Match Recap – Detroit City FC v LA Force

I missed watching my favorite Liga MX club for this. I spent two and a half hours of my Friday evening for this. I braved MyCujoo streaming quality for this.

That’s right, I watched the NISA home opener tonight, and as SmallWorld will try to do with important games this summer, we’re posting a full match recap.

LA Force hosted Detroit City FC tonight in the visitors’ first match as a professional club, and the Boys in Rouge did not disappoint.


To be fair, it took them a moment to get going. The first five minutes or so were riddled with errors on both sides in touch and communication, as is to be expected during the first match of a season.

City were the team that picked up their play first, though, and as a result, they absolutely owned attacking possession in the first twenty minutes.

Matt Lewis gave the expansion side its reward for all that possession with a right-place, right-time goal in the 22nd minute. It was a well deserved breakthrough, and an exciting moment for the club for sure.

After that, LA Force picked up their pace and developed some opportunities in the middle of the park. They couldn’t really string much together past midfield, though, and Detroit’s defense looked strong.

The first real opportunity of the night for LA didn’t come until the 33rd minute, when a free kick was earned on the left flank just outside the box. The service in was a good one, but DCFC’s backline held strong and kept the ball out.

The run of play opened up quite a bit for the last quarter hour of the half, and possession bounced around the midfield area for both sides. Neither club were able to put themselves in front of goal with a clear-cut chance before the half ended, though, and that meant Detroit City took a 1-0 lead into the locker room.


LA came out with an intentional attacking focus, looking to respond early in the second half, but nothing really came of their efforts until the 52nd minute, when an attacker got a touch inside the box that came into the hands of Austin Rogers, the opposing goalkeeper.

In the 56th minute, Detroit responded with their own opportunity within ten yards from goal, but Force’s goalkeeper, Bernabe Magana, did well to parry the shot away from danger.

A minute later, goalscorer Matt Lewis was shaken up on a scary play in which Lewis appeared to land on his head or neck area. That stopped the match for a couple of minutes, which quieted the next few minutes of the match.

Steven Carroll was the first player carded on the night, as the captain earned a yellow for a poor challenge in the 62nd minute.

From there, possession digressed to some degree, and spells of positive attacking play were rare until the 68th minute, when everything happened.

Detroit put another dangerous shot on goal that was dealt with by the home side, and Force came right back and put together a strong attack. The move was snuffed out by a City tackle that was controversially considered a non-penalty.

Jesus Gonzalez earned a yellow card later in the 69th minute, adding to the drama of those couple of minutes.

A few minutes later, the drama continued, as LA Force had another effort stifled by a strong defensive header in minute 72. An ensuing corner also failed to yield a goal, but both chances were dangerous ones.

Another penalty shout came in the 75th minute, this time for the away side. The referee again chose to wave away calls for a foul, and the scoreline remained 1-0 in favor of the Rouge and Gold with 15 minutes to play.

Detroit didn’t sit on their lead and park the bus, which we at SmallWorld highly respect. They created yet another dangerous shot in front of goal in the 78th minute, but it was charged down by the LA backline.

They put yet another ball in a dangerous area in the 82nd minute, but the final ball didn’t quite find its target and ended up in the arms of Magana.

Michael Kafari earned the match’s final yellow card in the second minute of stoppage time, but that was overshadowed by the 93rd minute goal that iced the game.

Roderic Green’s collected finish included a nice turn and a well-placed shot into the bottom left corner, perfectly capping off an excellent night for the Rouge and Gold.


With that, the match finished 2-0 to the away side, a side that truly showed its quality throughout the match and never gave up on its commitment to play attacking soccer that delivered.

We’re proud to see Detroit City live up to the hype we gave them in our expansion rankings, and we think it’s a sign of more to come in this NISA season.

Let us know what you think about the match on SmallWorld Social, and make sure to show some love to the debutants!

Support local soccer, unify those around you, and seek out diversity!


By danny kotula

danny kotula is an aspiring sports writer and play-by-play commentator. unfortunately, he is not good at either one. his interests include watching soccer and listening to obscure music genres, and those aren’t even his most boring ones. he was born in Tacoma, Washington but has called South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, California, Georgia, and Costa Rica home over the course of his life. he generally knows where to put a comma, which is by far his most redeeming quality. he is writing this in third person as if he were famous enough for someone to write him a biography, but don’t be fooled. he’s not famous.

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