Despite a plethora of close chances, Detroit City FC couldn’t get on the scoreboard, falling 1-0 to Michigan State in a preseason friendly on Saturday, April 25.
Soon after the second-half kick off, the ball skipped out of bounds deep in DCFC’s defensive third. Michigan State’s Dewey Lewis’ long throw-in found the head of Jerome Cristobal, who hammered it into the back of the net. The powerful header proved to be the difference, as Le Rouge couldn’t find an answer at Hurley Field in Berkley, Mich.
DCFC’s greatest chance arrived in just the fourth minute of play. Le Rouge earned a penalty kick when a Spartan dragged down Cyrus Saydee (Michigan State) in the 18-yard box. Defender Josh Rogers (Michigan State) stepped up but failed to convert, sending the ball right into the hands of the diving goalkeeper, a costly miss for DCFC.
The rest of the first half was fairly even, highlighted by the midfield play of George Chomakov (Schoolcraft C.C.), who showed up all over the pitch, threading passes to and from his surrounding teammates.
One of the best players for Le Rouge on the day entered after the break. Zach Myers (Saginaw Valley State) gave DCFC a much-needed offensive boost in the attacking third. Early in the second half, speeding down the right flank step-for-step with a Spartan defender, Myers cut inside the penalty area to take on the keeper, but his point-blank shot struck high off the right post.
“(Myers) has got tremendous pace,” said DCFC coach Ben Pirmann. “The other thing about him is the guy is the hardest working kid on the field. He’s got to became a little more aware and little more technical with his hold up play, but he created chances on his own.”
DCFC’s other Zach, Zach Schewee (Bowling Green), also showed well on the night. His solid defensive play paired with his potent ability to get up and down the left side earned him Saturday’s M1 Man of the Match. As DCFC picked up the pressure in the second half, Schewee nearly tallied an assist, serving a low cross to the six-yard line where Myers scrambled to shoot but was blocked by a Michigan State defender.
Even though the team struggled to convert chances, Pirmann is confident his attack force will settle in soon enough.
“With Zach Myers and Wade Allan (Oakland) playing in those attacking spots along with a few of the guys coming in from college, we’re going to create a lot of danger going forward,” Pirmann said.
The raucous and electric cheers from the 1,108 supporters rang through the pitch, but the well-rounded Spartan force never skipped a beat, keeping its defensive formation intact all evening.
“Michigan State was probably the number one defensive team in the country last year, and we hit the post, missed a P.K. and they cleared some off the line,” Pirmann said. “If you create chances like that in a game, you’re going to score, and if you don’t, hats off to them.”
While Le Rouge found it difficult to capitalize on chances this weekend, the offensive batch exhibited their potential, something DCFC will look to improve on before the final preseason game at Cass Tech High School against the Muskegon Risers on May 9.
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