Sunday, June 12, 2016

Detroit City FC misfortune continues with Lansing United draw

It was no secret heading into Keyworth Stadium on Sunday that Detroit City FC is having a tough go-of-it when it comes to NPSL matches in 2016, having only won a single game through the halfway point of the year. 

That did not change on Sunday when Lansing United came into town and forced a 2-2 tie, coming from behind on two separate occasions to impressively leave Hamtramck with a point, keeping the Great Lakes West standings in the same shape as it was prior to the match.

"Given how we played, the draw was probably good for us because we really didn't play well," Lansing United coach Nate Miller said. "What this team doesn't do is make excuses. 

"It's really hard to communicate during match day here at Keyworth, it was tough. They gave up some chances, but so did we. On this day, with this field and this atmosphere, it can get a little chaotic like that."

Detroit City FC's Jeff Adkins controlled Le Rouge's attack throughout the entire first half. Adkins created chance after chance by running rampant on the flank and putting the ball into the box, but the Lansing defense was able to thwart the chances. 

Adkins was dominant throughout the first twenty minutes by running tirelessly down the right side of the pitch. 

"This year Jeff is geared up and ready to go for City, he's passionate about this club," Detroit City FC coach Ben Pirmann said. "I can't say enough about those front four. Cyrus [Saydee], Danny [Deakin], Jeff [Adkins] and Tommy [Catalano]; they work their tails off and they're just great soccer players."

City had a handful of chances through the first fifteen minutes. First, with an Adkins cross that found the head of Troy Watson, but the attempt went wide. 

Eight minutes later, City's T..J. Stephens got on the end of a Omar Sinclair pass to try and put the bal behind United goalkeeper Jimmy Hague, but the 'keeper got a hand on the chance to push the ball wide. 

Tommy Catalano had his first chance of the evening in the 30th minute, when Zach Schewee played a ball over the top to Catalano, who was at the back post. Catalano was able to take a volley, but the ball went wide. 

But three minutes later, Catalano opened his 2016 goalscoring account, punching in the first goal of the match off of a Cyrus Saydee pass. 

After the break, Lansing United came out swinging by immediately pressing up the field right off of the kickoff. In the 46th minute, James DeCosemo equalized the match off of a corner. The ball found the back of the net after bouncing around in the box, somehow slipping past City goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher. 

Lansing United almost took its first lead of the evening, finding the ball in the air off of another corner, but this time Steinwascher was able to make a point-blank reaction save to keep the match knotted. 

The final 20 minutes of Sunday's entertaining affair, saw Lansing United's goalkeeper make a string of game-saving stops to keep his team alive. Hague was called on, time after time, finishing the night with ten saves. 

Jeff Adkins finally found the back of the net in the 78th minute, capping off his tremendous effort by giving City the lead with just over ten minutes to play. 

It looked like DCFC was finally going to earn its first NPSL home victory, until Alec Greene leveled the playing field in the 83rd minute to dash the supporters, players and coaches hopes of finally earning three points.

Supporters of Detroit City FC came into the Lansing United match with hopes of better days, attempting to will on its players by completing a black-out in the stands. They even silently voiced their displeasure at recent form on the field by turning all flags and banners upside down, as well as blackening out the entire supporters section with smoke. 

"I didn't notice the fans with so much going on. I ask our guys to work as hard as they can," said Pirmann. "Our fans put so much time, money and work ethic into it and I expect the same from our guys. 

"And we're doing it, but we're getting a bit snake-bitten on stuff because our defense has been poor. It's NPSL summer soccer. Line-ups change, things rotate and there's no consistency. 

"If you support DCFC and you watched that game, you should be happy with what you saw. Those guys that played, it was probably the best game that they've had."

Lansing United is in the same spot as Detroit City FC, both figuratively and literally in the standings, but Miller is trying to find some positivity going forward.

"I've been trying to use everything as positivity to move forward, and I think that we can [use today] because of what this place is and how hard it is to play here. We wanted to be the first team to win here.

"Draws can't be stepping stones anymore, the next one has to be a win and it's a perfect game to go to Ann Arbor. It's difficult but it's what these guys signed up for."

One thing is for sure, though. Both Detroit City FC and Lansing United have to pick up wins, and quick, or the two most tenured Great Lakes West clubs may find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the NPSL postseason.

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