Sunday, June 29th, 2014 – Detroit City FC 4, Indiana 0
More than one person made the comment that Sunday felt like a season opener. The 23-day gap between home games was the main reason, but Detroit City’s up and down play over that span (1-1-1 record, 7 GF, 5 GA) may also have been a contributing factor. Much like a few of the favorites currently playing in Brazil, the team has been good overall, but not without a couple of question marks.
The “fresh start” vibe became even more evident when City began to exert more control on the game and wear down their opponent, a tried and true formula that has made Cass Tech into a fortress. Indiana has been the surprise of the Midwest Region this year, challenging Detroit more than anyone could’ve expected, but in this game, their inexperience showed. By expending a lot of energy in the first half and leaving little for the second, they played into City’s hands. Once Jeff Adkins dropped the hammer, they were done.
Adkins’ first goal, in which he cut through several of his Butler University teammates and rounded the keeper, was excellent, but his free kick was a thing of beauty, made even more impressive by the fact that it was taken from the right side of the goal with his right foot.
Whenever you’re trying to find your way, a practical approach is to step back and rely on the things that have brought you success in the past. This can apply in soccer, but also in the less exciting parts of life – work, personal relationships, buying pants, etc.
In the case of City, getting back to basics resulted in the best home performance of the season, one reminiscent of the dominating displays of a year ago. Having weathered the toughest part of the schedule, they now head into the final five games as the clear conference leader. Only one long road trip remains, and the teams chasing them have very little margin for error. With a good number of players who have been a part of the club form the very beginning, their level of experience may turn out to be the deciding factor.
The Game Indiana had a few quick and threatening counter-attacks in the first half and probably should’ve scored at least once, but City defended well and it looked as though the Fire eventually ran out of ideas. The starting back line of Schewee-Rogers-Lamb-Lewin looked good and should remain the same moving forward, barring injury.
Detroit and Indiana finish their three-game season series with 4 points apiece, each team winning, drawing, and losing once. Before the season I picked the Fire to finish last in the conference, but they proved me completely wrong. They still have a chance to win the conference, and if they don’t, they have a great shot at earning the wild card berth into the Midwest Regional Playoffs.
Standouts Time to pat the back that belongs to myself. In the season preview I made this prediction:
2. Pirmann will experiment with a winger at striker – My guess is Jeff Adkins.
And last week I wrote this:
…Jeff Adkins has been a key piece to the attack. With how well he’s played, I have no idea how he hasn’t yet registered a goal or assist.
Check and check. I know the second one is really more of an observation and not a prediction but I’m going to count it anyway. Adkins was brilliant, spurring the attack and popping up all over the field. He also had a decent case for a penalty that wasn’t called.
His FK from another angle:
Good hit, indeed.
Another game, another great performance for Cyrus Saydee, who had a goal and an assist. There was also the moment where he dribbled the ball over to where a second ball had been inadvertently tossed onto the field, calmly tapped it out of bounds, then resumed dribbling toward the defense. So fresh, So clean.
Shawn Lawson scored his second goal of the season, and looks to have claimed a “super-sub” role. His speed and finishing are a valuable asset to have coming off the bench. Newcomer Oliver Harris had a good showing as well, getting an assist in his first appearance at Cass.
Attendance was 2858 – no records set this week, but a very good showing nonetheless. Season average is now 2798, which would put DCFC 6th in USL Pro, ahead of 9 clubs, including Pittsburgh.
Ben Pirmann was not on the bench due to his dismissal in the previous game, but his swag is un-dismissable.
Conference Races Click here for current standings
Great Lakes West: Detroit City (20 pts., 9 games played) currently trails Indiana (21 pts., 12 games played) by a point but has 3 games in hand. Lansing (18 pts., 10 games played) has 4 games remaining, the last two of which are at home against Indiana and Detroit.
Great Lakes East: Still completely up for grabs. Fort Pitt has the highest points-per-game average, but also finishes out the season with road trips to Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit. This conference likely won’t be decided until the final day.
Central: Quad City holds a 5 point lead over Madison, each having played 8 games. Poor Eau Claire now has a -33!! Goal differential through 7 games.