HAMTRAMCK, Michigan - Detroit City FC opened their 2021 NISA Spring Season at Keyworth Stadium against Maryland Bobcats FC - marking their first game in front of fans in 553 days.
Le Rouge started things off on the front foot and seemed to feed off the energy of the live supporters. Things began to even out as the Bobcats' high-pressing and disruptive style of play gave the City players trouble keeping any spell of possession for too long.
The caginess began when #22 Kevin Venegas showed off his deft touch and dribbled the ball through a Bobcat player's legs. #77 Nicolas Brown blocked Venegas from reaching the ball after that for the match's first yellow card in the 26th minute. Despite some more opportunities in the half, nothing provided a clear chance at goal.
That would change in the second half as Trevor James was ready to make the tweaks necessary for his side to gain some momentum. First up, #14 Javi Steinwascher was sent on for #19 Pato Botello. The move sparked some offense as Le Rouge players could send balls into the box for Steinwascher and his speedy legs to find.
James again made a clever substitution with the half progressing by sending newly signed #2 Jimmy Filerman on for #10 Cyrus Saydee. Filerman was immediately dangerous down the left flank and sent in some near-assists if not for the hands of Bobcat goalkeeper #1 Joel Isyaq. Both #11 Connor Rutz and #14 Javi Steinwascher had good shots denied.
Finally, in the waning minutes, City earned a corner kick that would prove to be the match's pivotal moment. Venegas sent in a ball with his patented pin-point accuracy, and #4 Anthony Manning leaped above everyone to head it down and into the goal.
Manning wasted no time to lead his teammates to celebrate the occasion amongst the DCFC supporters, a reunion nearly a year and a half in the making.
The match would finish 1-0 as Le Rouge sent their faithful fans home satisfied.
Up next for the Detroit City FC men's team is an away matchup in New York against New Amsterdam FC on May 7 at 7:00 pm.
Match: Detroit City FC vs. Maryland Bobcats FC
Date: May 1, 2021
Competition: NISA Spring Season
Venue: Keyworth Stadium - Hamtramck, Mi
Kickoff: 7:35 pm ET
Weather: 64 degrees, cloudy
Lineup: 1-Nathan Steinwascher, 4-Anthony Manning, 5-Stephen Carrol (Capt.), 15-Matt Lewis, 2-Kevin Venegas, 21-Maxi Rodriguez, 10-Cyrus Saydee ('80), 11-Connor Rutz, 6-Max Todd, 19-Pato Botello ('45), 20-Yazeed Matthews
Subs: 2-Jimmy Filerman (‘80), 3-Javan Torre, 7- Roddy Green, 14-Javi Steinwascher (‘45), 17-Beni Tanyi, 87-Eric Perilla, 99-George Chomakov
Check out the NISA's Match Facts here: https://nisasoccer.com/match-center/198/dcfc-vs-mbfc