Detroit, Michigan — Detroit City FC’s USL Championship squad started off the day’s festivities at Keyworth Stadium with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham Legion FC thanks to a first-half goal from Maxi Rodriguez. Manager Trevor James elected to field the same starting 11 that saw DCFC secure three points in their last match against San Antonio FC on May 20.
Birmingham Legion made three changes to their backline from their midweek US Open Cup win against Charlotte FC of Major League Soccer, with center back #2 Ben Reveno, left back #33 Moses Mensah, and goalkeeper #1 Matt Van Oekel being given the nod.
It was a slow start to the first ten minutes of the match with Birmingham looking to build up through their backline swinging the ball from side to side. DCFC would respond with a high press of their own that would pose problems for Birmingham in the build up while creating chances of their own.
In the 11th minute DCFC would see their first sight on goal as #9 Ben Morris would find himself on the right flank driving at the defense and winning DCFC their first corner of the game.
In the 23rd minute Birmingham would get their first sight on goal with #15 Tyler Pasher finding himself in behind, on the left side of the six-yard box squaring a ball across to #19 Enzo Martinez who’s shot would be met on the goalline by DCFC #5 Captain Stephen Carroll to keep the score 0-0.
DCFC would find their breakthrough from a moment of individual brilliance, #21 Maxi Rodriguez would take the free kick he had just won which would be quickly cleared away, but come bouncing back to his feet on the right flank, allowing him to flick it over a defender, skip past a second man on the touchline, and curl the ball off the post into the far bottom corner with a brilliant trivela to give DCFC the lead.
DCFC would continue to build on their momentum as #9 Ben Morris would find himself one-on-one with a defender in the 18 yard box, slipping it to #2 Rhys Williams on his left whose shot would be saved by the goalkeeper.
In the 35th minute #30 Devon Amoo Mensah would cleverly win the ball back and look to start a counter attack, but be hacked down by #5 Mikey Lopez who would see a yellow card for his late tackle.
There would be just one change made during halftime as #24 Dominic Gasso would start the second half replacing the injured #8 Abdoulaye Diop.
The first action of the second half would come in the 53rd minute as #7 Skage Simonsen would find himself bursting into Birmingham’s defensive half, roll a ball out wide to #2 Rhys Williams whose cut back would find #11 Connor Rutz but his effort would be pulled just wide of the post.
In the 53rd minute Birmingham would look to the bench for the first time in the match bringing on #16 Gabriel Alves on for #33 Moses Mensah
As the match progressed Birmingham would begin to pin DCFC in their own half as they searched for an equalizer but Le Rouge continued to defend resiliently thanks to an impressive collective performance from DCFC’s backline.
In the 62nd minute DCFC would bring on #27 Yazeed Matthews, and #91 O’neil Fisher for #7 Skage Simonsen, and #9 Ben Morris.
Steinwascher’s first action of the second half would come as Birmingham found themselves driving down the right flank into the six yard box fashioning a shot on goal but their angle wasn’t tight enough to beat #1 Steinwascher at the near post.
In the final ten minutes DCFC set up shop and looked to protect their one goal lead as Birmingham began to commit more and more men forward. They were able to see out the 1-0 scoreline to secure all three points on a beautiful afternoon at Keyworth Stadium.
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Primary Media Contact: Jarrett Maki
(Sports Information Director, Jarrett.Maki@detcityfc.com)