Detroit City FC (NISA) vs Michigan Stars

October 9, 2021
2021 NISA Fall Season Regular Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI

Detroit City FC 1, Michigan Stars 0
DCFC  Maxi Rodriguez (Darwin Espinal) 57′

ATTENDANCE:  4,053

Detroit City FC’s inaugural season was 2012.  The Michigan Stars are our oldest, continuous opponent.  From 2013, when they were born as FC Sparta, every season (except for the 2018 year when they went on hiatus) they were in our schedule.  They’ve been in the same league, but never in our league!

City’s record against them in the NPSL was 8 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses, with a +17 goal differential.
Then, in the 2019 NPSL Members Cup, we took them in both matches; a 2-nil win at home and a 1-nil win there.
And up to this point in NISA, they have become a bit tougher.  We haven’t beaten them, and have 2 draws and a loss.
That makes it 17 matches, 10 wins, 4 draws, and 3 losses.  We have scored 33 goals against them.

How about a little trivia question.  Which DCFC player has scored the most goals against the Stars?  Is it…
A)  Shawn Claud-Lawson
B)  William Mellors-Blair
C) Zach Myers
D) Javi Bautista

If you guessed Shawn Claud-Lawson, he scored once against the Stars, along with 12 other DCFC players.
If you guessed Javi Bautista, he scored two goals against the Stars, along with 4 other DCFC players (Knox Cameron, Josh Rogers, Cyrus Saydee, and Max Todd)
If you guessed William Mellors-Blair, he scored three goals against the Stars, as did Kevin Taylor.
It was Zach Myers who scored 4 goals against the Stars that lead all City scorers against the Stars.

With this match and the season finale at the Stars, those numbers will change.

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Tonight is Polish-American Heritage Night.  The National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame set up a nice display, and three Polish dance groups performed at halftime.

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MICHIGAN STARS
Starting XI

Tatenda Mkuruva – GK
Andres Chalbaud – D
Edi Mujan – D
Israel Espinoza – D
Devon Amoo-Mensah – D
Steven Juncaj – M
Thomas Suchecki – M
Alexandre Frank – M
Kyle Nuel – F
Alex Satrustegui – F
Leon Maric – F

DETROIT CITY FC
Starting XI

Nate Steinwascher – GK
Stephen Carroll – D
Javan Torre Howell – D
Matt Lewis – D
Jimmy Filerman – M
George Chomakov – M
Maxi Rodriguez – M
Cyrus Saydee – M
Kevin Venegas – M
Connor Rutz – F
Patricio Botello-Faz – F

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In the first half, the Stars sat back, playing for the clean sheet draw, taking a page out of the Stumptown AC and Maryland Bobcats playbook.  City controlled the play and Tatenda Mkuruva was called upon to make a few saves.

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In the second half, for the Stars it was much the same – absorb the pressure from City.

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But in the 57th minute, Darwin Espinal broke down the flank and delivered a ball through the box, against the grain.  Maxi Rodriguez ran onto it and punched it into the goal.

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The Stars were forced to push forward, which only made things easier for City as they continued to drive toward the Stars’ goal.  In the 63rd minute, George Chomakov fed a beautiful ball to Connor Rutz into the box, however his shot went just wide of the post.  In the 84th minute, Espinal fired a shot that Mkuruva saved and dropped to Connor Rutz whose shot Mkuruva stopped and cleared away.

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In the final minute, the adventurous Stars’ keeper mishandled the ball.  Yazeed Matthews, running in on the keeper, caught up to the ball, but a Stars defender rushed in to cover for his wandering keeper.

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Player of the Match:  Maxi Rodriguez

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Another win in the books and City’s 9 win, 2 draw, 1 loss record continues to dominate the league.  City takes to the road for two matches, first in San Diego to face 1904 FC, then down to North Carolina against Stumptown AC.

In other NISA matches today:

New Amsterdam FC 4, Maryland Bobcats 0
Stumptown AC 0, Los Angeles Force 0
Chicago House AC 1, 1904 FC 0

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