July 22, 2017: Dakota Fusion FC

July 22, 2017
NPSL Midwest Region Playoffs
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI

Detroit City FC 5, Dakota Fusion FC 1
Dakota  Zuheer Al Abase 19′
Detroit  Shawn Lawson (Cyrus Saydee) 25′
Detroit  Seb Harris (PK)  35′
Detroit  Roddy Green (Bakie Goodman, Shawn Lawson) 47′
Detroit  Shawn Lawson (PK saved, put in the rebound) 76′
Detroit  Seb Harris (Tyrone Mondi) 81′

Attendance: 6,672

The playoffs.  Yeah baby!

Here’s how it worked.  There are four regions in the NPSL: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.  Detroit City FC was in the Great Lakes Conference, one of three conferences within the Midwest Region.  Only the top two teams from each conference – East, Great Lakes, and North – qualified for the playoffs.  They were:

-North Conference:  Erie Commodores FC & Dayton Dynamo.
-Midwest Conference: AFC Ann Arbor & Detroit City FC
-West Conference:  Duluth FC & Dakota Fusion FC

The three first place teams were seeded 1-3 based on points per game.  The second place teams were seeded 4-6 based on points per game.

1.  AFC Ann Arbor
2.  Duluth FC
3.  Erie Commodores FC
4.  Detroit City FC
5.  Dakota Fusion FC
6.  Dayton Dynamo.

The #1 and #2 seeds received a bye into the semi-finals, and quarter-finals matches pit #3 v #6 and #4 v #5.  And that’s how we got here, in Keyworth, to host Dakota Fusion FC.

Dakota Fusion FC, from Fargo, North Dakota, was established in 2016, and finished the 2017 season in second place of the West Conference of the Midwest Region, with 9 wins and 5 losses.  In 14 games, they scored 37 goals and conceded 27 goals for a clip of 2.64 goals per game and 1.93 goals against.  In other words, they score a lot, and give up a lot.  Forward Jade Johnson was third in the league in goals scored, having tallied 17 goals in 13 games.

Our guests scored in the 19th minute, as Zuheer Al Abase received a throw-in, brought the ball to the box, and fired a shot past Fernando Pina.  Their lead lasted all of six minutes when Cyrus Saydee, driving up the middle of the pitch, thread a pass through to Shawn Lawson who went in all alone and scored.

In the 35th minute, it was Cyrus Saydee slipping through three Fusion defenders into the box where Sunaj Beljulji had no option other than to take him down, providing City with a penalty kick.  Up to the spot stepped Seb Harris.

Taking a 2-1 lead into the locker room at half time was a good feeling, especially after dominating the play.  It got better shortly after the second half began.

Two minutes in, Bakie Goodman connected a pass to Shawn Lawson, who fed Roddy Green, who fired the ball into the back of the net.


In the 76th minute, Shawn Lawson was taken down in the box, setting up another penalty kick opportunity.  This time, Lawson stepped up to the spot.


Five minutes later, a corner kick, and a goal.

And that makes five.

This team and these supporters have hungered for this.  Tonight, Dakota Fusion FC provided us with a feast.

The word out of Erie, Pennsylvania was that the Dayton Dynamo defeated Erie Commodores FC by a score of 1-0.  This meant the Midwest Region Semi-Final match ups were AFC Ann Arbor vs Dayton Dynamo, and Detroit City FC vs Duluth FC.  Location yet to be determined, as each of the four teams would bid on the opportunity to host the Semi-Finals and Final match.


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