Saturday, May 13, 2017

Detroit City draws Milwaukee Torrent in league opener, defensive woes haunting the Rouge and Gold

Friday's NPSL match between Detroit City FC and the Milwaukee Torrent featured six goals, plenty of fouls and, what seemed like, never ending action. The Torrent's second league match, and Le Rouge's first of 2017, ended in a 3-3 draw, seeing two comebacks from Milwaukee and one from Detroit to see the share of points split.

A familiar foe, in the form of lapses in defensive concentration continued to be the biggest downfall for the Rouge and Gold, extending the trend of woeful defending following scoring and at the beginning of the second half that has plagued Detroit City for the last two seasons.

Supporters of Detroit City FC hadn't even finished celebrating goals for their club before the Torrent scored to keep the game close, or during celebrations of the second half starting. It's an issue that head coach Ben Pirmann is aware of, and says that the squad has been focusing on in training.

"I'm making decisions, these are silly mistakes. We defended restarts for twenty minutes yesterday at training, they scored on two services into the box. I think we just made mistakes," Pirmann told FTLOF. "We're playing the same defensive end as we did against Dayton and against them we didn't falter until we made subs.

"I don't think its a player issue, it's for sure a focus issue."

Le Rouge piled on the offense throughout the entire first half, coming close to earning a penalty kick in the second minute that was waved off by the official after a second of thought. In the 15th minute, eventually game saver Max Todd, came close to opening the scoring off of a corner, but the effort went wide.

Play began to get physical and aggressive around the 23rd minute as a 50/50 ball was played for Roddy Green to battle for against Stuart Grable. Grable took exception to the challenge for the ball and earned a yellow card after violently shoving Green to the ground.

Shortly after, Green went up for a header in the Milwaukee box but his header was pushed over the bar by the Torrent goalkeeper.

City's offensive pressure finally led to opening the scoring in the 40th minute by none other than Cyrus Saydee. Saydee has been on a goal scoring tear in 2017 and Friday's match was no exception, allowing his club to go up by one before the half.

The lead only lasted nine minutes though, and the Torrent brought the match level, at 1-1, a few minutes into the second half courtesy of Declan Rodriguez.

In the 58th minute Jeff Adkins scored a once-in-a-lifetime goal to put Le Rouge up 2-1, scoring directly from taking the corner kick, in a Michael Bradley-esque scoring chance, completely fooling the Torrent goalkeeper.

But once again, Adkins barely had time to celebrate his incredible goal before the visitors tied the match at two with a goal from Mark Hutchinson. Hutchinson let a shot go from outside the box and an unfortunate mistake from City goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher saw the ball hit the back of the net.

"The first goal, we have to clear the ball, we won the first three headers but we have to get it out. The second and third goals were disasters. That's stuff that happens in high school," Pirmann said. "Attacking is not our problem, those guys are really good. We got nipped on some stuff defensively.

"The quality of the team is not in question. We could have scored four goals in the first half but we didn't we scored one. One goal at home in a league game is not enough."

The game slowed down for a bit after the Torrent's second goal as DCFC kept pushing forward to find the winning goal, but it was actually Milwaukee who took a step into the lead, in the 68th minute, despite having been defending.

The rest of the match saw Detroit City fight to find an equalizer despite holding two leads in their home stadium earlier in the match.

It looked like Le Rouge would open the league with a loss, but seemingly out of nowhere, Todd found the ball off a deflected shot and got his shot past the Milwaukee 'keeper to force the draw and earn a point. 

"This feels like a loss to me. You have to finish the job. What happened against Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Stars [last season]. At home we have lost points because we aren't holding onto leads," Pirmann said. "The mental approach defensively was just to casual. It's not a player, it's not a system, it's not a goalkeeper.

"The field is tough to play on, the environment is tough to play with but both teams have to play in it. We played our best soccer when we went down 3-2, but it shouldn't be that way.

Detroit City FC continues it's trek in the NPSL on Sunday away to Michigan Stars FC.

See the full photo gallery for Detroit City FC vs. Milwaukee Torrent here.

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