A Journey: From Newcomer to Good to Maybe Great
City's Two year Journey
About 800 days ago City was opening their spring/summer season in front of a packed crowd at the Doty Center on the west side of Lansing. No one knew what to expect from the game as no official semi-pro/professional futsal game had ever been played in Lansing before. The court was small measuring just 95 feet long by 55 feet wide and the crowd was packed in the small gymnasium, an attendance of about 300 people. City was taking on Futsal Factory from the Detroit area. The starting lineup for City was Jeremy Klepal at Ala, Jared Wilson-Santos at Ala, Brock Humphries at Fixo, Mateus Washington at Pivot, and Jacob Derby at Goalkeeper. This was it. The start of futsal in Lansing. The game ended with a 8-6 win in favor of City. The game was messy, not a lot of rhythm. The small size of the court made it hard to move and really showcase the game of futsal, but the fans loved it! It was the first taste of this game we call futsal.
Finding and Identity
City finished out that first season going 3 - 5 not making one of the playoff spots in the Easton Conference. City would spend the next 8 months, including the winter season, struggling to find a consistent style of play and a identity as a team. They would go 3-3 in the winter season. In April of 2017, City's starting goalkeeper Jacob Derby stepped down from his starting role and accepted an offer to become the head coach of the team. City had outgrown the Doty Center and moved their home games to Aim High for the 2017 National League of Professional Futsal season. City started out on the road for their first three games against Sporting Maryland, Philadelphia Lions, and Boston Safira. The first game was a tough one. The nerves of some of the new players was evident and City couldn't survive the experienced and talented side of Sporting. City then traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Lions. The game started out with City taking an early lead. Then Philadelphia game back and tied it up. 3 minutes before halftime, City's Jeremy Klepal smashed a ball into the back of the net from 25 feet out, but the goal was called back after the referee crew failed to see that the ball went into the net and called a goal throw....bizarre. City struggled to recover, and lost the game by 2 goals. City then traveled to Boston to face the current National Champion, Safira FC. City went up by 3 goals in the first half. Before suffering a tough second half and dropped a third game to start the season 0-3. It was here that a turnaround started for City. Tactical changes, improved focus, and a couple roster changes seemed to propel City forward. The FIFA official sized court at Aim High made each home game and absolute thriller. The home crowds grew with passionate fans and City would win 8 out of the last 9 games to earn third place in the 2017 National League Season
City went into the 2017/18 Winter season with a new found vigor and identity as a team. The first game City had to face rival ABK Futsal, a team City had never came close to beating. The game ended with City commanding a convincing 12-3 win. The rest of the winter season saw record crowds of 700 and +800 people filling Aim High. The high flying attacking style of City was not only winning games but super fun to watch! Time after time the roar of the crowd after a highlight reel moment echoed off the concrete walls of the Aim High Sports Complex. It was a momentous season that put City "on the map".
the 2018 season
City opened the 2018 National League Season at the new court at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex. A full official international sized court with a HUGE City logo right smack in the middle of the court. A sign of things to come. City opened the season dropping a game to Sporting Maryland in Baltimore and then turned around to crush Copa Fc by a score of 12-4 in New Jersey. City then dropped a tough game to Columbus in Ohio. Next up was City's home opener at the new court against the talented Toronto United squad. The fieldhouse was packed. Ten sets of bleachers were full of City supporters and numerous others either stood or pulled up small benches to watch the game. And what a game it was! A marriage proposal by City star Aldony Mendez, a bench clearing scuffle, and a red card to the Toronto team all resulted in a huge 5-3 win by the City side! Next City came back to beat Copa FC 10-9 at home in a thriller of a game, before traveling to Toronto to drop the away leg against United. Sitting at 3-3 City had to face Sporting Maryland at home. The game started just as City would have wanted, when Jeremy Klepal beat a defender and smashed a rocket in the top right corner of the goal. But a win was not in the books. A shocking second half defensive collapse by City turned the game to Sporting's favor and City lost 5-8. Now siting at 3-4 City had to win the next game vs Connecticut SG to stay in the playoff race. There was no question about this game. City came out and smacked Connecticut by a score of 13-3. It was one highlight reel goal after another. Now City sits at 4-4 in the season and has to beat Columbus this Saturday to, again, stay in the playoff race.
Columbus or Bust
Games like this one are the ones we remember. With everything on the line teams either step up or crumble. City will be led into the game by Aldony Mendez who has recorded 11 goals and Jeremy Klepal who has put up 19 goals and 16 assists this season. City Youth Academy product, David Saltsman, will be starting in goal in the absence of star keeper Danny Buegar who is visiting his family in Liberia. The stage is set. The curtains will open on Saturday evening and a new chapter in the City story will be written. It is win or go home.
Saturday, June 23rd
Kickoff 6:00 P.M
Location: Summit Fieldhouse 9410 W Davis Hwy, Dimondale, MI