Friday, May 16th, 2014 – Detroit City FC 3, Michigan Stars 0
The signs are everywhere: longer lines and waits at the gate, increased TV, radio, and newspaper coverage, even street musicians who typically make their living downtown have made their way to Cass. The secret is out and Detroit City no longer plays in a bubble, isolated from the mainstream sports consciousness. All that remains for the club to have truly “made it” is a snarky article from Drew Sharp criticizing Ben Pirmann’s personnel decisions or questioning the ownership’s commitment to winning a championship.
After Zach Myers’ second goal capped a flurry of scoring, it had become clear that the Michigan/Dearborn/actually Dearborn Heights Stars were no more than an FC Sparta reboot with a fresh coat of paint. The vast differences between the two clubs remain, and this “Sparta 2.0” provides nearly as stark a contrast with DCFC as its predecessor. One club builds on its successes from year-to-year, one club has a carefully crafted image and style, one club is run as a professional enterprise.
The key to City’s success is that it was treated as a first-class, big-league operation from day one. It may have seemed a little overly-ambitious at first, but so do all worthwhile ventures. Two years on, that attitude has remained constant, resulting in growth that only seems to be accelerating.
Late in the second half, with the game in hand, a spontaneous chant broke out, the main stand shouting “DC,” the supporters’ section responding with “FC.” Moments like these are what make lifelong supporters. Just a couple minutes of pure electricity on a Friday night can do more good for a club than thousands of dollars of advertising and marketing or a lifetime of free ticket giveaways to local youth teams.
With The Chant and Kevin Taylor’s goal against Adria, the first two weeks of this season have already given us two of the most memorable moments in club history. Now, with increased awareness and a few more pairs of eyes watching, this team has the chance to make an even bigger name for itself. The flip side is that the players will be under more pressure to perform, but that’s the way life is under the bright lights.
–The Game No in-depth tactical analysis needed here – City looked like a talented, experienced team playing at home and the Stars looked like a first-year team cobbled together with pieces from Dearborn Stars, FC Sparta, and a few others playing on the road. City’s attack was sharper than against Cincy and the defensive performance was even stronger – the Stars had one real chance, forcing a clearance off the line by Zach Schewee
–Standouts Zach Myers – AllHeDoesIsScore. Will Mellors-Blair bagged a goal and got an assist; just three games into his City career, he’s already become one of the team’s main attacking threats. Chaka Daley (UM HC) found himself a good one. The Myers-WMB pairing looks better with each game and is probably the most positive on-field development this season. We knew the defense and midfield would be good, and now it appears the attack is catching up.
Honorable mention to Josh Rogers, who shadowed [name redacted] all night and never let him get into the game.
–Attendance Another game, another record. 2641 is the new number to beat, topping the previous mark of 2634 (last year’s Great Lakes Semifinal vs. Cleveland). I was pleasantly surprised by this – the trend of the past two years tended to be: good crowd for the opener, a little bit lower numbers for the next couple games, then a steady increase peaking at the end of the season. At this rate, my preseason prediction of a 1750 per game average looks a little too conservative. Mr. Duggan better hurry up and get his USL Pro team in place because we’re rapidly capturing his potential customers.
–This Week in PirmannWear ™
–The Cross-Field Chant Amazing. Let’s make this a regular thing.
“This is all about us working together and I would rather keep it this way,” he said. “If an MLS team comes we will probably lose a couple of people but I am not going. You have to remain dedicated to the club. You fall in love with the team. You don’t fall in love with the league. I take a bullet for this team. I take a bullet for these people. I text the owner. I text players. You can’t get that with the pros. I feel that soccer people are more passionate because they have a connection with the club. Why would I give that up?”