Detroit City FC has revenge on its mind.
Old rivalries will be renewed on the pitch this weekend when former Great Lakes conference opponents — the Erie Admirals and FC Buffalo — line up against Le Rouge for two pivotal midseason battles.
Many returning players and well-versed supporters might recall the day Erie spoiled City’s unbeaten record and slammed the door on what was expected to be a deep playoff run in 2013. Those memories weren’t the most joyful times for the Le Rouge faithful, but the slate can be washed clean when Friday’s rematch with the Admirals begins at 7:30 p.m. at Cass Technical High School.
Friday’s match will function as a charity match, similar to the one designed to assist the Hooligans for Heroes project last season. This year, the match will “kick off” pride weekend in Detroit, and an auction of game-worn jerseys that supporting LGBT inclusion in sports will occur after the game. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit benefit the Ruth Ellis Center — a shelter that aims to provide short and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender, and questioning youth.
After all the festivities wind down Friday night, DCFC will have just a day off before heading back on the road to FC Buffalo for Sunday’s match that is set to kick off at 2 p.m.
FC Buffalo (1-1-2) and Erie (1-0-3) have both gotten off to slow starts in the 2014 National Premier Soccer League campaign, currently sitting in second and third place, respectively, in the Great Lakes East Conference behind first-place AFC Cleveland. Erie’s lone win of the season came on Sunday, June 1, with a 2-1 victory at FC Buffalo.
City, too, is coming off a successful road trip — its first of the season — after beating the Cincinnati Saints 3-2 on May 30, thanks to a game-winning goal in stoppage time from Michael Lamb. Just two days later, at the Indiana Fire, William Mellors-Blair was the hero after finding an equalizer in the 45th minute to knot the game at 2-2. As that score would never change throughout the second half, DCFC was able to maintain its unbeaten season and head home with a 4-1-0 record.
Back in the comfort of Cass Tech, Le Rouge will aim to continue a string of success that hardly any other NPSL teams can boast. At home this season, Detroit City FC is 3-0-0, scoring five total goals without conceding once in three games.
Goal differential isn’t the only encouraging home statistic, either, as attendance numbers continue to soar throughout the 2014 season. In the most recent home match, a 1-0 win over Lansing United, Le Rouge played in front of a sell-out crowd for the first time in club history. For that reason, it’s recommended that fans grab tickets to Friday’s match soon while a limited number still remain for sale online at detcityfc.com.
After proving its ability to battle in road matches, City’s brief stint at home will be sandwiched between three consecutive road games before returning back to Cass Tech on June 29. The players will likely enjoy being back in familiar territory and the supporters will be able to rejoice for the same reason.
However, players, coaches, and supporters alike are well aware that a slew of unfinished business against Erie will be the reason to sing Friday night.