By Andrew Streitel/Kalamazoo FC
Kalamazoo FC hosted Detroit City FC on Saturday in the team’s final match of the season. The
highly anticipated match did not disappoint as both teams played well and DCFC was able to
secure a 3-1 victory over KZFC.
Detroit City FC came into the match with a 11-game unbeaten streak with their only loss of the
season courtesy of KZFC earlier in the year. With the Great Lakes Conference championship
already secured, DCFC looked to earn a first-round bye in the Midwest Region playoffs with a
The excitement began right from kickoff as KZFC almost opened up the scoring in the fifth
minute. A KZFC free kick was sent into the box and Dalton Michael took a shot from close
range but a DCFC defender was able to clear it off the goal line. DCFC would score the game’s
first goal just a few minutes later.
A penalty kick was given to DCFC in the eighth minute after a tackle by Carson Brinks in the
box. Max Todd calmly stepped up to take the kick and smashed the ball into the bottom right
corner giving DCFC the early 1-0 lead.
“This group bounces back from adversity very well and they kept fighting and we scored a goal
of our own,” said Kalamazoo FC head coach Brian Clements. “When it was 1-1 I thought we had
a chance, we created some good opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the net.”
The game then went back and forth and KZFC would find the equalizer in the 25 th minute.
Michael was able to secure a cross and laid the ball back to Isaiah Nieves whose shot beat the
keeper to tie the game at 1-1.
“Our offense was very disciplined throughout the season and knew the connections would
come,” said Clements. “There was a lot of individual growth throughout the season from the
guys up front.”
The game would go into halftime tied at 1-1 with both teams playing well and creating many
chances on net. However, goalkeepers from both clubs played extremely well throughout the
Things settled down a bit in the second half as DCFC started to see more of the possession.
There were no clear chances for either team in the first 25 minutes of the second half. However,
things changed quickly as DCFC found the game winning goal in the 71 st minute.
Abdoulaye Diop dribbled through three KZFC defenders as he made his way into the goal box.
Diop made a slight cut to his left and rifled a shot into the upper 90 that was able to beat Isaac
Walker and give DCFC the 2-1 advantage.
“We gave up a goal that was tough, we had a lot of defenders in the area but didn’t win the tackle
and it was a rough goal to give up,” said Clements.
Kalamazoo FC pushed men forward looking for the equalizer again but were unable to create a
real goal scoring opportunity. DCFC topped the game off with a late goal in stoppage time as
Tommy Buono got behind the KZFC defense and curl a shot into the net. DCFC secured the 3-1
victory and earned a first-round bye in the Midwest Region playoffs.
Kalamazoo FC finished in fourth place in the conference with a record of 6-3-5. This was the
best season yet for KZFC in their four-year history as a club. The future looks bright for the club
as they continue their quest for a conference championship.
“This team raised the standard for what Kalamazoo FC has to deliver every season,” said
Clements. “Now this club needs to be fighting for a championship every year.”
Photo Credit: Jay Pike