CityBits ’15: Buffalo

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 – Detroit City FC 1, FC Buffalo 1

First It wasn’t a goal, and it wasn’t even close. Watching the WNYmedia stream*, it was tough to tell where the ball wound up…

buf15glc

…but video later confirmed that the correct call was made:

If City was going to win this game, Tyler Channell’s chance immediately preceding the goal line clearance was where it was going to happen.

*Sponsored by Pallet Services, Inc., which sounds awfully lot like a Mafia front company.

psilogo

Props to them for the suggestive corporate motto, by the way.

Overview The game was just about dead even. Each side had a handful of decent chances but neither team’s play was obviously superior to the other. A draw felt like the fair result, even though City needed another late goal to secure the point.

Defense After giving up 5 goals in the first two competitive matches of the season, going on the road and conceding only once is a definite improvement. Buffalo did have a couple nice 1-2 moves that resulted in good chances, and for the second straight game City gave up a back post headed goal, but the overall performance was better.

Lumping It Up Two games into the regular season, the biggest concern I have is with the preponderance of long balls. I get that this game was played on bouncy turf and that two of the team’s most technical players, Saydee and Catalano, didn’t make the trip, but those two did play against Cleveland and the team’s style didn’t seem much different. Hopefully once this group of players gets more familiar with each other they will be able to possess the ball more and rely less on lobbing it upfield as a first instinct.

Standouts Nobody from either side set the world on fire, but I thought Alex Isaevski showed great touch and control in several instances, helping to win the ball back a few times and sending in some dangerous crosses.

Tyler Channell started at striker with Zach Myers (great to see him back so soon after his concussion scare) and had a few nice chances, the best of which started the frantic sequence resulting in the controversial but not really controversial goal line clearance shown above.

chanchance

There was a hiccup in the stream but you get the idea. While listed at 6’2”, he’s shown that he is more than just a target forward; he has some quickness to him as well.

His SVSU teammate Troy Watson also got his first start, playing mostly in the center and right side of midfield. I thought he looked calm on the ball and made some good passes to move the play forward. It will be interesting to see where he best fits in since he’s capable of playing anywhere in defense or midfield.

Rust Belt Derby Since City did not win this game, the RBD will be decided on June 27th when Buffalo visits Cleveland. Buffalo essentially needs to win by 2 goals or win in a high-scoring game to beat City on tiebreakers. Handy graphic from Dale Paradowski is here:

rbd15

City may still be the statistical favorite to win, but we still need to root for Cleveland. I know, I know. Just pretend it’s another blue team or something.

Next The first two-game weekend of the season – home against Minnesota TwinStars, away to Lansing. One week from now, a third of the season will be in the books and we’ll have a much better idea of how City stacks up with the rest of the Midwest.

For the latest NPSL Midwest results and standings, click here.

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