Whatever tension may have lingered over Keyworth Stadium in advance of tonight’s Detroit City FC match against FC Indiana – victims of an 11-0 log-rolling just five days ago in the reverse fixture of this home-and-home series – didn’t linger long, as Le Rouge took the NPSL Great Lakes Conference’s only winless team to the woodshed early and often en route to an 8-nil rout.
In retrospect, the outcome seemed as inevitable as gravity. City’s impressive depth and organizational strength presents a stark contrast with the fledgling Hoosier squad, and the boys in rouge dominated every passage of play for the second straight match – indeed, for many, the only question after the opening minutes was how much money the Northern Guard’s Prideraiser pledges for the Ruth Ellis Center would raise for Detroit’s at-risk LBGTQ+ youth. By the time the smoke cleared, the answer was knowable: 8 goals x $719.02 per goal means that this outing not only lifted City to the top of the Great Lakes table, but also raised an astonishing $5,752 for this amazing cause.
“You wanna enjoy what you do, and we can’t control our opponent, y’know?” Detroit City FC manager Ben Pirmann said. “They kept it 1-0 for 40 minutes and made it tough, then they get the red card and the floodgates open.”
FC Indiana did keep the game under control in the early stages, playing cannily from a deep set and looking to hit the favored hosts on the counter. An early free kick goal for Stephen Carroll gave City the narrow advantage – his low near-post shot somehow pushing through Indiana keeper Sebatian Uranga’s gloves – but Le Rouge struggled to fashion another clean look thereafter, controlling possession but not making much happen.
In the 39th minute, the game cracked wide open for City. The Rouge press turned the ball over in midfield, with Shawn Lawson in attendance, chasing down the forward ball – but Uranga was also there, trying to challenge, just a couple of yards outside the penalty area. When Lawson’s touch threatened to play the ball into the space behind him, Uranga smothered the ball with his arm. As Uranga had drawn a caution in the third minute for an earlier venture outside the box, the yellow that came from this misadventure meant his night was over, and Indiana was overcome with obstacles – down a goal, down a man, with Northern Guard braying for blood and the Ruth Ellis Center in line for a massive payday.
The onslaught didn’t wait for halftime. Like on Sunday, when City got goals, they came in bunches. Just before stoppage time, Carroll headed a City corner down in the zone, leaving it for Lawson to clean up: 2-0. Barely 30 seconds later, with the smoke still standing in the air and the post-goal songs still being sung, Rafa Mentzingen took in Lawson’s switching pass and chipped Uranga’s replacement, Kyle Bugay, from deep on the left wing: 3-0, at the stroke of halftime.
The break didn’t stop the madness. City, energized and up a man, subbed liberally but never let its iron grip on the match slip. Lawson got pushed down in the area, then Sebby Harris crushed a penalty: 4-0. Trevor Amann, looking sharp in a reserve appearance, flags down a leading pass from Dave Edwardson in the right channel and crushes a clean finish to the top bins: 5-0.
The goals continued to pile up as fresh faces piled into the game for City. In the 72nd, the best of the bunch came from a bit of pressure by George Chomakov, whose feed to the attacking zone found Jake Rudel moving contrariwise across the area, the better to slip a through ball for Brogan Shrimpton to finish: 6-0. Edwardson, troubled in the early going this season by a knee injury, confirmed his return to full health with a walloping finish from 22 yards: 7-0. Finally, Amann and Rudel combine to win the ball, with Amann again finishing crisply to end the move: 8-0.
“To be honest, the ball just ran across, and I thought why not – it’s one where you hit it one out of 10 and it goes in, and it was that one,” Edwardson said of his goal. “I just came across it, connected nice and it came good really.”
Despite the scoreline, no one in the Spirit of Detroit badge seemed overly impressed.
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves. We’re far far away from where we need to be,” Pirmann said. “Fitness has got to improve, although I think the work rate is getting better, focus is getting better. But we’ve got to get guys, everybody on the same plays, and that includes quote, our stars, unquote, which, y’know we didn’t play everybody tonight.”
Detroit City FC (3-0-1) travels to FC Columbus Sunday afternoon.
Contributor: Sean Spence/Detroit City FC
Photo Credit: DCFC/Jon DeBoer