June 23, 2017: vs Kalamazoo FC (NPSL Regular Season)

June 23, 2017
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
NPSL Regular Season Match
Detroit City FC 2, Kalamazoo FC 1
Attendance: 5,345

DCFC  Roddy Green (Bakie Goodman) 30′
KFC     Jay McIntosh 48′
DCFC  Elijah Rich (Tyrone Mondi) 67′

Tonight was City’s annual benefit match.  This year’s recipient being Alternatives for Girls, a nonprofit organization aiding homeless and high-risk girls and young women in avoiding violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation.  The jerseys worn by Le Rouge tonight were auctioned, with the proceeds going to Alternatives for Girls.

The match was chippy.  It seemed Kalamazoo FC controlled the possession, but City generated the chances on quick breaks and free kicks.

In the 30th minute, as the Kalamazoo defense were trying to clear their zone, Cameron Sipple’s heavy touch put the ball in the path of Bakie Goodman.  Goodman passed it to an unmarked Roddy Green just inside the top of the box, where he loft it into the top corner to give City the lead.

Three minutes into the second half, Kalamazoo scored, ending 308 minutes of NPSL play where City had not conceded a goal.  Keeper Colin Miller made a diving save on Ali Sodal’s shot, however the ball parried out to a wide open Jay McIntosh who deposited it into the back of the net.

Into the match came Elijah Rice, who, in the 67’th minute, tapped in a brilliant corner kick from Tyrone Mondi.  Felt a little sorry for Tyrone, as his spot kick beautifully tapered in toward the goal, creating the opportunity, yet everyone went running over to the supporters instead of him.

Five straight wins.  The next test would be in less than 48 hours, with a road trip to our furthest opponent – Milwaukee Torrent.


June 11, 2017: at Kalamazoo FC (NPSL Regular Season)

June 11, 2017
Mayors’ Riverfront Park, Kalamazoo, MI
NPSL Regular Season Match
Kalamazoo FC 0, Detroit City FC 1

DCFC  Shawn Lawson (Tyrone Mondi) 18′

On a very hot, Sunday afternoon, Le Rouge traveled to Kalamazoo for the second of a three-game road stretch.

Shawn Lawson scored in the 18th minute, the only goal of the match.  This was the third straight game (fourth, if you include the Columbus Crew SC College Program match) that Lawson found the back of the opposing team’s net.

For the second half, I crossed to the other side of the field, occupying a spot behind and just over from those three or four rows of KFC supporters.

Colin Miller recorded our first clean sheet of the season.  The victory put us in third place, ten points behind first place AFC Ann Arbor, with two games in hand.

June 7, 2017: vs Columbus Crew SC College Program (Friendly)

June 7, 2017
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Detroit City FC 3, Columbus Crew SC College Program 2
Attendance: 4,010

DCFC Seb Harris (PK) 1′
DCFC Roddy Green (Dave Edwardson) 4′
DCFC Shawn Lawson 26′
CCSC Abdi Mohamed (Blake Townes) 33′
CCSC Andew McKelvey (Agyemen Bismark) 89′

Time for the annual friendly against the Columbus Crew SC recruits.  They’ve been visiting every season except 2014, when severe thunderstorms were rolling through the Michigan-Ohio landscape.  Up to this point, we hadn’t won a match.  “So what?” you say?  “It’s just a friendly,” you say?

There’s no such thing as a friendly – especially against Fuck Ohio.

It didn’t take long for City to put the Crew behind.  Max Todd was taken down in the box, and Sebby Harris converts from the spot in the first minute of play.

Only three minutes later, Roddy Green chipped the ball up and over Carter Richardson – the Crew Keeper – who wandered a bit too far from his line.  Two-Nil.

Shawn Lawson added to the lead in the 26th minute, but the Crew kids pulled one back with a goal by Abdi Mohamed in the 33rd minute.  City went into the locker room at halftime with a 3-1 lead.

Tonight’s halftime entertainment was the return of Friendly the Bear!  As you can see, Friendly has a following.

A full moon hovered above Keyworth as the second half began.

This makes the third win in a row since our friends from Belfast visited, and the first time in our history that we won this friendly.  The Irish luck be a wonderful thing.

June 2, 2017: vs Grand Rapids FC (NPSL Regular Season)

June 2, 2017
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
NPSL Regular Season Match
Detroit City FC 3, Grand Rapids FC 1
Attendance: 5,154

GRFC Greg Timmer (Cam Cavanagh) 28′
DCFC Louis Dargent (Bakie Goodman) 30′
DCFC Shawn Lawson (Tyrone Mondi) 78′
DCFC Derrick Otim (Dave Edwardson) 82′

The first match back in the NPSL was against Grand Rapids FC.

The Glentoran FC match lifted our spirits, and for those who still doubted, Sgt. Scary put it into perspective.

Before the march, a Grand Rapids FC jersey had to be sacrificed.

The team program poster honored the three men who started the Northern Guard Supporters.

Gentlemen…this is all your fault!

Anyway…on to the match.

In the third minute, Tyrone Mondi was sent loose down the left side on his own.  Grand Rapids’ keeper Noah Fazekas dashed out of the penalty box, and slid, studs up, into Mondi, taking him down hard.  Fazekas gave the referee no choice but to pull out the red card, putting Grand Rapids down to ten men.

It was set-up for Detroit City FC to shrug off the pre-Glentoran matches and chart a new course to ascend the standings.  But that was almost erased in the 28th minute, when Greg Timmer tapped in a goal, from a ball launched into the box from the head of Cam Cavanagh, for short-handed Grand Rapids FC.  The heart paused, skipping a beat, as a nightmare reappeared.  But then, it pumped again as play resumed.  Thirty seconds after the restart, Bakie Goodman sent a pass to Tyler Moorman, which was cut off by Grand Rapids defender, Trent Vegter’s head, guiding it into the path of Louis Dargent, who fired it past Fazekas’ replacement, Aaron Orban, leveling the score.

The first half ended knotted at one.

At the 78th minute, Tyrone Mondi found Shawn Lawson to provide us with the lead…

Then, four minutes later, Derrick Otim turned a defender inside out, and sent the ball into the far corner of the net to insure victory.

And the Supporters were loving it…


With the first win of the season achieved, things were once again right with the world.  The next obstacle would be a trip to Lafayette, Indiana in less than 48 hours.

May 21, 2017: at AFC Ann Arbor (NPSL Regular Season)

May 21, 2017
Hollway Field, Ann Arbor, MI
NPSL Regular Season match.
AFC Ann Arbor 2, Detroit City FC 0

AFCAA Dario Suarez (Jack Hallahan) 40′
AFCAA Dario Suarez (Jesse Muskwe) 60′

Dark clouds with glimpses of sunlight bathed the pitch during the match and a rain prior to and a downpour during halftime, created the environment in Ann Arbor this afternoon.

Our previous visit to Ann Arbor, our section was in the visitor’s bleachers of this high school football stadium.  However, this afternoon, they guided us to the south end of the home side bleachers, reserving the visitor’s bleachers for the handful of Main Street Hooligans – the team’s supporters group.  With that move came interesting results.  Two security guards were stationed in front of the Northern Guard Supporters.  Supporters were told to remove their face scarves – claiming them to be a terrorist threat.  In exiting and passing by the Ann Arbor ‘Family Friendly’ fans, a conversation took place between a fan and a few NGS’ers about how he wanted his kid’s soccer experience to be (G-rated versus NGS-rated).

Added to the frustration was the team’s performance.  City looked good early.  But like last year’s match here, we fell behind, this time before the end of the first half.  Instead of a three-goals-in-nine-minutes outburst to claim victory, City conceded another in the 60th minute, and there was no miraculous comeback.

A loss and two draws.  By May 22nd of last season, we had 4 NPSL matches in the books – a win, a loss, and two draws, including our Keyworth Stadium opener with 7,000+ of our friends – and two US Open Cup matches – a win against the Michigan Bucks and a hard-fought loss in Louisville.  Going into our international friendly against Glentoran FC would have a different feel than going into last year’s FC United of Manchester friendly.

May 14, 2017: at Michigan Stars FC (NPSL Regular Season)

May 14, 2017
Hurley Field, Berkley, MI
NPSL Regular Season Match
Michigan Stars FC 2, DCFC 2

DCFC David Edwardson (Derrick Otim) 5′
DCFC Adam Spinks (Cyrus Saydee) 30′
Stars Austin Ricci 60′
Stars Kyle Thompson (Nash Popovic) 90+’

Hurley Field in Berkley has been home to four pre-season friendlies for Detroit City FC the previous three seasons [wins over Saginaw Valley State University (2014) and Muskegon Risers (2016), a draw vs Saginaw Valley State University (2015), and a loss to the Michigan State Spartans (2015)].

We’ve also entered this stadium as visitors in the inaugural NPSL match of FC Sparta Michigan/Michigan Stars/Michigan Stars FC (a 5-1 thumping).  After a season here, then a season in Dearborn, and two seasons in Pontiac, the Stars returned to Hurley, and we were planning on making ourselves at home in their house once more.

Five minutes in, the potential for another thrashing of the Stars arrived when David Edwardson beat the Stars’ keeper, Antyhony Mwembia.

At the 30th minute, Adam Spinks doubled City’s lead.  When the half-time whistle blew, Le Rouge led 2-0.

In the second half, the Stars’ Austin Ricci scored in the 60th minute, giving the Detroit City faithful pause, hoping that it wasn’t deja vu all over again.  A sigh of relief came when City was awarded a penalty kick in the 85th minute.  It was short-lived as Mwembia made the save, keeping the Stars in the match.  Last minute heroics by Kyle Thompson leveled the score.

Two matches.  Two draws.  Three leads conceded.  An ominous opening weekend.

May 12, 2017: vs Milwaukee Torrent (NPSL Regular Season).

May 12, 2017
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
NPSL Regular Season match.
Detroit City FC 3, Milwaukee Torrent 3
Attendance: 5,041

DCFC Cyrus Saydee (Roddy Green) 40′
Milwaukee Declan Rodriguez (Stuart Grable) 49′
DCFC Jeff Adkins 58′
Milwaukee Mark Hutchison 60′
Milwaukee Nemanja Medic 68′
DCFC Max Todd 90+6′

Five years ago, Detroit City FC played its first NPSL regular season match before 1,072 fans at Cass Tech High School Stadium.   The unexpected growth since that one-one draw comes with higher expectations.  Last season’s drop in the standings, and the rumblings of billionaires seeking a Major League Soccer franchise, this was the opening match of an important season.  It produced excitement and concern.

At the 40th minute, Cyrus Saydee scored, taking us into half time with a 1-0 lead.


Milwaukee’s Declan Rodriguez scored in the 49th minute to even the match.  Nine minutes later, Jeff Adkins curled the ball into the net with this beautiful corner kick, to retake the lead.

It took only ten minutes to not only erase the lead, but put DCFC behind.  Mark Hutchison scored two minutes after the Adkins goal on a defensive lapse after the goal, then Nemanja Medic sailed a shot from outside the box that dropped in the far corner at the 68th minute.

As the half continued, there was a buzz in the air.  Could City come back?  Behind me I heard the conversation of two guys – one of them attending their first match.  As City struggled, I heard the new guy ask, “Do these guys always lose?”  Prior to tonight, we’d only lost one match at Keyworth.  But we’d only recorded two wins and three draws.  It took final second heroics by Max Todd to recover a point out of this match.

With a full moon beginning to wane, there was immediate jubilation, and a hope that last season’s funk would wane with it.