Saturday, May 10th, 2014 – Detroit City FC 1, Cincinnati 0
Detroit City’s third season-opener lacked the high-drama of their mid-week US Open Cup debut – there were no red cards, no second-half comeback, no penalty shootout, but there was something else. It was more of a feeling than anything, a sense of familiarity not unlike being home. Those ten long months of waiting suddenly felt like only a couple and, for me at least, that “new club” feel that DCFC once had was gone. That’s not a bad thing at all, but rather, a sign that the club has taken root and now has some history behind it.
City dominated the first half but left the door open by only putting away one of their several chances. Cincinnati had more possession after half time but couldn’t find a way through – each of their three or four direct free kicks went right into the walls set up by Mollon.
I recognized the players, except for a few new faces, I knew all the songs and chants, I knew where to go and what to do and when to do it. It didn’t feel like a novelty or just a cheap way to have fun on a summer afternoon anymore, it felt like a place where you belong.
When people talk about ‘the good old days,’ they’re usually referring to something that has come and gone. We’re lucky because instead of the past, our good old days are taking place as we speak. That’s not to say it’s all downhill from here – certainly not – but beginnings only happen… at the beginning. This thing we have is special, it’s exciting, and it’s ours.
–The Game As mentioned, City completely controlled the first half but weren’t able to put the game out of reach. Luckily, the back four which featured two players making their debuts (Seb Harris at CB and Colin McAtee at RB), and Nick Lewin playing on the left (instead of his usual CB spot) only allowed Cincy to get one or two real chances. And did I mention Cincy’s free kicks were brutal? The ones at the edge of the City penalty area never passed the wall, and the long indirect ones were all caught comfortably by Bret Mollon with no attackers near him.
–Standouts Dave Edwardson got the start at one of the center-mid spots and did very well, breaking up potential Cincy breaks and making some good passes in the final third. He is arguably the best offensive-minded CM on the team and pairs well with any of the more defensive CM’s (Alashe, Taylor, Thompson).
As mentioned in the paragraph above that begins, “As mentioned,” Harris and McAtee hit the ground running. Zach Myers: all he does is score. AHDIS?
On an unrelated note, a few of the guys who played on Wednesday looked a little tired, which is understandable. It will be nice to see what they can do with a full six days between games.
-Best Dressed Coach in the NPSL Is there anyone to challenge Ben Pirmann in this regard? Cardigan for the Open Cup, this for the opener:
No sweatsuits or baseball caps for this man.
–Tifo A strong tifo game is an underrated way to gain recognition for your club and supporters.
Brilliant work by those who dreamed it up, put it together, and deployed it.
–Gameday Experience The attendance of 2147 is a new club record for a regular season game, beating last year’s game against Buffalo (1895). 2147 is also more than double the attendance of the 2012 opener (1072).
The ban on f*ck didn’t seem to have much effect, though the “F*ck Ohio” chant didn’t gain much traction. On the other hand, more and more people keep showing up to games, so it doesn’t seem to be driving many away. It’s still early, so we’ll see where it goes.
Nitpick of the Year: Can we get someone from CT to take down the green pads behind each goal? They hurt the stadium aesthetic and block primo standing/photo-taking areas.
–Cincy Players: Class The Cincinnati team applauded the supporters’ section after the final whistle. If they’re not careful we might actually have to start respecting them.