The D Zone

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Detroit City FC drops US Open Cup game to Adria

Coming into the 2014 season, nothing but excitement filled the air for Detroit City FC fans, players, and owners.  The team was awarded a spot in the US Open Cup tournament and looking to take the team to a new level.  In their way was a scrappy RWB Adria Chicago team who scored both their goals off in close range, the final being 6-7 minutes into stoppage time in the 90th minute to tie the score.

The Croatian represented team controlled the early stages of the match, but newcomer, Tyler Arnone missed a shot from 20 yards out by a mere foot.  Adria would strike several minutes later in approximately 20th minute, following a throw in, the ball bounced around till an open player from Adria put the ball in the back of the net, in a pack of players.




Forest Hills Eastern / Saginaw Valley State, Forward Zach Myers caused endless rushes and opportunities for Detroit City but nothing, including a flick would result in a goal.

Both teams went back and forth with each other for mostly the whole 45 minutes besides the goal, that would be the lone goal at halftime.

Coming out to start the 2nd half, Detroit City FC used up all 15 minutes of break in the locker-room and walked out and was ready to play.

Detroit City FC brought in newcomer, William Mellors-Blair a native of England who plays at the University of Michigan.  Mellors-Blair and Zach Myers showed a little bit of chemistry and the dangers they will pose once they get more playing time and familiarity with each other on the pitch.

Early in the 2nd, Adria had an open look but Notre Dame Prep / Coastal Carolina Goalkeeper Coach, Bret Mollon made a diving stop to keep it a 1-0 deficit.

Both teams offense was on display as corner kicks and shots on goal were common, Mellors-Blair was flagged for offsides on a well timed through ball and beat the goalkeeper from short range but the sideline refs flag was up and the play was dead.

Detroit City FC turned up the pressure, subbing out Spencer Thompson in the midfield for Locky Savage.  In the 71st minute, Detroit City FC's key to success last year looked like a flash back.  A great build up with nifty passes, was capped off when Zach Myers found an open Tyler Arnone who finished it off by putting the ball in the back of the net.

The 71st minute saw a rejuvenation from the crowd, as the madness from the first goal of the season was scored.  The jumping around, hugs, high fives, first bumps, and YES Chant carried over to the team who looked more in sync and had several near chances.

Detroit City FC lined up for a corner kick, the kick taken by Mason / Michigan State, Ryan Thelen found the head of Ann Arbor Pioneer's Head Soccer Coach, Kevin Taylor who left no doubt to put Detroit City up 2-1.  Taylor last scored 11 years ago in a US Open Cup game to break the longest drought.




Detroit City FC controlled things down the final 10 minutes but RWB Adria rose their aggressiveness and fouls and chippy play were going on for every ball in the air.

DCFC had a chance in the final minutes with William Mellors-Blair and Zach Myers in a breakaway but Mellors-Blair shot was saved and Adria went in all out mode to equalize the game.  Adria's goalkeeper advanced on a few plays looking to score but a corner kick, scramble for the ball and a little tap was all Adria needed to silence the crowd after 6-7 minutes of stoppage time was added to the game.  The ref blew the whistle right after the goal to send the game into overtime.

Josh Rogers had a good chance in overtime but his shot sailed low and just feet away from the post.  Ryan Thelen unfortunately was taken out by a Adria player and wouldn't be able to return, leaving Detroit City down 1 man.

Being down 1 man, Detroit moved Mellors-Blair and Myers to wings on defense after 100+ minutes, teams only are allowed 3 subs in FIFA rules, so fatigue in the 1st game of the season was a major issue.  A boneheaded tackle in front of the DCFC bench by Adria resulted in a Red Card.  After just missing moments earlier with a shot that hit the post.

In the 116th minute, Zeke Harris tried to head the ball past the keeper, definitely a bang, bang play that would result in the GK and player asking how they were, ref would warn the offensive player.  Instead a Adria defender got in Harris' face and he walked away to run back to position until #9 who jarred at Kevin Taylor at midfield ran inside the 18 yard box and punched Harris in the face.  Harris retaliated and both players were Red Carded, with the ref still consumed and back turned to the punch, an Adria player collapsed and pretended he was injured but the head ref talked it over with his crew before a card for each team was given.




The score would remain 2-2 heading in a Penalty Kick shootout,  Detroit City FC had the first shot as silence fell upon the stadium and the shot was saved.  For Adria's penalty kicks, yells and shouts were in full force as Adria sunk all 3 shots.  For Detroit FC's 2nd shot silence again engulfed the stadium as the pressure was on and the shot went wide, Kevin Taylor too was welcomed with DCFC chants but a pin drop could be heard as his shot left his foot, the goalkeeper saved the shot, following a Mollon save and Arnone goal, Adria needed 1 more PK to win, which they did to come out a 2-2 winner in shootout to meet the Michigan Bucks next week.

The Le Rouge were a late addition to the tournament and looked to build off their performance heading into the Division games coming up.  An unfamiliar face awaits the Le Rouge on Saturday 1pm at Cass Tech High School, as the Cincinnati Saints make their NPSL debut.


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