Fire and Heat

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Guest Post by Stephanie Jaczkowski (@PolskaKrolowa)

As a native Detroiter and attendee of the inaugural City game, you could say my expectation of match day experience is skewed. From Day 1, DCFC has seen abnormal levels of passion from supporters, not only on game day but through the entirety of the year. I know that City is unique, but that knowledge certainly doesn’t prepare one for the oddity of a match in utter silence.

The official City picture of the Rouge Rovers at the game against Indiana Fire in Westfield, Indiana only shows about 1/3 of the people who made the trip. Half of the NGS people who made the trip showed up at halftime (lost in the cornfields). The other people were parents and fans who didn’t chant.

Here’s the thing, even though there were only six of us, we were louder than ALL of the Fire fans put together. Aside from an occasional “Let’s go Fire” coming from a soccer mom, the game was played in silence. It was a bizarre flashback to last year’s friendly against the Windsor Stars when NGS went silent in the second half…you could hear the guys talking to each other, something that never happens at Cass Tech.

The lack of Fire fans is surprising. They’re currently leading the conference (although they have played one more game than City). The team is dynamite on the field and will probably be the toughest competition that DCFC sees all season, but a good team alone does not supporters attract.

On the field, the Fire looked good. Their first goal was underwhelming, the result of serious traffic in front of the net and some ping-ponging around. It was crazy enough that it took the announcers a good five minutes to finally assign the goal to a player. Their second goal was a beautiful soccer play, coming out of a City corner kick.

Overall, City had more shots on goal, but the loss of Zach Meyers early on in the game (23’) really took the edge off of the offense – the difference was noticeable. Meyers was still limping after the game, so hopefully he will be healthy enough to be on the field Friday night to take on Erie.

Core Power Man of the Match Cyrus Saydee had a goal and assist on the afternoon, but he deserved much more than that! Cyrus had many chances and was incredibly entertaining to watch. He dribbled around more than one Fire defender, often leaving them spinning their wheels, a bit dazed and confused. He made people look silly all over the field.

The second part of the first half was an offensive struggle, devolving quickly into broken defensive plays for both teams and multiple shots on goal. Three goals were scored in the last 11 minutes of the half. City definitely has some defensive kinks to work out after Friday’s breakdown in Cincy and letting two goals through between the 34th and 36th minute against Indiana. There are strong players in the back, but some better coverage is going to be needed the next time they travel to Indiana on June 20th. The Fire are a must-beat team in the conference. City’ll have a tough time getting out of the division without beating them in at least one regular season match.

Overall, it was the highest quality soccer match I’ve seen on both sides. Perhaps that is evidenced by the limited number of cards given out (possibly the least of all City games I’ve attended) and the lack of diving. Both teams stayed on their feet for the most part and there were four yellows awarded total (3 to Indiana and 1 to City).

Quick Thoughts

Indiana needs a new field…the turf and 90 degree humid weather made the field unbearable to play on.

Cass Tech’s atmosphere will pose a huge advantage for City when Indiana visits.

Matches without drums are weird.

Three year olds love DCFC and, given the chance, fill in as awesome capos.

IMG_7885Pirmann Watch

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Per usual…Coach Ben was snazzed up in a shirt and tie. In contrast, Fire’s coaches were in either khakis or basketball shorts. City’s classy all around.

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Ed: Had to include this.

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