The First Five Years – Best Matches

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(5a) May 7th, 2014 – Detroit City FC 2 RWB Adria 2 (RWB Adria wins 3-1 on penalties AET)
(5b) May 18th, 2016 – Louisville City FC 1 Detroit City FC 1 (Louisville wins 3-1 on penalties AET)

For the fifth best match in Detroit City history, I cheated and picked two that are similar to the point of being nearly identical. At the time, each marked a new high-water mark for City in the U.S. Open Cup – the first as the club’s debut in the competition, the second as its first 2nd-round foray.

In the first match, RWB Adria took the lead in the 7th minute and held it deep into the second half, making it seem as though they’d successfully suffocated the City attack. Tyler Arnone equalized in the 70th minute, though, and things really erupted just six minutes later:

Frustratingly, Adria equalized in stoppage time after a goalmouth scramble. In the ensuing extra period, the play devolved into a string of cheap shots and chippy challenges, and each team finished with 9 men on the field due to a mix of red cards and injuries. Although Adria took the penalty shootout 3-1, I’ll remember the match for its epic, high-stakes feel, and for its damp, chilly evening aesthetic which called to mind so many of the European night matches you see on TV and wonder how it feels to experience an atmosphere like that.

Video and photo by Michael Kitchen

The trip to Louisville City proved to be just as much of a fight to the bitter end. After the regulation 90 minutes finished 0-0, extra time was filled with heart-stopping moments. First came a Nate Steinwascher penalty save:

Then a Seb Harris header that made an improbable victory seem within reach:

And finally a Louisville City equalizer which brought everyone back down to earth.

The penalty shootout gave more hope in the form of a pair of saves from Steinwascher, but a couple City misses and a save from the Louisville keeper proved too much to overcome.

A loss, but an incredible match in its own right.

(4) May 15th, 2015 – Detroit City FC 3 AFC Cleveland 2

Just two days after a humbling 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Michigan Bucks in the U.S. Open Cup, Detroit City opened its 2015 regular season at home against Cleveland. It was the first meeting between the clubs since City’s 3-1 victory in the semifinal of the 2013 Great Lakes Playoffs.

After Colin McAtee gave City an early lead, the teams traded goals until Cleveland knotted the score at 2-2 just after halftime. With time waning and an underwhelming start to the season staring his team in the face, Seb Harris scored a signature header in the 88th minute and City held on for the win on opening night.

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The First Five Years – Best Goals

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(5) WMB Toe Rocket (2014 vs. Cincinnati)

(4) Jeff Adkins Slalom (2014 vs. Indiana Fire)

Reverse Angle:

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The First Five Years – Best XI

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Subs (7): Knox Cameron (ST), Keith Lough (LW/RW/Att. Mid.), Tom Catalano (Att. Mid), Kevin Taylor (CM), Nick Lewin (LB/RB/CB), Adam Bedell (CB), Jeremy Clark (GK)

Discussion: Picking the Best XI was pretty easy. The only real dilemmas I had were between Jeff Adkins and Keith Lough at winger, and Seb Harris vs. Adam Bedell at centerback. Those two matchups were about even in terms of levels of play and the impact they had on the club, so I went with Adkins and Harris based on their overall body of work.

The subs were a little more difficult. Some may object to the inclusion of Knox Cameron, but he was responsible for a bucket of goals in 2012 and 2013, and only WMB and Zach Myers were better strikers. Kevin Taylor also remains for now. One more strong season from Troy Watson could bump him out of that spot, though. At defender, I decided to drop Zeke Harris and keep Nick Lewin, who was absolutely crucial to City’s defense its first three seasons and remains the most underrated player in club history.

2017 Roster Overview

Read More Detroit City FC players Jeff Adkins, Dave Edwardson, and Seb Harris
Photo by Dion Degennaro

Barring any late additions, Detroit City’s 2017 roster has been set and can now be examined in detail. I always use the season preview series of posts to discuss each position group and individual player, so this post will look more at the team as a whole. The full, current roster can be found HERE.

Position Battles

With the year-to-year roster turnover that occurs naturally in an amateur league, there is plenty of competition at every position on an annual basis. With that said, these are the three areas of City’s squad where that competition should be most pronounced.

(1) Striker

One of the biggest struggles for last year’s team was finding a consistent, go-to goalscorer. Some players showed flashes but none could produce game-in, game-out, over the course of the full season. Ben Pirmann has addressed this by bringing in six newcomers to compete at the position. Shawn Lawson returns after two years away from the club, and his talent plus that added experience and development make him my preliminary favorite to start. Among his chief competitors is the most intriguing prospect on the roster at any position, Roddy Green. Coming off his freshman season at Saginaw Valley in which he scored 7 goals, Green combines good size (6’1”) with blazing speed, and may have the most upside of any striker on the team.

(2) Goalkeeper

Equally troublesome as striker, goalkeeper turned into a revolving door in 2016, partially due to inconsistency, and also because of player availability issues. One of the top items on my wishlist for this upcoming season was a true, full-time, #1 keeper. This wish appears to have been fulfilled with the addition of Providence’s Colin Miller. I also liked what I saw from Nate Steinwascher in his limited action last year, though (particularly his performance against Louisville City in the U.S. Open Cup), so I believe the starting spot is still up for grabs. Regardless of who emerges, this has the potential to be a very good 1-2 combination.

(3) Centerback

Somewhat surprisingly, last year’s breakout player Omar Sinclair is not on the roster for 2017. Competing for the vacant starting role will be three seasoned college players, Zach Bock (WMU), Stephen Carroll (Davenport), and Owain Hoskins (St. Edwards – TX). Bock is the most decorated – 2016 First Team All-MAC – but Carroll and Hoskins bring more size to the position and have legitimate chances of pairing with Seb Harris once the season begins.

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2017 Roster Tracker

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Updated 3/7/17 – Newcomers listed in bold. (Alternate positions in parentheses).

Tyler Moorman (RM/RB) – Twitter
Mauricio Castorino (LW/RW) – College Bio   Twitter
Kyle CoffeeCollege Bio   Twitter   Video
Roderic GreenCollege Bio   Twitter   Video
Shawn Lawson* – MW Pro Soccer Combine Profile   Twitter   Video
Derrick Otim College Bio   Twitter   Video 1   Video 2
Max Todd College Bio   Twitter

*Played for DCFC in 2013 & 2014

Attacking Midfield/Wing 7
Jeff Adkins – Twitter
Tommy Catalano (F) – Twitter
Andrew Dalou – Twitter
Cyrus Saydee – Twitter
Spiro Pliakos – Twitter
Dalton Amez (CM) – College Bio
Tyrone Mondi Article   Interview

Center Midfield5
George Chomakov – Twitter
Dave Edwardson – Twitter
Troy Watson – Twitter
Aaron Franco (FB?) – College Bio   Twitter   Video (HS highlights but they show his style and skillset – technical, offensive-minded CM)
Luke Hauswirth (RB) – College Bio   Twitter

Zach Schewee (R/L) – Twitter
Spencer Glass (L) – College Bio   Twitter
Adam Spinks (R) – Twitter   Video

Seb Harris – Twitter
Zach Bock College Bio   Twitter  
Stephen Carroll
College Bio   Twitter   Video
Owain Hoskins College Bio   Twitter   Video

Joe Smith – Twitter
Nate Steinwascher – Twitter
Colin Miller College Bio   Twitter   Video