Season Preview 2017: Delirium

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Photo by Jon DeBoer
Photo by Jon DeBoer

I stood alone on a pristine green field. A cloud of smoke hung heavy in the cool night air and I smelled the freshly cut grass beneath my feet. Off in the distance, a deer with an impressive set of antlers spotted me and bolted away as fast as he could. As the wind blew, I caught an echo of voices…

“Who are ya? Who are ya? Who are ya?

I turned to my left and circled around expecting to see a crowd of people, but no one was there.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something moving toward me. A chill went up my spine as I saw a blurry, shifting mass. It reminded me of a badly out of focus photo, but it was constantly fluctuating and seemed to be taking the vague shape of a person.

It first appeared as a Spartan warrior, then became a giant version of his helmet. Next it appeared as a five-pointed star, and then finally returned to its original shapeless form.

I don’t know why it was there, but I got the vague feeling that it wanted to fight me. After a few minutes of nothing happening, I decided to walk away. The mass followed and I could tell that it was trying to shape itself in my image but was failing horribly.

I ran, reaching a wooded area with tall trees. Dead leaves crunched underfoot as I moved deeper into the forest. I was alone once again.

Except, that is, for the animals that called this place home. In the moonlight I could see a squirrel climbing down from its nest.

When it caught sight of me, rather than running away it came right up, slowly growing and growing as it got closer. It stood up on its hind legs. With the voice of a prepubescent boy it began to speak.

“You suck,” it said.

I responded with the universal statement of the bewildered.

“Um, what?”

“I said you suck. Your team missed the playoffs, your stadium is a pile of rubble, and your city is dead.”

Reflexively, I responded. “Well it’s true we had a down year but we’ll bounce back… Wait! You’re a squirrel. Why am I arguing with a freakin’ squirrel?”

It continued, undeterred. “You don’t even watch the games. You just go to act tough and get your picture taken. Your team can’t defend the counter. Your club will be gone in a few years.”

On he went, staring at me with his beady little eyes. Suddenly he lunged at me, baring his sharp teeth.

A mighty ax appeared in my hand and I rose up to defend myself. The shining steel shone in the moonlight as I swung it downward, cleaving the rodent in two. Its halves transformed into little whiffs of black smoke and vanished.

When the smoke cleared I noticed that I was in a clearing with a line of trees on either side and an island of them in the middle. I heard the rumble of hundreds of footfalls as a grand army of blue and white marched from right to left across the field. On and on and on they went in a seemingly endless mass.

I stepped forward, and as they took no notice of me, I walked alongside to get a better idea of their numbers. Much to my surprise, they were marching in a circle around the island of trees. From my previous vantage point, this had given the illusion that their host was many thousands strong. I now realized that the actual number was much lower. I’m not sure who they were trying to fool, but I knew their ruse wouldn’t be effective for very long.

Suddenly, I felt myself falling. Down and down I went, the previous visions flooding my mind, twisted and distorted.

With a flash of light I found myself on a field much the same as the first, yet here the midday sun blazed down and I felt a stifling heat. The setting seemed idyllic. Up above, strips of clouds lined the sky – rows of light blue and white stretching to the horizon.

Taking a step forward, though, I realized that the ground was littered with corpses. Some were fresh, others just skeletons that appeared to have been there for years. All wore shirts of darkened red.

I bent down to get a better look at the poor fellow closest to me. An eerie feeling crept over me and my heart began to race.

His eyes opened.

Shocked and horrified, I recoiled and stumbled, falling backwards. Everything went black.

—–

I awoke in a cold sweat, gasping for breath, my heart still pounding. Sitting up in the darkness, my mind was filled with the images I’d seen. They seemed so real, but they couldn’t have been… Could they?

I reached for the rouge and gold scarf hanging from the bedpost and pulled myself out of bed. Those things must’ve been products of a fever dream, terrors of some forgotten past that never really was.

I walked to the window and drew the curtain. It was early and quiet. The first light of day turned the horizon into a swath of purples and blues as it began to chase the darkness away. Wrapping the soft scarf around my neck, I caught the scent of sulfur in the air. My pulse returned to normal and I felt a growing warmth within.

A new day had come.

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.

Continue reading “The First Five Years – Best Matches”

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.

Further On Up The Road

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break

Where the road is dark, and the seed is sowed

1
Where the gun is cocked, and the bullet’s cold
Where the miles are marked in the blood and the gold

2

I’ll meet you further on up the road.

Got on my dead man’s suit, and my smilin’ skull ring
My lucky graveyard boots, and a song to sing

3

I got a song to sing, it keeps me out of the cold

4

And I’ll meet you further on up the road.

Further on up the road
Further on up the road
Where the way is dark and the night is cold

5

One sunny mornin’ we’ll rise I know

6

And I’ll meet you further on up the road.

Now I been out in the desert, just doin’ my time
Searchin’ through the dust, lookin’ for a sign

7

If there’s a light up ahead, well brother I don’t know
But I got this fever burnin’ in my soul.

8

Further on up the road
Further on up the road
Further on up the road
Further on up the road

9

One sunny mornin’ we’ll rise I know
And I’ll meet you further on up the road.

10

end