There are days when nothing works, when even the simplest things seem bound by some eldritch will. You can’t find your car keys. You get a blister on your heel and limp about. Your 10:30 meeting turns into an 11:30 meeting that denies you lunch. Your ignored stomach turns sour, ruining dinner. Everything starts to look as if it’s had a subtle matte finish sprayed on, a world of half-hues and encroaching darkness.
Then there’s days like Tuesday at Keyworth Stadium. After a lost-keys, limping-with-a-blister kind of a regular season in 2018, Detroit City Football Club hosted Windsor TFC in clubs’ annual cross-border friendly and painted City’s present moment in vibrant jewel-tones, dominating all phases of play en route to a thoroughgoing 4-0 rout.
“I always tell the guys that, when you pull this shirt on, wear this badge, you’re representing something,” DCFC manager Ben Pirmann said. “I feel like our guys showed tonight that they really do understand that.”
The strength in depth of the Le Rouge’s roster was on display throughout the evening. The winning goal came in the 38th minute, as City maestro Cyrus Saydee - relegated to a lesser role for most of the year - took in a long outlet pass from Jonathan Barnes and slowed conspicuously, letting the runs around him mature, before picking out an inch-perfect through ball to Kervin Kenton breaking forward on the left flank. Kenton’s cross to Shawn Lawson, who was attacking the goal on a diagonal run from the right side, was placed right on the striker’s head, making it a simple matter for Lawson to head back across goal for a lead Detroit City would never relinquish.
Another long-time City stalwart, Jeff Adkins, set up the second goal. Five minutes after halftime, Adkins took in a long ball from defender Santiago Amigo on the right flank and drove infield with the ball at his feet, causing a general defensive stampede around the area. Adkins then expertly exploited the chaos he’d created, sliding a diagonal ball through the top of the area onto the run of the late-arriving Kenton, whose unfussy finish made it 2-0.
The game was gift-wrapped by a late-game brace from Trevor Amann, who had seen his apparently goal in the 26th incorrectly ruled out for offside. In the 73rd, Amann was the first to get to a bobbling pass from Adkins, viciously slashing a right-footed shot through traffic into the top of the goal. Then in the 78th, it was Amann again, this time running at a retreating defense and spotting the keeper overcommitted to his near post. His back-post finish from 20 yards sent Northern Guard into a continuous frenzy of smoking and shouting that only ended with the final whistle.
The Era of Good Feelings vibe around the match wasn’t hurt by a halftime ceremony that honored Stephen Carroll as the Black Arrow MVP for 2018. The bicycle that is given to the winners of the award couldn’t go to Carroll, owing to NCAA rules, so Seb Harris gleefully rode it once ‘round the pitch while displaying his signature windmill goal celebration.
“I played two years ago for Muskegon Risers; after the season, they were saying ‘You’re too good for this, you should play somewhere else,’” Carroll said. “I had no idea, so they told me about the clubs - Grand Rapids, Lansing, some others, and obviously Detroit.
”As soon as I saw videos of Detroit, I said ‘I’ve gotta come here.’ The fans here are crazy - this crowd has to draw the top players, you know? It’s a professional environment. If you’re worried about getting ready for the next level, it’s absolutely everything.”
Detroit City has one more joy-ritual left this season, and it happens at Keyworth in one week, when Le Rouge host Frosinone Calcio in an international friendly. Tickets are still available for the match, which is slated to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on July 31, and can be had at http://tickets.detcityfc.com.
DETROIT CITY FC 4, WINDSOR TFC 0
DCFC 1 3 - 4
WTFC 0 0 - 0
Goals: DCFC - Lawson (Kenton) 38’, Kenton (Adkins) 51’, Amann 73’ (Adkins), 78’ (Saydee).
Shots: DCFC 12, WTFC 8.
Shots on goal: DCFC 7, WTFC 4.
Corners: DCFC 10, WTFC 0.
Fouls: DCFC 10, WTFC 6.
Discipline: WTFC - Aguilar 35’.
Detroit City FC (4-4-2): Jewett (Favero 46’, Mendes 84’); Tomasino, Kenton (Barnes 63’), Carroll (Kenton 79’), Busaidy (Harris 32’); Svehlik (Edwardson 77’), Edwardson (Lawson 63’), Chomakov (Amigo 10’), Barnes (Amann 46’); Lawson (Adkins 46’), Amann (Saydee 32’).
Windsor TFC (4-3-3): Mollahassani; Woodfull, Kelly, Moy, Torres-Lopez (Gbadebo 35’); DaSilva, N Pio, Wolf (Serwatka 35’); Ferri, DiMeo, M Pio.