Friday, June 6th, 2014 – Detroit City FC 2, Erie 2
Sunday, June 8th, 2014 – Detroit City FC vs. FC Buffalo (PPD)
It’s human nature to take things for granted, especially those that happen again and again without fail – sunrises, celebrity divorces, Detroit City home wins.
Late in the second half of Friday’s game, it appeared that City was going to overcome a slow start and do what they always do at Cass. Instead, the perennial nuisance that is the Erie Admirals Soccer Club took advantage of a bad midfield giveaway and a scrambling defense to pull even just a minute before stoppage time. The end result for them was a precious road draw, the first time that City had dropped points at home since the last game of 2012, which came against… Erie.
Despite what was their flattest performance of the season, City probably did enough to deserve a win. The goal by Shaun Lawson came off of a well-worked attack, the penalty was completely justified, and Erie generated very little from the run of play. Still, deserving and earning are two very different things and credit must go to Erie for capitalizing on their opportunities. Their first goal, scored by Andre Landell, was an excellent strike – a blast into the top corner which Bret Mollon had no chance of stopping.
The result was disappointing but far from disastrous. There is no shame in drawing with a solid team that has had your number over the years – even if the way it happened was a little deflating.
Adding in Sunday’s game at Buffalo, which was postponed due to weather and will be rescheduled, we’re left with a pretty “meh” weekend. No big wins, no shocking losses, just a point and a delay. About mid-way through the season, it’s still unclear how good this City team really is. They’re tied for first in the conference and have games in hand, but the defense has shown some cracks (1 goal allowed per-game vs. 0.67 in 2013) and the attack has been inconsistent at times (1.8 goals scored per-game vs. 2.9).
I’m probably guilty of nitpicking since there is still a lot of soccer to be played and City is in a favorable position, but there is definitely work to be done. On the positive side, the second half of the season is going to be thrilling. The conference has three competitive teams battling for one playoff spot, and the other two are showing signs of improvement. From here on out, every game will be critical, every goal will feel either like a shot of adrenaline or a kick to the chest. While this weekend was a bit of a letdown, the next five will surely make up for it.
The Game: Erie With Myers and Mellors-Blair out, the offense predictably struggled. Still, scoring two goals should be good enough for the win on most days. Erie’s goals were not a result of them breaking down the defense, but rather taking advantage of City losing possession between defense and midfield.
Overall, the play looked a bit disjointed, probably aided by the number of fouls by both teams, some of which were actually called!
I don’t know what the answer is for the officiating issues. It seems like there are similar complaints in every league, from MLS to the Premiership. I guess we’re just going to have do deal with what we’ve got.
I’m just going to come out and say it: Cyrus Saydee is the best player on this team. In addition to being the most technically-skilled, he looks stronger and more consistent than he did in 2012 and ‘13. Game in and game out, he controls the ball, makes good passes, and draws fouls from frustrated defenders. At just 22, he still has room to develop, and though they might be scared off by his size (5’6”), a USL Pro or NASL team would be foolish not to give a serious thought to signing him. I’m not a coach, but with both of our top two strikers out, I would love to see how he would perform in a center-attacking midfield role behind a single striker in a 4-4-1-1. Put two of Adkins/Arnone/Lipari on the wings, with Edwardson and Thompson/Alashe behind him and see what happens.
Elsewhere, Shaun Lawson got his first goal of the season – he will be a valuable player in the immediate future, and his speed will be a nice asset coming off the bench when Myers and WMB are back.
Josh Rogers Penalty Master
Via The D Zone
Attendance There have been four home games this year, and an attendance record has been set each time. 3234 is the new high number, raising the season average to 2783, which would be good for 7th (out of 14) in USL Pro. We can probably catch up to Pittsburgh’s 2880, but Charleston’s 3921 is out of reach due to Cass Tech’s capacity.
2783 would also top the NASL’s Ottawa Fury, whose current per-game average is 2684.
PirmannWear™ If you’ve never seen a man in pink pants shouting angrily at a referee, you haven’t truly lived. I was frustrated that I couldn’t find a picture of that moment, so this one will have to do:
Danny Mudd is a very old man. Due to his advanced age, he takes a very long time to do things and is never in a hurry.
His second-half yellow card for time wasting was well overdue.
Midwest Conference Update With Indiana and Lansing both losing on Sunday (to Michigan Stars and Cincinnati respectively), they remain tied with City for the conference lead with 14 points apiece. Detroit currently has the advantage, though, with a game in hand on Indiana, and two in hand on Lansing.
PSA So you’ve just found out about Detroit City FC and want to check out some games – great! You want to sit in the middle of the supporters’ section because it’s loud and crazy and fun – even better! What’s that you say? You don’t know the chants and songs? That’s fine, just ask someone around you, listen and learn, and check out the sheets and videos with the words.
Wait, you don’t want to learn them? Making noise isn’t really your thing? You just want to talk with your friends and take selfies? Well perhaps I can interest you in a seat over here whe-
Seriously, though, you don’t have be Sergeant Scary, but at least put forth a little effort.
Buy Or Borrow A Scarf, Learn The Songs, Sing Them Loudly.