Do Haeng Michael Kitchen

Writer. Attorney. Detroit City FC Til I Die.

July 10, 2018
International Friendly
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 1, Club Necaxa 2
Attendance: 7,449

Necaxa Carlos Camacho 55′
Necaxa Victor Davila (PK) 86′
DCFC Trevor Amann (Shawn Lawson) 86′

What is the most watched soccer league in the United States?  MLS?  English Premiere League?

Neither.  It’s Liga MX.  Significantly larger than the other two.

So it should not be a surprise that when Club Necaxa arrived at Keyworth for a friendly, we’d have our second largest crowd in history.

One of our loyal supporters – Vytautas Malesh – earned his doctorate from Wayne State University this spring, which opened the door to a position at Florida International University in the Department of English’s writing and rhetoric program.  He had to leave us after the Milwaukee match.

Each season, “Tiger” would create and don a helmet.  With the opening of the Detroit City Fieldhouse in late fall, he donated the helmets to the team so they could be displayed at the facility.  This evening, the Northern Guard honored him with the drum line wearing his creations.

Club Necaxa hails from Aguascalientes City, the capital of Aguascalientes, and play their matches in Estadia Victoria, just over 2,100 miles from Keyworth.

Founded in 1923, Club Necaxa recently won the Clausura 2018 Copa MX.  Hosting this legendary club is truly an honor.

The field was tipped toward the City end during the half, but the match remained scoreless at the break.

Club Necaxa continued the dominance, and Carlos Camacho scored in the 55th minute.  A half hour later, they were awarded a penalty kick which Victor Davila converted.  But City came right back.  Shawn Lawson made this sweet move around the Club Necaxa defender, then fed the ball to Trevor Amann to tap in.

 

Mexico becomes the sixth country (Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Italy, and Germany) from which we have hosted a professional team.

July 1, 2018
NPSL Regular Season Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 6, Milwaukee Torrent 1
Attendance: 5,332
Record: 5-3-3 18pts

DCFC David Edwardson (Roddy Green) 7′
Milw. Mark Hutchinson (Andrew Weidbach) 32′
DCFC Shawn Lawson (Roddy Green) 42′
DCFC Trevor Amann 49′
DCFC Jonathan Barnes (Brogan Shrimpton) 82′
DCFC Jakub Svehlik (Jonathan Barnes) 85′
DCFC Shawn Lawson (Jakub Svehlik) 90+

 

It was freaking humid once again for this Sunday afternoon final home match of the NPSL regular season.  Eliminated from playoff contention, we had the potential of experiencing the season melt in the heat, or end with a bang.  Fortunately, City came out and delivered the latter.

 

Dave Edwardson fired the first shot of the six-goal explosion in the 7th minute.

 

After Milwaukee’s Mark Hutchinson leveled the match in the 32nd minute, City regained the lead ten minutes later with Shawn Lawson’s goal.  The half ended 2-1, and Roddy Green had assisted on both City goals.

Only four minutes into the second half, Trevor Amann scored.

 

In the 82nd minute, Jonathan Barnes increased the lead to 4-1.

 

Then, three minutes later, Barnes fed a pass to Jakob Svehlik, who scored, making it 5-1.

Then it was Svehlik’s turn as, in added time, he fed the ball to Shawn Lawson.  6-1.

 

 

The NPSL season would end in Kalamazoo the following Saturday.  It was not the season we had hoped, especially following last year’s epic.  But the memories of another victory over the Bucks in the Open Cup, the goal-scoring frenzy in both the home and away matches against FC Indiana, and this home finale provided some fun memories.  As a bonus, City still had three international friendlies on its schedule for the month of July.

June 29, 2018
NPSL Regular Season Match
Houseman Field, Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids FC 4, Detroit City FC 4
Attendance: ?
Record: 4-3-3 = 15pts

GRFC Matt Whelan (Cam Cavanaugh) 5′
DCFC Jakub Svehlik 15′
GRFC Scott Doney (Kenroy Howell) 45+’
DCFC Grand Rapids Own Goal (Trent Vegter) 52′
DCFC Shawn Lawson (PK) 62′
GRFC Matt Whelan 63′
GRFC Caleb Postlewait (Matt Whelan) 80′
DCFC Roddy Green (David Edwardson) 90+

Another bloody hot night for a bloody hot match in Grand Rapids.  Playoffs on the line, this had the makings of being an exciting match.  And it did not disappoint (well, maybe the result did, but the 90 minutes of match play was great).

It was so hot, many of us Rouge Rovers crowded in the shade until we had to get out in that sun.

 

Matt Whelan put Grand Rapids on the scoresheet in the 5th minute.

And City equalized with Jakob Svehlik’s goal in the 15th minute.  Bam!

 

Just before the half, Scott Doney put Grand Rapids up 2-1.  Didn’t matter.  The pace of the match kept us feeling confident that a City win was possible.

An own goal off the body of GRFC defender Trent Vegter leveled the game at two goals apiece in the 52nd minute.

Less than ten minutes later, Shawn Lawson was fouled by keeper Noah Fazekas in the box, setting up a penalty kick.  Up to the spot stepped Shawn Lawson…

 

But Grand Rapids was not about to roll over, fighting for the playoff position themselves, they rallied with two goals.  The first came almost immediately after Lawson’s penalty kick when Matt Whelan scored his second goal of the match in the 63rd minute.  Seventeen minutes later, a perfect strike off the foot of Caleb Postlewait put them ahead, 4-3.

There was still fight in City, as Roddy Green scored in added time to tie the match.

But there wasn’t enough time in the tank to snatch the three points.  We couldn’t complain about the effort the team this evening.  Two years ago, we walked out of this very stadium having suffered our team’s worst NPSL performance.  Tonight, they had everything to play for, and they put it all out there to the final second.  In the end, the playoffs were just not meant to be this season.

June 23, 2018
NPSL Regular Season Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 1, Kalamazoo FC 1
Attendance: 6,128
Record: 4-2-3 = 14pts.

KFC Jordan Veilette 2′
DCFC Brogan Shrimpton (Jakub Svehlik) 84′

Just seconds after that opening kickoff video, Kalamazoo grabbed a 1-0 lead.  City picked it up, and dominated the remainder of the half without finding an equalizer.

After the rain passed through, the sun peeked back out from behind the clouds, decorating the sky with rainbows throughout the evening.

 

In the 84th minute, Brogan Shrimpton knotted the match with this chip shot over KFC keeper Hasten Biddlecome.

 

Overall, it was a dominating performance by the Rouge and Gold.  The ball just couldn’t find its way into the back of the net often enough.  The road to the playoffs narrowed to the single lane of winning the final three matches and a little help from others.

June 17, 2019
NPSL Regular Season Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 0, Grand Rapids FC 2
Attendance: 5,077
Record:  4-1-3 – 13pts

GRFC Scott Doney 74′
GRFC Morris Kamara 90+’

 

Stifling.  That’s how the heat felt on this Father’s Day afternoon match.  So hot, my son and grandson beaded with sweat pre-match.

Tonight’s commemorative jerseys were auctioned off following the match in order to raise money for United Community Housing Coalition.  The non-profit UCHC has worked in Detroit to house the homeless and those on the brink of homelessness, including families and children, seniors, and veterans for over forty years.  It provides landlord tenant legal counseling, housing placement, tenant organizing, and tax and mortgage foreclosure prevention.  Each year, UCHC serves more than 6,000 homeless and at-risk Detroiters.  However, it will lose 40 percent of its funding under proposed cuts from the Trump Administration.  Last year, the charity commemorative jersey match raised $3,500 for Alternatives For Girls.

It was scoreless at the half, as the triple-digit heat fueled some nastiness on the pitch.  Also, City keeper, Fernando Pena, suffered an injury while making a save around the quarter-hour mark.  Though it was hot, the Pentax and I didn’t feel it, as the camera never once turned itself off like it did back in Indiana.

 

Held scoreless at home for the second straight match, playoff hopes began melting in mid-June.  Still, we love our boys in rouge.

 

 

June 15, 2018
NPSL Regular Season Match
Hart Park, Wauwautosa, WI
Milwaukee Torrent 0, Detroit City FC 1
Attendance: ?
Record:  4-1-2 = 13pts

DCFC Brad Centala 76′

Last year, our match in Milwaukee was on a Sunday afternoon, which enabled Rouge Rovers to charter a bus and arrive by other means on their own, to create an experience the Torrent did not expect.  Confirmation came in the form of the 2018 schedule, where the Milwaukee away match was set for a Friday night.  A lot more difficult for Detroit supporters to make the trek.

However, my schedule was open, and I decided to take the unconventional route.  Instead of driving through Chicago to get there, I left a day early, and went by way of the Upper Peninsula.

A lifetime Michigander, I had only been up to the U.P. once, and that was in 2017, the day after the big win against AFC Ann Arbor, to visit a client in the prison in Newberry.  Also, I needed an excuse to go to Marquette to visit Snowbound Books, a Michigan independent book store that was part of a book tote promotion.  In the process, a couple of touristy stops were made.

 

Why not visit Oswald’s Bear Ranch in Newberry en route to Marquette.

After arriving at the hotel in Marquette, time to earn my Snowbound Books check-mark on the book tote.

The next day, word of an indie bookstore (not on the book tote) in Escanaba made of a quick stop before the rain began.

Prior to the trip, I highlighted the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary as a good spot to stretch the legs.  It was pouring upon arrival, which dampened the plans for an outdoor stroll.  But inside the Observation/Rehabilitation Building, injured animals were being cared for, including…bats!

The stormy ride ended near Milwaukee.  Greeted at the hotel under sunny skies, I checked in, then headed to Wauwautosa.  I remembered the independent book store just down the street from last year’s trip, so I popped in again.

The Friday night schedule did prevent the kind of numbers Rouge Rovers could have brought to the game.  But looking at the other side of the pitch, it deterred their fans from showing as well.

A feisty, hard-battled first half ended scoreless.

It was almost a disaster when, in the second half, a Milwaukee forward stormed in on goal, Fernando Pina the last man back.  The Torrent player chipped the ball beyond Pina, but it struck one post, crossed the face of the net and struck the other, without crossing the line.

 

In the 76th minute, City scored the only goal of the match.

 

The next day, the drive home went through Chicago (blowing through the Express Pass lane on one of the toll roads by mistake), to St. Joseph for lunch and a leg stretch, then home.

Google maps had the trip measured at 1,193 miles and 19 hours, 6 minutes.  The three hours lost must have been by driving through the storm from Escanaba to Milwaukee, and, of course, Chicago.

 

June 10, 2018
NPSL Regular Season Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 0, AFC Ann Arbor 1
Attendance: 5,870
Record: 3-1-2 = 10pts

AFCAA   Chris Odhiambo (AZ Lindi) 54′

Of the nineteen teams that Detroit City FC has faced in the NPSL since 2012, there is only one team we have a losing regular season record with – AFC Ann Arbor.  And the trend continued in this tightly battled match.

 

 

Enjoy the photos/videos.  There’s not much to say about this one.  Smothering defense by AFC Ann Arbor kept City at bay.  It’s been feast or famine when it’s come to goal scoring this season.

With the first half of the season complete, we’re done with FC Columbus, AFC Ann Arbor, and FC Indiana.  The 3 wins, 1 draw, 2 loss record has to improve against Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC, and Milwaukee Torrent if City’s going to make the playoffs.

 

%d bloggers like this: