March 19, 2022
USL Championship League Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
Though their history dates back to 1993, the Charleston Battery was one of the first teams in the 2011 inaugural season of the USL. They won the league the following year, coincidentally the year Detroit City FC made its NPSL debut. For the Keyworth opener the USL new kid would host a USL original.
Our first home match in the 2nd Division created a high level of energy around the club and supporters. Fowling Warehouse – the pre-match meeting place – had a long line as its doors opened two hours before the match. A constant drizzle with a chilly temperature greeted the South Carolinians, coupled with the heat provided by the Northern Guard created an uncomfortable environment for the guests.
With the promotion to the new league would come some changes to the routine. With an ESPN+ television viewership, no longer would the smoke rise at kick-off. The tifo this evening had to be unfurled during the pre-game warm-up.
Joe Kuzminsky – GK
Matt Sheldon – D
Brett St. Martin – D
Leland Archer – D
Preston Kilwien – D
Dominic Oduro – M
Shak Adams – M
DZ Harmon – M
Enock Kwakwa – M
Augustine Williams – F
Aidan Apodaca – F
DETROIT CITY FC
From Left to Right
Maxi Rodriguez – Midfield
Pato Botello Faz – Forward
Antoine Hoppenot – Forward
Billy Forbes – Forward
Brad Dunwell – Midfield
Rhys Williams – Midfield
Deklan Wynne – Midfield
Devon Amoo-Mensah – Defender
Matt Lewis – Defender
Nate Steinwascher – Goalkeeper
Stephen Carroll – Defender/Captain
Tonight’s referee was Elton Garcia. Garcia has been the head official in 69 USL Championship matches since 2018, 2 NWSL matches last year, 4 MLS matches in 2020, and 5 US Open Cup matches in 2018 and 2019. Last week, he was the head official in the Sacramento Republic/El Paso Locomotive match in California, and issued 7 yellow cards. Mike Nickerson and Jacob Little were the assistant referees and Austin Saini was the fourth official.
City was tested early when Dionysius Harmon hit the goal post with a free kick in the 3rd minute. And for the first twenty-five minutes, Charleston was able to connect with each other in the slushy conditions in the final third, but could not close. In the final twenty minutes of the half City possessed the ball better and forced Charleston to defend. By playing a physical game, Charleston was shown two yellow cards in the first half – one to Aiden Apodaca in the 6th minute on a take-down of Brad Dunwell, and one to Matt Sheldon for a take down of Antoine Hoppenot. The half finished with 10 shots (3 by City, 7 by Charleston), but none were on target.
Detroit City FC’s first goal in the USL Championship match, scored in the 50th minute, was historic and set the stage for the remainder of the match.
The play began with a throw-in on the far side in the Detroit half of the pitch by Rhys Williams to Stephen Carroll. The Captain kicked it back to Nate Steinwascher in goal. Nate conveyed the ball to the near side to Deklan Wynne, who then dropped it back to Devon Amoo-Mensah. Devon engaged in a one-touch passing drill first to Maxi Rodriguez, then to Deklan, and finally to Brad Dunwell. Brad rolled it back to Maxi who was about twenty-five yards from the center stripe. Maxi sailed a long ball across field and down into the Charleston zone. Rhys Williams caught up to it in the channel and began his run.
After getting past Brett St. Martin and taking the ball near the end line, Rhys croqueted the ball through the wicket legs of St. Martin to the front of goal. Deklan Wynne allowed the pass to go by him, through to Maxi Rodriguez. Maxi controlled the ball, made an extra touch to put space between him and defender Matt Sheldon, then fired the shot on goal. Battery keeper Joe Kuzminsky made the save, but deflected the ball out to Antoine Hoppenot, and, as the cliche goes, the rest was history.
Eight of the eleven City players on the pitch had at least a touch on the ball to create the latest City masterpiece goal.
The remainder of the match went according to script. City locked down and prevented Charleston from equalizing. Mauro Cichero subbed in for Brett St. Martin in the 69th minute, and along with being shown a yellow card in the 84th minute, he found a gap in the City defense in added time, forcing Nate Steinwascher to make his only and most important, save of the match. It earned him nomination for the USL Save of the Week for the second week in a row.
It was a night of firsts:
- First USL match at Keyworth.
- First USL goal.
- First USL win.
- First USL clean sheet.
And certainly not the last for any of them.
Player of the Match: Antoine Hoppenot
Detroit City FC 1, Charleston Battery 0
DCFC: Antoine Hoppenot 50′
BY THE NUMBERS:
Possession: DCFC 58.7%, CB 41.3%
Offsides: DCFC 6, CB 0
Corners: DCFC 8, CB 2
Passes: DCFC 365, CB 263
Passing Accuracy: DCFC 58.9%, CB 46.8%
Shots: DCFC 8, CB 10
Shots on Target: DCFC 3, CB 1
Blocked Shots: DCFC 1, CB 1
Fouls: DCFC 11, CB 18
Yellow Cards: DCFC 0, CB 3 (Apodaca, Sheldon, Cichero)
Red Cards: DCFC 0, CB 0
IN OTHER USL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES TODAY:
NY Red Bull II 0, Loudoun United 3
LA Galaxy II 1, San Antonio FC 2
Memphis 901 FC 2, Oakland Roots 1
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 2, Hartford Athletic 1
Louisville City 2, Miami FC 0
Tampa Bay Rowdies 2, Indy Eleven 0
Colorado Springs Switchback FC 1, Monterey Bay FC 0
El Paso Locomotive FC 1, New Mexico United 2
FC Tulsa 3, Birmingham Legion FC 1
Las Vegas Lights FC 2, Phoenix Rising FC 1
Orange County SC 2, Rio Grand Valley FC 1
San Diego Loyal SC 2, Sacramento Republic FC 0