Detroit City FC promotes equality in sports with special jerseys, earns draw against Erie

Friday, Detroit City FC hosted the Erie Admirals in the first meeting between the two teams since last season’s Great Lakes Conference playoff semifinal. Seeking to avenge the semifinal loss to Erie, Le Rouge was forced to settle for a 2-2 draw.

The first half played out as a back-and-forth affair for the initial 20 minutes, as both teams exchanged their best scoring chances just minutes apart. Colin McAtee (Michigan) placed a ball into the box at Jeff Adkins’ (Butler) feet with the Erie goalkeeper Daniel Mudd off his line, but Adkins’ attempt on goal was deflected wide. Minutes later, the Admirals would garner their best scoring opportunity of the first half when Michael Lamb (Saginaw Valley State) was forced to make a goal-line clearance in the 17th minute.

Both teams would finally break the deadlock midway through the second half. In the 57th minute, DCFC would concede its first goal at home all season when Andre Landell sent a blazing shot past goalkeeper Bret Mollon (Temple) to give the Admirals the 1-0 lead. City’s deficit would be short-lived, though, as Tyler Arnone connected with Shawn Claud Lawson (Oakland) on a cross as Lawson finished with a nifty back heel to tie the match 1-1.

Minutes later, an Erie defender was whistled for a handball inside the penalty area. Josh Rogers lined up to take the shot and easily guided the ball into the back of the net for the first City lead of the evening.

But reminiscent of the season-opening U.S. Open Cup loss, DCFC would concede a late equalizer in the 89th minute. This time, Matt Bamber found the ball in a scrum outside the 18-yard box where he lifted a shot over two City defenders, catching Mollon off his line for the game-tying goal in dramatic fashion.

Encouraging equality

In honor of Pride Week in Detroit, Le Rouge made Friday’s match a charity game that raised awareness about the LGBTQ community in Detroit. Game-worn jerseys were auctioned off to raise funds that would benefit the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, Mich. The center provides short and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless, and at-risk lesbian, gay, bi-attractional, transgender, and questioning youth.

Detroit City FC also teamed up with the You Can Play Project, an organization that strives to promote the mindset that athletes should be judged on talent, heart, and work ethic instead of sexual orientation.

Home Cookin’ 

With the draw, Le Rouge maintained its unbeaten record (4-2-0), while continuing to put on a display at Cass Tech. Dating back to the beginning of last season, City has lost just once on home soil. Friday marked the first time during the 2014 campaign that DCFC has conceded a goal at home, but the two tallies within five minutes of each other were enough to salvage a palatable result.

Shooting shorthanded 

Friday, Le Rouge played without four critical pieces to its typical lineup. Zach Myers (SVSU), William Mellors-Blair (Michigan), Zach Vasold (SVSU), and Kevin Taylor all sat out with undisclosed injuries. Myers and Mellors-Blair have comprised a dynamic duo at the striker position all season, and their productivity and speed up top has consistently produced problems for the opposing back lines.

But head coach Ben Pirmann has exhaustively preached the importance of City’s depth, and his sentiments held true thanks to the play of Adkins, Wade Allan (Oakland), and Lawson as replacements on the attack.

Looking ahead

On Sunday, Detroit City FC's match against FC Buffalo was postponed due to lightning.
Le Rouge's next home match will be a friendly against the Columbus Crew U-20s -- one of the premier youth programs in the United States -- on June 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available online at

Photos courtesy of Detroit City FC.

Jeremy Summitt is DCFC's staff writer. Follow him on Twitter
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