Friday, May 13th, 2016 – Detroit City FC 2 Michigan Stars 2
Sunday, May 15th, 2016 – Detroit City FC 4 Dayton Dynamo 2
It’s one week into the season and I’m exhausted. About half of it is physical fatigue, and the other half is an unquantifiable mental fogginess, probably accumulated through weeks of the just-when-you-think-it’s-over-someone-brings-it-back-up MLS to Detroit discussion. (I guess I’m the guilty one this time, aren’t I?). Four years and change into the City Experience, we’ve developed a bit of a binge-purge rhythm: we starve for the nine-month offseason then stuff our faces as much as possible from late April to the end of July.
I’ve never experienced such a hectic whirlwind of a run-up to and beginning of a season, and I’m sure many are feeling something similar. Six matches in the first twelve days is a brutal, demanding run, after all. From Detroit City’s owners to the coaches, players, staff, on down to the supporters, it seems as if we’re all scrambling around trying to do as much as we can, as best we can, in the tiniest window possible.
After Brett Nason scored the winning penalty kick against the Bucks, he had to hurry home to finish his accounting homework. Dozens of supporters will be making the same-day round trip to Louisville this Wednesday, and many will only be able to grab a couple hours of sleep before heading to work on Thursday morning. Above all, Keyworth Stadium’s fresh concrete and new paint are still drying as we speak, only days away from the home opener.
Of those deeply involved with the club, particularly the five guys running it, I’d wager that most have had at least one “Oh crap, what have I gotten myself into?” moment. Whether you’re trying to rehab a long-neglected stadium, training to play in it, or rushing to finish the tifo that will usher in its new era, it’s a ton of work. Working and working and working at something can become a grind. It’s tiring, often frustrating, and it may sometimes even feel like a chore. In the end, though, we continue doing what we do because this is something we believe in, something we have true passion for. Outsiders and naysayers may poke and prod but they’ll never truly understand the way we feel. And, really, it doesn’t matter. They haven’t hindered us so far and they surely aren’t doing so now.
I’m tired, but that doesn’t mean I’m not happy. In fact, I’m having a blast. I can’t wait for what’s next because I know it will be incredible.
Quick takes from the weekend:
(1) Danny Deakin It took him a couple matches to settle in, but against Dayton he ignited a City attack that had, up to that point, been less than spectacular. His first goal with Le Rouge was a thing of beauty*…
… and he assisted on the three subsequent goals, two of which were scored by…
(2) Alec Lasinski Lasinski caught my eye in the friendly against Muskegon when he came on as a second-half sub and recorded a goal and assist in about a half hour of play. Since he’s just coming off his freshman season in college, I figured he’d find it tough to find much playing time, but he featured prominently in both weekend matches and appears to have carved out a spot in the rotation.
(3) Road Results It hurt to give up a 2-0 lead against the Stars and only come away with a point, but given the circumstances (less than 48 hours removed from an emotional 120-minute battle, several key players unavailable, going up against what should be a much-improved opponent), a draw wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Given the length of the season, that result set Sunday up as a kinda, sorta must-win and City took care of business.
*Video by Michael Kitchen
(1) Defensive set pieces City came away unscathed after a barrage of corners against the Bucks, but failed to match that performance as both Stars goals and one Dynamo goal came off of corner kicks. I wonder what Coach Pirmann will be emphasizing this week during practice…
(2) Second half performance Two matches: 4 goals allowed, 0 scored in second halves. I wonder what else Coach Pirmann will be emphasizing this week during practice…
(3) Depth issues As feared, Evan Louro had to leave the team following Friday night’s match. More under the radar, Billy Stevens reportedly shattered his foot in the same game. With Alex Isaevski still on the mend, that leaves City with only five or six true defenders on the roster. Throw in a couple of inexperienced keepers and we have a situation that looks pretty iffy.
The reasons many City supporters are less than enamored with MLS are well-documented, but for me, another one is the sheer ridiculousness that exists at the D-4 level is incredibly entertaining and amusing and it would suck to lose that.
Yes, the Stars hired a garage band – The Dirty Elizabeths – presumably to try and drown out the noise of the Northern Guard. No, it did not work. They did play “What’s Up”, though, so that was pretty fun.
USOC Round 2 at Louisville City FC I know absolutely nothing about LCFC, so I’ll direct you to Robert Sherman’s excellent preview and analysis HERE.