By Detroit City FC
Detroit City FC opened its 2019 NPSL Members Cup campaign with a 2-1 triumph over Chattanooga FC, Saturday night, in front of 6,752 supporters at Keyworth Stadium.
The early going was filled with potential chances for Chattanooga that they could not convert into shots on target. A series of corners and fouls in dangerous areas led to just one dribbling shot into the waiting arms of keeper Nate Steinwascher. Having weathered the opening storm, DCFC were then able to branch out into some attacking play of their own.
It took Le Rouge until the 23rd minute to register a shot, but Marcello Borges made sure it counted, burying a chance created by Cyrus Saydee’s patient run in behind the Chattanooga defense. Saydee found himself all alone with the ball and needed to wait for reinforcements. When they came, his pass was right on the money and Borges cashed it in, 1-0.
“I think obviously, you know, it was a great performance for the first game,” Detroit City FC head coach Trevor James said. “With this new group, you know, they’re learning how to play with each other as we haven’t had a lot of time between seasons. That’s one of the stronger teams in the Members Cup so to get off to this good start is fantastic for the club going into this new era.”
Deakin, who replaced Shawn Lawson, would make it 2-0 in the 60th minute. When Ryan Peterson sent a big switch his way, Deakin turned on the jets, drew the keeper out, and finished past him to net the eventual game-winner.
City ended up needing that insurance goal, as Chattanooga would quickly answer Deakin’s tally with one of their own, in the 65th minute. Alun Webb struck on a play quite similar to Deakin’s. Markus Smarzoch played Webb in, and despite Steinwascher’s best efforts, Webb scored to make sure the pressure was on all the way through to the final whistle.
Steinwascher would go on to make three of his four total saves in the dying moments, with Chattanooga pushing everyone forward, pressing for a tying goal. The keeper once again stood tall and was equal to his task when it mattered most. His solidity in net has been invaluable during his time with Le Rouge.
Man of the Match honors went home with Marcello Borges, who scored his first goal for City, in addition to tracking back to make crucial defensive breakups on multiple occasions. Borges is the latest wing-back who has blossomed this season under James’ tutelage. The position has become increasingly important for DCFC, and it’s been fun to watch Borges stake his claim to it.
The win, paired with the draw between Milwaukee Torrent and New York Cosmos B tonight, puts Le Rouge in third place in the NPSL Members Cup standings, behind Milwaukee (1-0-1) and New York (1-0-1).
This long-awaited first competitive matchup between Detroit and Chattanooga did not disappoint.
The Boys in Rouge go again next Saturday, August 24th, against Napa Valley 1839 FC (0-1-0). The next step on the march through the NPSL Members Cup takes DCFC on its first-ever west coast road trip, with kickoff slated for 7:00 pm local or 10:00 pm ET.
Photo Credit: Jon DeBoer/DCFC