May 12, 2022
USL-W League Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI
A Decade of Detroit Soccer
May 12th is a special day. It was on May 12, 2012 that 1,072 people showed up at Cass Tech High School to attend the first match of a 4th tier soccer team – Detroit City FC. The first group of supporters marched from Harry’s to the visitor’s bleachers to sing, chant, taunt the players from Cleveland (our opponent), and pop the first smoke when Stefan St. Louis scored Detroit City FC’s first goal in the 11th minute.
It has been a decade since that first match. Many players have worn the crest. Many goals have been scored. Many supporters have sung their throats raw. And many pounds of smoke have billowed from Cass Tech High School and Keyworth Stadium (and a few other venues on the road). An infinite amount of memories have been made.
This is a huge accomplishment. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, about one-third of businesses survive to their 10th year. Not only has Detroit City FC survived, but it has thrived.
By my calculations, the Men’s First Team has played 230 matches to date (not including closed-door pre-season friendlies), and the Women’s First Team 14 matches. Add to that our 2021 U-23 and UWS2 squads (14 and 10, respectively) that’s 268 matches. Breaking down the 230 Men’s First Team matches looks like this:
142 regular season matches
11 playoff matches
9 U.S. Open Cup matches
24 Cup Tournament matches
2 Rust Belt Derby Matches (2016)
It felt appropriate that this night featured the Women’s team. The evening allowed past and present players of the Men’s team to celebrate and reminisce about how far the team has come, and to allow the Women’s team to feature, setting the stage for the next decade. Back in 2012, a Women’s team was unfathomable. Today, it’s reality. What will City look like in another decade?
But as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has said, there are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live. And battle the opponent before you (that’s my addition).
Indy Eleven and Flint City AFC sat atop the league tied with 3 points. City and Kalamazoo tied for third with a single point, and AFC Ann Arbor and Kings Hammer FC had zero points. Each of these teams had played a single match. Midwest United and tonight’s opponent, Racing Louisville FC, had not yet played.
Racing Louisville FC is under the Louisville City FC (USL-Championship)/Racing Louisville FC (NWSL) ownership group and soccer pyramid. Despite not having played a match, a quality squad was expected.
The sunny and warmer 81-degrees was a contrast from the cooler, grey 66-degrees of a decade ago. That’s May in Michigan.
Racing Louisville FC
Libby Stout – GK
TEN YEARS AGO, the line-up…
Tonight’s Detroit City FC
FRONT ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT
RYLEE CLARK – MIDFIELDER
MADISON DUNCAN – MIDFIELDER
GABBY TREMONTI – DEFENDER
GABBY SCHRIVER – GOALKEEPER
ELLIE POOL – FORWARD
BACK ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT
SHANNON MCCARTHY – DEFENDER
ALLYSON CHILDERS – MIDFIELDER
BROOKE SLEEVA – FORWARD
EMILIE GARDNER – DEFENDER
KENNA WHITE – FORWARD
ELISA BAERON – DEFENDER, CAPTAIN
The first half was dominated by Racing Louisville, controlling the flow and offense. And the chances.
Gabby Schriver palmed away a left-footed strike by a forward in the box in the 6th minute. In the 13th minute, Patricia Ward cut in alone and Gabby came up with another clutch save.
It wasn’t until the half-hour mark that City began creating on the pitch. Madison Duncan, last year’s team MVP, floated a ball toward goal that both Brooke Sleeva and Louisville’s Maddie Reed came together for, but keeper Libby Stout gathered it into her arms in the 32nd minute. Two minutes later, Ellie Pool and Brooke Sleeva executed a nifty give-and-go in the offensive zone, but Pool’s shot went wide. The ball still in play, Kenna White raced to catch up to it. She sent it back toward goal. Disappointed faces watched the ball bounce through the box where no City player was available to receive it.
Brooke Sleeva is in her second season with City. Last year with City’s UWS2 team, Brooke earned a spot on the UWS2 All Great Lakes Conference First Team. A junior at Western Kentucky University, Brooke appeared in 16 matches and started six. On October 15, 2021, she scored her only goal of the season, which was the match-winning goal in added time for the Hilltoppers to beat Florida International University 3-2 in Miami.
In the 35th minute, Louisville’s Ella Sanchez’s shot forced Gabby Schriver to leap and palm another potential goal over the cross bar. Racing Louisville’s pressure frustrated City’s possession. Feeling that frustration, Shannon McCarthy, in her debut with the club, was a little overzealous on a defensive tackle and was shown a yellow card in the 40th minute. Shannon played the last three seasons professionally in Kazakhstan for BIIK Kazygurt, where she and the team advanced from the group stage of the UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2019 and 2020. Prior to that, the Brighton, Michigan native spent 2017 in Japan with FC Charme and 2018 in Sweden with Lidkopings FK.
The match remained scoreless when the first half whistle blew.
On this special anniversary night, the jean short cannon returned for its final hurrah. Ted Sliwinski first fired his jean short cannon during halftime in 2012.
Ten years ago, it was one of our owners and current CEO, Sean Mann, with a City of Detroit flag and riding lawn mower that provided the halftime entertainment. A big thanks to Sean and the other four owners who made that night, and every night since, happen.
The second half was more evenly played between the two teams. But no one was able to put one past Gabby Schriver or Libby Stout.
In the 54th minute, Niomi Grimaldo subbed in for Rylee Clark. She became the youngest player to play for City at sixteen-years-old. The distinction lasted 26 minutes as her sister, Nicole Grimaldo subbed in for Brooke Sleeva in the 80th minute. Nicole is a year younger than Niomi. In the 89th minute, Nicole sent a dangerous pass to Brynn Gardner, who was subbed in the 80th minute as well. Gardner’s shot went just wide of target.
The match ended similar to the first match a decade ago, with both teams taking a point.
Michael Bryant, from the Men’s Team took to the capo stand in the Northern Guard Section. Word is he’s a natural with the megaphone.
And the tradition that began back in 2012 continues today.
Player of the Match: Gabby Schriver.
*The quality of the stats gathered by the USL in the W-League are, dare I say it, on a level between NISA and the NPSL. The stats I place here are definitely unofficial, but blended between the league’s numbers and how I saw things reviewing the matches.
Detroit City FC 0, Racing Louisville FC 0
Racing Louisville outshot City 18-6 (which is why Gabby Schriver was the undisputed player of the match).
City’s 6 shots: Emilie Gardner, Brynn Gardner, Madison Duncan, Kenna White, Elisa Baeron, Ellie Pool..
City’s Gabby Schriver made 10 saves and Libby Stout was credited with 4 saves for Racing Louisville FC.
Neither team was registered a foul, yet each team received a yellow card – Shannon McCarthy for City and Ravin Alexander for Racing Louisville.
City Subs: Niomi Grimaldo in for Rylee Clark (54′), Nicole Grimaldo and Brynn Gardner in for Ellie Pool and Brooke Sleeva (80′), Syd Smith in for Kenna White (88′)
In the only other Midwest Division action on this Thursday night, Flint City AFC were pummeled by Indy Eleven by a 6-nil score in Flint.
City’s next match would be the other half of this home-and-home stand against Racing Louisville FC on Sunday in Kentucky.