances requiring flights, not long drives.  That does give me a thought.  Last year, I had never driven through the UP in Michigan until the Milwaukee game.  I’ve never driven cross country either.  Maybe blocking out a couple weeks to do so might be worth considering.

It’s not that I don’t like flying.  I love flying.  I hate airports.

Sorry.  I’ve digressed.  On to images.

Kudos to The Flood and for their support of the Iron Front and inclusive community.

Milwaukee has been a tough opponent during the NPSL years, despite our 3-win, 1-draw record against them.  Tonight, they were a challenge once again.  In this sequence, it was luck on their side as we found the goal post, then scored only to be called back on an offside.

Finally, the only goal of the match was scored in the 53rd minute, thanks to this Milwaukee’s Steffen Boehm tipping in Yazeed Matthews’ shot.

A bit of bad behavior on the part of Milwaukee’s Sebastian Ciaccheri earned him a red card in the 73rd minute.

After the match, we learned via a tweet from Cyrus Saydee that he was subjected to racist vitriol throughout the match by Milwaukee’s Francisco Filippi.  Two days later, Milwaukee released Filippi.

 

 

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