2017 NPSL Midwest Divisions

I am alive. I haven’t written anything in four months mainly for two reasons: (1) This season burned me out and I just didn’t friggin feel like doing anything for a while, and (2) Unlike 2015, this fall was utterly devoid of any real news pertaining to City.

Things have perked up over the last few weeks, however, and now there are a few items worthy of discussion. I planned on covering the NASL/USL/MLS expansion drama and what it has to do with City, but I’ve decided to save that for my annual State of the Club post which will be up sometime in January. Maybe by then the NASL will have kicked the bucket and will make my analysis that much easier, but for now I’d like to focus on the latest annual reshuffling of the NPSL’s Midwest divisions.

Sidenote: I’m going to call them “divisions” even though the league bizarrely insists on calling them “conferences.” In every major sport in North America, the nomenclature goes: League – Conference – Division, with a descending number of teams in each. NPSL for some reason goes: League – Region – Conference. Everyone I know uses the word “division” to describe the group of teams that City plays in the regular season, and it just sounds better, so that’s what I’m going with.

Anyway,  the formats of the past two years (single 12-team table in 2015, east & west divisions in 2016) seemed to provide good balance and worked well – i.e. the teams that truly deserved to make the playoffs made it and the ones that didn’t deserve it didn’t.

With the rebooting of the old Central Division, now known as the North, the Midwest Region is returning to the unbalanced, poorly structured format of 2014, in which Detroit City finished one point behind Lansing United for most overall points, but failed to qualify for the 4-team playoff because it didn’t win its division and had a lower points-per-game average than the wildcard qualifier.

Not to dwell on the past, but just look how stupid this is:

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Number Crunchin’: 2016 Attendance

Photo by Detroit City FC
Photo by Detroit City FC

Your annual look at Detroit City FC’s home attendance numbers.

Links to previous editions:     2013     2014     2015

Data Sources:

Detroit City FC attendance numbers are announced at games and posted to the club’s official Twitter account.

NASL numbers: Soccer Stadium Digest

USL-Pro numbers: Wiki page/kenn.com

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Previous home attendance averages (competitive matches only):

2012: 1295  CLICK HERE for game-by-game table
2013: 1715  CLICK HERE for game-by-game table
2014: 2857  CLICK HERE for game-by-game table
2015: 3528  CLICK HERE for game-by-game table

Final numbers for 2016:

2016att

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Resurget Cineribus

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Photo by Konrad Maziarz
Photo by Konrad Maziarz
Photo by Konrad Maziarz

Detroit City’s 2016 season has come to an end, the last wisps of colored smoke have dissipated, and the last supporter has just now been served his beer at Fowling Warehouse.* Time to take a look at the good, the bad, and what City must do to bounce back in 2017.

What Went Right:

I mentioned this in a recent post but allow me to expound on it. Despite the match results this season, City played some of its prettiest and most skillful soccer ever. Whereas the teams that played at Cass Tech tended to rely mainly on long aerial passes to get the ball to speedy strikers such as Will Mellors-Blair, this year’s edition showed more of an ability to execute quick, short passes and maintain possession in the opponent’s half of the field. As the record showed, they weren’t quite able to put all the pieces together, but you could see a definite attempt by Ben Pirmann to grow and evolve the team’s style of play. The hope is that next year they’ll be able to master the lesson.

Another bright spot was the emergence of several young players who could play vital roles in the years to come. First and foremost was Omar Sinclair, who appeared in all 12 league matches and led the team in minutes played (903).

Photo by Dion Degennaro
Photo by Dion Degennaro

A starting centerback position is his to lose heading into 2017. At the attacking end, Spiro Pliakos and Alec Lasinski both showed exciting potential, Pliakos as a slick-dribbling winger, and Lasinski as an attacking midfielder with a style similar to Tommy Catalano. One more name to remember is Andrew Dalou, yet another winger/attacking mid who did well in limited action late in the season. All four of these players will be entering their sophomore seasons in college and should only improve as they gain more experience and mature physically.

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Further On Up The Road

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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

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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

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One sunny mornin’ we’ll rise I know

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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

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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

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

10

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