2016 Season Wrap

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Head Coach: Ben Pirmann
Captain: Dave Edwardson
103rd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: Second Round
NPSL Great Lakes West Conference: 5th
NPSL Midwest Regional Playoffs: Did not qualify
Rust Belt Derby: Winner (4th time)
Top Goalscorer (Competitive Matches): Tommy Catalano (5)
Black Arrow Award (Team MVP): Tommy Catalano

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Friendlies

103rd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Regular Season

Great Lakes West Final Standings

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Continue reading “2016 Season Wrap”

2015 Year in Review

Instead of doing a standard season wrap (like in 2014), I thought I’d take a look back at 2015 as a whole in order to mention some of the significant off-the-field events that involved Detroit City FC this year. Without further delay…

Preseason

February/March – A pair of Q&A’s give us the chance to learn more about ownership’s plans for the club in the near future, as well as the history and philosophy of the Northern Guard. Among the things learned at the first session, it is announced that all 2015 league home matches will be streamed online.

April – The first title sponsor in club history, Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, is unveiled, as are the kits for the upcoming season.

Y1hkrcx

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Season

Head Coach: Ben Pirmann

Captain: Josh Rogers

NPSL Midwest Region: 2nd

NPSL Midwest Regional Playoffs: Semifinal

102nd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup:  First Round

Rust Belt Derby:  Winner (3rd time)

Top Goalscorer (All Competitions): Will Mellors-Blair (10)

Black Arrow Award (Team MVP): Dave Edwardson

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Friendlies

friend2015

102nd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

2015usoc

Regular Season

2015reg

Playoffs

2015po

2015potree

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Predictions Revisited

In which I pull up my preseason prognostications and hold myself accountable and/or break my arm patting myself on the back.

2015 NPSL Midwest Region

seasonreviewstandings

In all honesty, I’m mainly concerned with figuring out where City will end up. In this regard, I think I did a pretty good job. If it wasn’t for Madison playing a super easy schedule in which they faced the worst team in the division three times, my prediction would’ve been spot-on.

Other than that, Cleveland and Buffalo exceeded my expectations, while Lansing and Minnesota Utd. underperformed.

5 Wild Guesses

 1. A newcomer will win the Black Arrow Award (Team MVP).

Verdict: Incorrect. The award went to long-serving midfielder Dave Edwardson.

2. City will score at least 6 goals in a game. 

Verdict: Correct. City set a new club record for goals in a game, scoring 6 against the Minnesota TwinStars on May 29th.

3. City will take at least 15 points from its final 6 matches (the second half of the season). 

Verdict: Correct. City took exactly 15 points from its final 6 matches. Only a loss to Erie prevented them from earning the #1 seed and hosting the playoffs.

4. Average home attendance will be over 3000 and all league matches will sell out. 

Verdict: 1/2 Correct. Average home attendance for the regular season came out to 3528, but not every single game was a sellout.

5. This will be the last season at Cass

Verdict: Correct. Keyworth awaits.

Goals of the Year

#3 Seb Harris saves the season opener.

#2 Will Mellors-Blair breaks Lansing for good.

wmb lan

#1 Matt Ybarra calls in the Cincinnati Fire Department with his weak-footed volley into the upper 90.

BIR Player Awards

MVP: Will Mellors-Blair (ST) Consistently excellent from the beginning of the season to the very end. He basically WAS City’s attack throughout the course of the year, and his absence was painfully evident in the playoff loss to Cleveland.

Breakout Player: Will Mellors-Blair (ST) I have to give this one to WMB as well. He was a solid player in 2014, but he elevated his game to a completely different level this year. And, with preseason injuries to Zach Myers and Javi Bautista, things could’ve gotten ugly if he hadn’t.

Unsung Hero: Troy Watson (CM) By the end of the year, his play was garnering more and more attention, but for much of the season, he was just an anonymous guy that happened to be playing a lot and having a significant, if not easily noticeable, impact. His emergence as a strong defensive-minded central midfielder helped shield the back line and greatly contributed to the team resolving its early season struggles with allowing too many goals.

Detroit City FC All-time Best XI

Updates for 2015: WMB, Dave Edwardson, Alex Isaevski, and Bret Mollon bump Jeff Adkins, Kevin Taylor, Zeke Harris, and Jeremy Clark, respectively

2015bestXI

Subs (7): Knox Cameron (ST), Jeff Adkins (Wing/ST), Kevin Taylor (CM), Zeke Harris (RB), Seb Harris (CB/RB), Nick Lewin (CB/LB/RB), Jeremy Clark (GK)

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Postseason

During and after the season, a few notable fansites are launched: DCFC Fancast – the first podcast dedicated to all things City; Michael Kitchen’s game-by-game scrapbook project; the new NGS website (with the brilliant domain name: noonelikes.us).

September The end of two eras: Josh Rogers, City’s first and only captain, calls it a career; The 2015 DPS Showcase marks City’s final appearance at Cass Tech.

October – To fund the renovations to City’s new home, Keyworth Stadium, an ambitions community investment program is announced.

As of today, less than two months from the deadline, around $150,000 still needs to be raised. Click here to learn more.

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This brings us to the end. 2015 was a year of tremendous growth, not only for the club, but for yours truly. Hopefully next year has more of the same in store. See you all in 2016!

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2014 Season Wrap

[Ed: About two months late but I finally got around to it.]

Overview

Head Coach: Ben Pirmann

Captain: Josh Rogers

NPSL Great Lakes West Conference: 2nd

NPSL Midwest Regional Playoffs: Did not qualify

101st Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: First Round

Rust Belt Derby: Winner (2nd time)

Top Goalscorer (All Competitions): Will Mellors-Blair (5)

Black Arrow Award (Team MVP): Cyrus Saydee

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Friendlies

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101st Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

usoc

Regular Season

2014rs

Final Standings

2014table

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Predictions Revisited

In part III of this year’s season preview, I made a few predictions. Let’s see how I did.

2014 GLW Predicted Order of Finish / Actual Finish

1. Detroit City FC / 1. Lansing United

2. Lansing United / 2. Detroit City FC

3. Cincinnati Saints / 3. Indiana Fire

4. Michigan Stars / 4. Michigan Stars

5. Westfield Select / 5. Cincinnati Saints

Going into the season, I thought Lansing United would be the strongest of the four expansion teams in the conference, and they proved me right, not only putting forth a strong showing, but making it all the way to the NPSL semifinals. Right after I picked Westfield Select to finish last, they went out and got affiliated with the Chicago Fire. The ensuing infusion of youth talent allowed them to make a serious run at the conference title before they fell off in the final weeks. I also misfired on Cincinnati, who turned out to be far worse than expected.

5 Wild Guesses

1. Wade Allan will score at least 4 goals – He’s overdue, and should see more playing time with Knox Cameron gone.

Verdict: Incorrect. The emergence of Will Mellors-Blair at striker limited Allan’s playing time to mostly sub appearances.

2. Pirmann will experiment with a winger at striker – My guess is Jeff Adkins.

Verdict: Partially correct. Adkins, VanSlooten, and Saydee spent good parts of games playing near or just behind the forward line, but all remained primarially wingers or midfielders.

3. Josh Rogers will not start every single game – The depth at CB will allow Pirmann to rest him from time to time.

Verdict: Correct. Rogers did not start on June 20th at Indiana.

4. Over the course of the regular season, DCFC will score at least 40 goals and give up fewer than 10 – They scored 35 and gave up 8 in 2013, and even though that was in 12 games as opposed to 14, this schedule looks weaker.

Verdict: Incorrect. The conference turned out to be stronger than anticipated, and City’s final numbers were 30 goals for, 17 against.

5. Average home attendance will be 1750 and the 3000 mark will be topped at least once.

Verdict: Correct, but too conservative. Regular season average attendance came in at over 2800, with four games (including a friendly) of over 3000.

 Goals of the Year

#3 Jeff Adkins free kick – 6/29 vs. Indiana

adkins

#2 Will Mellors-Blair toe rocket – 7/6 vs. Cincinnati

No footage available so I’ll describe it for you – Second half, City up 1-0 and attacking the west goal (i.e. the one not shown in the above GIF). Low cross comes in from the left wing towards WMB who is making a run towards the box from the right wing. As the ball comes across his body, he hits it with his right toe, blasting it into the upper left corner of the goal. Perfect technique and timing.

#1 Shaun Claud Lawson ankle-breaker – 7/11 vs. Fort Pitt (also the NPSL GOTY)

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Different angle, just as dirty:

Season Best XI

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MVP: Cyrus Saydee (W/MF) Started every game and was City’s most consistent and creative attacking player. His performance reportedly earned him tryouts with Toronto FC and several unnamed NASL sides. There hasn’t been any word on how those went, but I assume we would’ve heard something by now if he had made a team. I’m hoping he gets the opportunity to participate in a bigger club’s preseason training camp where he would have more of an opportunity to make an impression than a one-off tryout. If he made the cut, it would add to the list of DCFC alumni who have made it to the pros; if he didn’t, then we would get our best player back, fresh off of several weeks of training at a higher level with professional players.

Breakout Player: Will Mellors-Blair (ST) My preseason pick of Tyler Arnone was working out well until he had to leave the team midway through the season. That makes WMB the easy choice here. His speed and finishing ability noticeably improved the team’s attack whenever he was on the field, and he ended up as City’s top goalscorer in 2014.

Unsung Hero: Nick Lewin (LB/RB/CB) Started at least one game at every position on the back line, beginning the season at left back and finishing as mostly a right back once Colin McAtee left the team. He seemed more comfortable and confident than he was in 2012 and early 2013, and his versatility proved to be a huge asset to the team.

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Detroit City FC All-time Best XI

Updated to include this season. I’ve re-thought my original lineup (found at the end of this post) and decided to put more of an emphasis on on-field impact, and less on overall length of service. Here’s what I came up with:

14alltimeXI

Subs (7): Knox Cameron (ST), Will Mellors-Blair (ST) Miche’le Lipari (Wing), Spencer Thompson (CM), Dave Edwardson (CM), Nick Lewin (RB/LB/CB), Bret Mollon (GK)

Adkins/Lipari is a tossup, but I’ll go with Adkins for now, probably because I’ve just watched his free kick goal ten times in a row. Center midfield is also very close – you could make an argument for any combination of those four. I decided to put Bedell into the XI not because of his recent success with Columbus, but because, along with Rogers, he’s the best defender City has had in its short history. Goalkeeper was the toughest decision – both Clark and Mollon have about an equal number of starts, but I gave Clark the slight nod because of his outstanding play from 2012 when the team was brand new and still finding its footing.

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