Only two games into the season, Detroit City FC has a long way to go in the 2015 campaign, but nonetheless, there are a few trends we have already noticed. A 3-3 draw against Saginaw Valley paired with a 1-0 defeat to Michigan State means head coach Ben Pirmann had plenty to take in.
Here is what we have learned so far:
Fitness must improve
Fitness has been a significant issue so far against teams like SVSU and Michigan State that have been playing together all year. The older veterans on the squad that played in the first two preseason games have not been together year-round like the college teams, so they will need to put in some extra work to keep up. Pirmann has made it clear to his squad that if they want to get into the starting 11, fitness should not even be a question.
“Any problems we have right now goes back to one thing, and that’s fitness,” Pirmann said. “We are far away from being fit. I told the guys if they want a chance to be playing this season, they have got to be fit. If these guys aren’t fit, we’ve got other guys that will be.”
With training camp underway and the team's first home match on Saturday, May 9, Pirmann can finally evaluate how the veterans match-up with newer players in terms of physicality, intensity, and fitness, and he will be able to determine who can play a full 90 minutes.
The team can create chances
Even though Le Rouge couldn’t find the back of the net against Michigan State, they proved that the offense has potential to score goals in numbers. DCFC tallied 11 shots against the Spartans, forcing three different goalkeepers to make crucial saves.
One key player in the attack force is Cyrus Saydee (Michigan State), who demonstrated his threatening pace on a one-man counter attack, flying down the pitch and drawing a penalty kick versus the Spartans. Possibly the most dangerous player for Le Rouge so far has been Zach Myers (SVSU), who scored against Saginaw Valley, running forward to connect with a through-ball and slipping the shot past the keeper. Myers has proven his ability to find space in and around the penalty area, putting himself in position to score.
Midfielder George Chomakov (Schoolcraft C.C.) is also responsible for one of DCFC’s three goals in preseason action, and as a large presence in the midfield, he has helped generate goal-scoring opportunities.
With experienced forwards like Wade Allan (Oakland) matching up with the incoming, fresh collegiate players, DCFC is bound to continue creating chances going forward. With all these opportunities, sooner or later the goals will follow.
The best is yet to come
Two very different outcomes to open up the season means there is certainly plenty left to learn before making any bold statements, but it is safe to say that we haven’t seen everything yet. Now that the college players have finished their semesters, the competition and level of play will rise. A group of five Wolverines from the University of Michigan join Le Rouge for training camp, along with a pair of Cardinals from SVSU that Pirmann has spoken fondly of.
One of these Cardinals, Troy Watson, scored against DCFC in the inaugural game of the season, chipping a shot from just outside the 18-yard box over the head of the City goalkeeper Dave Ristich (Rochester College).
“I know the college guys inside and out, so I know what they’re going to bring to the table,” Pirmann said. “These guys, however, that I’ve just coached two years, I have no idea what they’re going to give me.”
Fresh out of their spring seasons, the college players will help on all ends, solidifying the defense and adding flair to the attack. Saturday, DCFC will take on the Muskegon Risers Soccer Club for their last preseason game, and Pirmann is confident that the team will continue to grow.
– Ted Janes, DCFC Staff Writer