A quick rundown of recent news and notes as we gear up for the new season.
U.S. Open Cup
As announced last week, City will be playing the Michigan Bucks in the first round of this year’s USOC, on the evening of May 13th in Pontiac.
I’ve been trying to come up with a more anticipated matchup in City’s short history, and I haven’t been able. Other contenders: Game #1, Erie (7/1/12), Sparta (Mother’s Day ’13), Home playoffs in ’13, last year at Lansing. Game #1 loses out since the mood seemed more one of curiosity than anticipation; The First Invasion of Berkley falls short because the Bucks are a far more prestigious club than FC Sparta, and the others, while important games, each only had about a week for the hype to build.
One positive for City: when May 13th rolls around, the team will have played three full friendlies, as opposed to just one before last year’s USOC game against RWB Adria. By the way, have fun with those guys Lansing 🙂
Since I posted my spring roster breakdown, the team has added two more players, both of whom seem capable of making a real impact. Javier Ramirez’s bio (Ashford University) describes him as a speedy attacking midfielder, and he could play on the wing or maybe as a deep-lying forward/advanced mid in City’s traditional 4-4-2. He scored double-digit goals for his college team in each of his last two seasons.
Tommy Catalano joins City after four seasons as a starting midfielder for the Bucks. Here is one of his better moments:
I think he’ll fit in okay.
Not really a subtraction since he didn’t play in 2014, but Knox Cameron will be turning out for AFC Ann Arbor this season, the new club of which he is a part owner. There’s been a little bit of the “traitor” banter going around but I’m not buying it. He’s an Ann Arbor guy (played at UM 2001-04), he put in a bunch of good performances for City in 2012 and ’13, and now he’s moving on to finish out his career by helping to build something new. Plus, AFCAA and DCFC don’t meet, and with all the fresh attacking talent on the City roster, it’s uncertain how much playing time he could have reasonably expected at this point.
Sublime, Superfluous Sponsor Speculation
City’s first ever title kit sponsor will be announced this Tuesday, and the front office has done a good job of keeping it under wraps. The only thing known for certain at this point is that it is “a well-known Detroit-based corporation.” Some possibilities and reasoning:
- Chevrolet – partnered with the club to promote last August’s Man U – Real Madrid game at Michigan Stadium
- Flagstar – was recently announced as the official bank of DCFC
- DTE, Compuware, Shinola – fit the “well-known” category
My gut tells me that the sponsor will be smaller than one of the Big 3, but larger than a bar or restaurant. Other than that I really have no idea. Going through this list of Detroit-based companies, I do have some preferences, though.
- Cadillac – appeals to an older, richer, more pimpin’ demographic.
- Carhartt – technically in Dearborn, but could provide cold-weather gear once Sepp Blatter gets his wish and US Soccer moves to a European calendar.
- Faygo – do Juggalos like soccer?
- Iron Fist Records – because it sounds really cool.
Last but not least, here is the schedule for the rapidly-approaching preseason friendlies (more info here):
Saturday, April 18th vs. SVSU (1:00 PM @ Hurley Field)
Saturday, April 25th vs. MSU (5:30 PM @ Hurley Field)
Saturday, May 9th vs. Muskegon Risers SC (7:30 PM @ Cass Tech)
These are great opportunities for new fans to check out the team and get a feel for the gameday atmosphere before inevitably falling hopelessly in love and surrendering their heart, mind, body, and soul to Le Rouge.
Full schedule graphic, c/o NGS: