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Detroit City FC Battles to 1-1 Draw against Phoenix Rising FC

May 12, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Detroit City FC News Release

DETROIT - Detroit City FC returned home from a three-game road trip to claim a point in a 1-1 draw against defending league champions Phoenix Rising FC. An early goal by Ben Morris gave Detroit the lead, but Phoenix would find an equalizer early in the second half, resulting in a draw.

Coming off an exciting victory in the US Open Cup on Tuesday, Head Coach Danny Dichio made five changes to his starting XI for this matchup against the defending USL Championship winners. Nate Steinwascher, Brett Levis, James Murphy, Ben Morris, and Yazeed Matthews all returned to the lineup after lineup rotation in the midweek.

Detroit City looked to control the tempo in the opening 15 minutes of this game as they have done many times this USL season. Controlling the start of the game has become a trademark of Dichio.

In the 9th minute, Ben Morris tries to control the ball after it deflects off a defender. Despite facing two Phoenix defenders, he volleys the ball toward the net, and it sails over the Phoenix goalkeeper's head, landing in the back of the net and giving Detroit an early 1-0 lead.

This was the fourth league match this year in which Detroit scored a goal within the first 15 minutes.

Abdoulaye Diop looked to double Detroit's lead in the 34th minute, but his shot from just outside the box went right into the keeper's hands.

A Phoenix counter-attack in the 37th minute saw their first dangerous opportunity of the game. A cross into the box lands right in the 6-yard box, forcing Steinwascher and Sheldon to keep the ball from going across the goal line, keeping this a 1-0 game.

Detroit went into the locker room up 1-0, but a change in tempo at the end of the half saw DCFC defend more than they had previously.

Coming out of the break, Phoenix immediately searched for an equalizer. In the 50th minute, Phoenix was awarded a corner kick. Off the kick, the ball found Giulio Doratiotto at the near post, and he put it in for the equalizer, tying the game at 1-1.

Dichio would make his first change in the 59th minute, bringing on Michael Bryant and Ryan Williams for Matt Sheldon and Ali Coote.

A counter-attack from Phoenix in the 64th minute saw another dangerous shot in the box, bringing Steinwascher off the line to make a diving save.

Another double change was made in the 65th minute, as Alex Villanueva and Victor Bezerra entered the match for Brett Levis and Yazeed Matthews.

The final change of the day came in the 81st minute. Rhys Williams, who had been out for the past month with an injury, returned to the pitch to replace James Murphy.

After three minutes of stoppage time, both teams settled for a point after a 1-1 draw. With this result, Detroit still sits third in the Eastern Conference; their record moves to 5-1-2.

Detroit City heads out on a four-game road trip, starting next Wednesday, May 22, in a US Open Cup Round of 16 battle against USL Championship rival Indy Eleven. Detroit City will return to Keyworth on June 15th for an Eastern Conference matchup against Charleston Battery. Tickets for all Detroit City matches can be found at

DCFC Starting XI: Nate Steinwascher, Brett Levis (65'), Devon Amoo-Mensah, Stephen Carroll, Matt Sheldon (59'), James Murphy (81'), Abdoulaye Diop, Ali Coote (59'), Maxi Rodriguez, Ben Morris, Yazeed Matthew (65')

DCFC Substitutes: Rhys Williams (81'), Alex Villanueva (65'), Victor Bezerra (65'), Ryan Williams (59'), Connor Rutz, Michael Bryant (59'), Carlos Saldaña

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