Detroit City FC kicked off their sixth National Premier League Soccer (NPSL) campaign last weekend with a pair of draws against Milwaukee Torrent and Michigan Stars FC.
The results earned Le Rouge two points in the standings and a 0-0-2 (W-L-T) record.
It all began Friday, May 12, when DCFC came from behind late to tie the game thanks to Max Todd’s persistence in the box. Cyrus Saydee and Jeff Adkins scored the previous two goals for City in the contest. Head coach Ben Pirmann praised his team for their resilience in order to salvage the draw.
“I thought we fought hard on Friday night to get back into it after blowing some stuff,” Pirmann said.
The chippy home opener against the Torrent saw a total of 5,041 supporters under the lights at Keyworth Stadium.
On Sunday afternoon, DCFC was back in action against Michigan Stars FC in Berkley, Mich., where they tied again, 2-2. Although City was up 2-0 at the break, the Stars were able to fight their way back and equalize in the 90th minute.
The key difference in the match came in the 85th minute when DCFC was awarded a penalty kick for a Stars’ handball. Saydee took the penalty kick but was denied, keeping the window open for the Stars to tie.
Pirmann noted the importance of the missed penalty kick, but was more concerned with the team’s inability to finish tough defensively and seal the win.
“I had to make four substitutions that I didn’t want to,” Pirmann said “Our backline in the first half, which only gave up one shot, we had to sub two of those guys out. Then we had to sub out our holding midfield. But then tonight we didn’t finish it out.”
Captain David Edwardson and Adam Spinks scored Le Rouge’s goals in the match.
The weekend took a toll on several players physically. Despite the hardship, though, Pirmann said after Sunday’s match there are no excuses for giving up two-goal leads. He said the team must be “sharper” on individual defending and closing down spaces as a team.
“We’re dropping like flies physically,” Pirmann said. “We’ve got a crazy amount of injuries. But again, two games in a row, we’ve only kicked ourselves in the foot. It’s not a field, a referee, a smoke bomb, an injury – we just have to finish out games. Sounds probably like a record player, but I still think it’s two points dropped. Obviously when you’re up two goals at halftime, you can’t give that away.”
DCFC will have a week to train and recover before traveling to Ann Arbor next Sunday, May 21, to take on AFC Ann Arbor at Hollway Field. The Mighty Oak are 2-0-0 to start the season, with wins against Milwaukee and Kalamazoo.