This is mashup account of last night’s match between Detroit City FC and the Michigan Bucks in the first round of US Open Cup match. Social media and my experience at the first two US Open Cup allow me insight to the craziness. Being NGS helps.
Wednesday was the first time the NGS would gather following the MLS announcement by Gilbert and Gore. A beautiful Michigan evening sat the prefect stage for the return match between our beloved City and the Tin can Bucks. Social media had shown the depth of shock or disbelief that a summer league club wouldn’t roll over for the MLS. Dan Duggan, the Bucks longtime owner, had expressed his disdain since 2012. All this swirled in the eddies of conversation around the other rocks that dot our lives. Love of the beautiful game. Kids and our lives. Our club. Whatever happened tonight Friday would see the first match played in our new home. Keyworth. A phoenix rising once again through the hard work and money of some of those gathered.
Anticipation had grown palatable. A tragedy in Canada transformed the sky into a glorious backdrop for the emerald green expense of the field. An English factory worker would have felt the same joy when his gaze fell on the expanse of impossible green. Concentric circles carved in the carpet of dreams. Nature had been shaped to heighten the ordinary into a temple. A flat stage for one event. To be witness by those lucky enough to be there. A shared into history. Mythic figures would grow from the very Earth tonight. Soccer’s special appeal stretching back through time.
The NGS knows pageantry. Noise. Drums. Flags. All on the uneven grass slope of Oakland University. I will leave the details of play to others. For those details are important for others. Not to those in the heart of the beast. Honesty forces me to recognize the quality of the Bucks on field quality. A team built for just such a moment. This one match will be the largest crowd they will play in front of all season. Caesar tactics proved that respect. Absorb the attacks. Look to counter. The first 15 minutes are critical. No quick goals this year. Nil-Nil at half time. Pressure. A contested battle in the middle third. Division 1 players v Division 2 or true amateurs playing for the love of a game. Internationals challenging our Block M Keeper. Our success has attracted national quality. Former foes became allies.
Tension concentrated the already laser focus on the importance of this match. Breathless anticipation with every touch close to net. Weighing the unknown members of the City squad in the crucible of battle. A connected series of minutes. Special for the ones on the pitch. A childhood dream achieved. Playing in the most famous tournament exclusive to American soccer. A national stage. The mystic appeal of Detroit City’s passionate support pushed them this night. No score at Full time. Extra time. The world’s game on US soil
Evan Louro made at fingertip save to keep City’s dream alive in the 97′. It came down to PKs. 120 minutes of hard work. The imposition of wills. Desperate seconds. Waiting for one mistake. We’ve been here before. RWB Aria in our first appearance. And just like then, the NGS did a shambling migration to the goal end chosen by our opponents. City up 3-1. Bucks tie at 3-3. Joyous hope surging through the faithful. Expelling past disappoints. Then Brett Nason steps up. A shot into the upper right corner of the goal.
Insanity. No stewards. No fences. Anticipation built since childhood exploded. Pitch Invasion. The mad rush highlighted by smoke bombs. A celebratory cleansing. One more communal first in a world where such moments are rare. The only rival to the birth of my children is my first experience at Cass with the NGS. Shaping words to describe the emotional tsunami of last night will take years. Such times are meant to be experienced. There was a sign at Cass tech. The narrow field that changed the world. Changed indeed.
Wednesday capped a year that started with uncertainty. What would Keyworth mean in the history of City? We answered that with overwhelming success. Before we ever played one match. The Open cup slot came from the instability inherit to 4th tier soccer. The prepared make the most of the opportunities when they happen. Men of note will raise to the occasion. Two more are added to the list of Detroit City lore.
Evan Louro and Brett Nason join the lineage of City history. Josh Rogers. Kieth Lough. Adam Bedell. Will-Mellors Blare. Kofi Opare. Knox Cameron. Kevin Taylor. Cryus Saydee. The stuff legends. That day will come when their children will ask who’d you play for first? Detroit City will be first on a long list. DCTID.
Addendum. Best quote. “Man I’d love to stay but got tons of Accounting homework to get done.” DCFC player. Thanks Sarge. Welcome to 4th tier summer soccer in America.