MatchDay Memory–Summer 2013 Part One: DCFC

Filled with live soccer as much as sitting in front of a TV having a beverage like usual, my summer was spent consuming the beautiful game.

I went to Detroit City Football Club’s home opener against AFC Cleveland.  I discussed the inaugural with last year’s coach Kylie Stannard on my podcast earlier this spring, and 2013 was beyond all expectations.  The fantastic season was accented by an undefeated home record, starting with a 2-1 win against their rivals to the east.  I met some guys in Lansing and we drove down in a conversion van, complete with beers and conversations, ranging from local soccer league politics to memories of recent USMNT v Mexico games to why Jermaine Jones sucks.  Once at Cass Tech, the tailgate started, we had some hot dogs, and I talked with a rival about his trip to England and the shenanigans that ensued.  The Northern Guard were amazing as always, and a crowd of 1800 saw Le Rouge recover from a goal down to win 2-1, with Knox Cameron coming off the bench to the get the winner early in the second half.

I returned to the Motor City a couple of weeks later for the game against Zanseville.  The visitors had good early pressure to start each half but were unable to convert any of their chances.  DCFC  finished their opportunities and cruised to 4-0 victory .  Le Rouge easily won the division title and hosted the Great Lakes Division of the NPSL playoffs.

Le Rouge supporters really upped the ante for the playoffs.  Before the semi final, a giant tifo accompanied by flares was revealed just behind the supporters section.

Truly phenomenal and another example of how these guys get it. DCFC won over AFC Cleveland 3-1 and that set up the final against Erie the next day.  A 1-1 first half turned into a disaster as the hosts were run off the field 4-1.

During the final match there was an unsavory incident in which water bottles were thrown onto the field. I had a facebook conversation with a fellow fan where I stated that the Northern Guard responded right away, which showed an element of self control and self policing.  The DCFC ownership were contacted by the league due to the actions of this very small minority of fans, with possible consequences being threatened.  For the final match against Windsor Stars the DCFC supporters protested in their own unique way, ie a Silent March to the stadium and abandoning their typical supporters section.  These were done in protest to any possible sanctions.  Out of the controversy, a letter was written to the league by a passionate fan that really put the impact of the team and the supporter culture into context, not only from a supporter perspective but also in the cultural and sporting elements that this team brings.  In the end DCFC have been a shining light for the NPSL on and off the field and long may it continue.

In between DCFC games, I travelled down to Columbus for the Crew’s game against the Houston Dynamo.  It was son’s first MLS game and we had a good time with sister and her family.  Here is my complete recap of the game.

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