May 17th to June 14th, 2013 – Detroit City FC 15, All Others 2
Normally when I write a featured post on here, I try to take a memorable game and wrap a larger idea or narrative around it, such as Evil Twins, Rites of Passage, or the City of Detroit itself. When I think back to the first part of the 2013 season – the five straight home games following the Mother’s Day Massacre of FC Sparta – no single game stands out to me more than the others. It’s not that they lacked excitement or memorable moments, but the way in which City played makes them just sort of blend together.
2-1, 2-0, 4-1, 3-0, 4-0. Efficient, ruthless, consistent.
The theme that emerged from these early games was that of progression. Whereas the 2012 team was starting from scratch, the 2013 edition built upon the successes of that first year. As each game went by and the wins piled up, it became clear that this team represented a new and improved model. They were deeper, more talented, more cohesive as a unit. If a player went down or wasn’t available, another stepped into his place and performed.
Some of the highlights from City’s campaign of laying waste to all in their path:
-The home opener. In front of a then-record crowd of 1823, DCFC earned its first ever win over rivals AFC Cleveland.
-Before the first Zanesville game, the intern in charge of that team’s official Twitter account made fun of DCFC’s camouflage jerseys. These were worn and later auctioned off for the purpose of raising money for the Northern Guard’s ‘Hooligans For Heroes’ project to benefit wounded military personnel and their families. The tweet was later deleted, as was the entire Zanesville franchise a few months later.
-I will remember the second (and ultimately final) game against FC Sparta for the downpour it was played in and the wonderfully derogatory banner that was displayed.
I will also remember the befuddled look on Eric Kallis’ face when he saw it – the kind of look that says, “Why are you doing this? What have I ever done to you?”
-The second Zanesville game included a visit from Jennifer Hammond and her FOX 2 sports team, the first real coverage of DCFC from a major local TV outlet.
When a couple thousand people are showing up to an event on a consistent basis, it makes it hard for the media to ignore. More coverage can, in turn, lead to increased visibility and publicity for the club, drawing in new fans and making it more attractive to potential players. At the midway point of the season, the growing attendance numbers and high quality of play on the field were evidence that City was already reaping these benefits.
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On that note, I should mention that the first tryouts for the 2014 team (City 3.0?) are on March 22nd. Click here to register.
I thought about going undercover and trying-out just to write about the experience, but my extremely basic skill level would probably expose me in a matter of minutes.