(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.
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.