By Cleveland SC
After a thrilling 120-minute 6-4 win in the Midwest Region semifinal against conference foe
Rochester, Cleveland SC came out to fight Detroit City FC at Keyworth Stadium for the
Midwest Region crown. Cleveland SC dressed 16 men as their possession midfielder and
penalty kick extraordinaire Admir Suljevic had to serve a red card suspension.
On a humid 80-degree day both sides got off to a quick pace. After several shots on goal and
continuous corner kicks by Cleveland SC in the first 30 minutes of play, DCFC managed to go
up 1-0 in the 40 th minute with a through ball that was tapped in by Shawn Lawson. After five
more minutes of DCFC attack, Max Todd was taken down in the box by Coletun Long for a
penalty kick. Todd converted for a 2-0 lead at half.
During the half, Cleveland players and coaches were satisfied with the play and strategy, just not
the result. Cleveland SC head coach Ryan Osborne decided to stick with the same strategy and
players that had created so many chances in the first half. It only took Tom Beck and Cleveland
SC six minutes to get their first goal to make a game of it in the 52nd minute. Where there is one
goal, many times there is another which Antonio Manfut proved with a flying streak down the
sideline to blast in a one-on-one with the keeper in the 60th.
Cleveland managed to keep up the momentum for 15 more minutes, but Tom Beck of CSC and
Will Perkins of DCFC received red cards and were sent off in a later incident. Down to 10 men,
each side began to tire in the hot sun and both had several chances each to walk away victorious.
However, both teams would remain in a stalemate throughout both overtime sessions allowing
penalty kicks to decide the match.
At this point, both CSC goal scorers are out of the match, but Osborne sent out his five best to
kick: Michael Derezic, Marijo Musa, Daniel Koniarzcyk, Corban McAvinew, and Vinny Bell in
that order. Tied at 3-3 on penalties, Bell rifled a shot into the net, putting the pressure on DCFC,
ultimately the final shot went over the crossbar and CSC walked away with the trophy.
Photo Credit: Danielle Marie Wright