Detroit City FC (NISA) vs Stumptown AC

September 15, 2021
2021 NISA Fall Season Match
Maryland Soccerplex, Boyds MD

Maryland Bobcats 0, Detroit City FC 4
DCFC: Patricio Botello-Faz (Darwin Espinal) 32′
DCFC: James Vaughan (Connor Rutz) 49′
DCFC: Maxi Rodriguez  56′
DCFC: Jimmy Filerman 64′


City took a mid-week trip to play the Maryland Bobcats.  Maryland’s 2-2-2 record had them sitting in 5th place, while City topped the table.  City and the Bobcats have previously met only once, resulting in a 1-0 City victory at Keyworth back in May.

Starting XI

Christian Caulker – GK
Morian Mossi – D
Richard Forka – D
David Mason – D
Medele Kao – D
Jake Dengler – D
Samuel Kahsai – M
Bryan Argueta – M
Josselin Possian – M
Molley Karpeh Jr. – F
Mohamed Sesay – F

Starting XI

Nate Steinwascher – GK
Stephen Carroll – D
Matt Lewis – D
Tendai Jirira – D
Connor Rutz – M
Maxi Rodriguez – M
James Vaughan – M
Kevin Venegas – M
Darwin Espinal – M
Cyrus Saydee – F
Patricio Botello- Faz – F

There was a close chance for Maryland in the 13th minute when a long ball sent down field by Jake Dengler landed between Mohamed Sesay and Nate Steinwascher.  The two rushed to claim it.  Sesay reached it first and kicked it, but the ball struck Steinwascher in the upper chest or head.  Nate went down, but Sesay chased it and passed to an onrushing Bryan Argueta, who sent the ball well over the crossbar.  In the 21st minute, Patricio Botello-Faz was sent through the defense by a sweet pass by Darwin Espinal, however Christian Caulker took Pato down in the box, forcing the ref to call a PK.  Unfortunately, Pato’s PK rang off the crossbar.

Maryland held the possession and controlled the play, creating a few chances against City.  But in the 32nd minute Cyrus Saydee, at the top corner of the 18-yard box, sent a ball to Darwin Espinal who took what looked like a shot at the far corner.  Instead, it became a pass into the run of Pato who buried it into the net.  The half ended with City holding the one-nil lead.  Maryland played well enough to be ahead in this 45-minute period, however they didn’t capitalize on their chances.

Then came the lightning.  The match originally started at 7:00 with the first half ending around the 8:00 hour.  After the first delay, the match was to resume at about 9:05 PM, but as the teams lined up, another lightning strike caused another 30-minute delay.  The second half kicked off after thirty minutes, but just a few seconds in another lightning delay. Finally, just before 11:00 PM, the match resumed.

City wasted no time.  In the 49th minute, Darwin Espinal sent a pass through to Pato.  Pato passed it to the middle to Connor Rutz.  Rutz was blocked by a Bobcat defender.  It came back to Rutz who then passed it back through the middle of the box to James Vaughan.  Vaughan buried it into the corner of the Maryland goal.  2-1.

In the 56th minute, a corner kick delivered by Cyrus Saydee fell dangerously in the box, and after a little chaos Maxi Rodriguez booted it into the goal.  3-1.

In the 64th minute, Cyrus Saydee sent a ball through the defense to Jimmy Filerman.  As he made his way toward goal, he fed it to Connor Rutz speeding in on the play.  Rutz took the shot that Caulker saved.  Rutz and Caulker collided, leaving the ball stationary before the goal.  Filerman continued his run and poked the ball into the goal.  4-1.

Lightning in the 72nd minute concluded the match.  Another thirty-minute delay would take the match beyond midnight.  Under NISA rules, no match is to go beyond the stroke of midnight.

If this match wasn’t weird enough, the other NISA match played this evening was even more bizarre.  New Amsterdam FC hosted Stumptown AC.  The visitors won, 2-1.  The oddity was that injuries to New Amsterdam’s goalkeepers caused the team owner, Laurence Girard, to suit up in a keeper’s kit and play the 90 minutes between the sticks.  Girard had once been a keeper in the New York Red Bulls Academy.

September 18, 2021
2021 NISA Fall Season Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI

Detroit City FC 0, Stumptown AC 1
SAC:  Deshawon Nembhard (Rhys Williams) 80′


City entered the evening sitting on top of the table after seven matches with 19 points (6 wins and a draw).  Their closest challenge, Los Angeles Force, was six points behind them.  Stumptown entered the match in 5th place with a 2-win, 3- loss, and 3-draw record.  The teams have met twice before.  City defeated Stumptown 2-0 in group play at the NISA Legends Cup back in April, and the teams were scoreless here at Keyworth during the Spring Season.  This was the third match in seven days for both clubs.

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Starting XI

Kevin Gonzalez – GK
Rhys Williams – D
Travis Ward – D
Deshawon Nembhard – D
Giovani Bejarano – D
Robert Hines – D
Alex McGrath – M
Luis Garcia Sosa – M
Ismael Longo – M
Colin Stripling – M
Jared Odenbeck – F

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Starting XI

Nate Steinwascher – GK
Stephen Carroll – D
Matt Lewis – D
Tendai Jirira – D
Maxi Rodriguez – M
Richard Bryan – M
Cyrus Saydee – M
James Vaughan – M
Kevin Venegas – M
Darwin Espinal – F
Yazeed Matthews – F

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Stumptown played a very patient match in the first half.  When they possessed the ball, they kept control on their side of the center stripe.  Neither team created any serious scoring chances.

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In the second half, it was much the same.  Chippy and patient.  In the 51st minute, Richard Bryan was pulled down by Rhys Williams just outside the Stumptown 18-yard box.  On the resulting free kick, Darwin Espinal cleared the wall but struck the post with authority.  In the 72nd minute, Stumptown had a similar free kick where Deshawon Nembhard rattled a shot off the City post.

In the 80th minute, Stumptown had a corner kick.  Luis Garcia Sosa touched it short to Alex McGrath, who passed it to Rhys Williams, who was ten yards outside the box.  Williams curled it into the box which Deshawon Nembhard blasted into the goal.  Despite the following ten minutes of pressure, City could not find the magic to equalize, and lost 1-nil.  It was a long time since we have seen a Detroit City FC loss.

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Player of the Match:  Darwin Espinal


Video highlights of the early NGS smoke-out (with Stumptown’s Nembhard enjoying the music), some discussion between the teams after the Richard Bryan take-down as City set up for the free kick, Espinal’s free kick hitting the post, some NGS Tetris, and a couple of final minute chances.

It was September 21, 2020 – two days shy of one year ago – that Detroit City FC suffered a loss.  Since then, City went 27 matches unbeaten, winning 23 and drawing 4, blowing through their NISA competitors.  A recap of the unbeaten streak can be found HERE.

In other NISA matches this evening:
Maryland Bobcats 1, New Amsterdam FC 2
Chattanooga FC 1, 1904 FC 1
Cal United Strikers 0, Michigan Stars 2


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