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Detroit City FC Ties FC Tulsa 2-2

September 24, 2022 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - FC Tulsa News Release


HAMTRAMCK, Mich. - FC Tulsa's primary objective on Saturday night was clear - get the young guys some minutes. Six players under 20 years old were made available for selection to Donovan Ricketts, including four players currently on Academy contacts, while Christopher Pearson and Luca Sowinski each made the first professional starts of their young careers. What may not have been expected, however, was a barnburner that saw this inexperienced Tulsa squad swipe a point away from a playoff club in the most hostile environment in the USL Championship.

Both FC Tulsa and Detroit City FC struggled to get the offense going in the first half, totaling just one shot on target apiece. Austin Wormell made an acrobatic save to his left to keep Detroit off the scoreboard in the 22' minute while Le Rouge keeper Nathan Steinwascher denied Luca Sowinski of his first goal as a pro in the 31' minute, accounting for each side's best scoring chance.

Matthews opened the scoring for the home side in the 47' minute, however, as a bouncing ball inside the Tulsa box pinged off the winger's waist area and into Wormell's net.

Three Tulsa substitutions were made in the 63' minute as Angel Bernal, Aimar Membrila, and Abuchi Obinwa all entered the match. The appearances marked the USL Championship debuts for the 17-year-old Bernal, who was signed on Thursday, and the 18-year-old Membrila who signed an Academy contract with Tulsa ahead of the 2022 season. Membrila previously appeared one time for Tulsa in Open Cup action against Tulsa Athletic.

Following the substitutions, things picked up at a rapid pace.

Eric Bird delivered a low-driven ball through the heart of the pitch to find Darío Suárez on the shoulder of the last defender. Suárez stepped over, shifted the ball to his left foot, then walloped a shot that snuck inside the far post to equalize in the 68' minute. The goal marked Suárez's eighth of the season, trailing Rodrigo da Costa by only one for the 2022 club lead.

Just 95 seconds later, Bird perfectly timed a run with da Costa's service as the Brazilian picked out the Virginia native with ease. Bird chested the ball down to his feet and unbelievably whipped his leg across his body to connect. The shot split the legs of a Detroit City defender and into the back of the net for Bird's first goal of 2022.

Detroit would respond in the 75' minute with a second of their own from Michael Bryant, leveling the clubs once again in dramatic fashion and establishing the final scoreline.

Below are three takeaways from tonight's match.

1) The Future is Bright

Luca Sowinski (18), Aimar Membrila (18), and Angel Bernal (17) all made their USL Championship debuts on Saturday night while 19-year-old Christopher Pearson made his first league start after being subbed on in each of Tulsa's previous two outings. The four players combined to total 180 minutes played in FC Tulsa's 2-2 effort and proved they belong at this level of competition.

2) Darío and Rodrigo Keep it Moving

Darío Suárez's goal in the 67' minute on Saturday was his eighth of the season and the 26th of his USL Championship career. Suárez has now scored in six of FC Tulsa's last eight matches. Meanwhile, Rodrigo da Costa's assist tonight marks three straight matches in which the midfielder has either scored or assisted.

3) Never Out of It

FC Tulsa did it again. The club came back from being down 1-0 early in the second half to rescue a point, a feat it has accomplished time and time again in 2022. The club has now salvaged 13 points this season from a losing position - only Sacramento Republic FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies have won more points from such a position.

Attached are Final Stats and Postmatch Quotes from interim head coach Donovan Ricketts, midfielder Eric Bird, and midfielder Luca Sowinski.

HIGHLIGHTS

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1L_qfu4d1CTP5S2VmhV-iwlC977Cgaz9-?usp=sharing

GOALS

47' DET - Yazeed Matthews (Richard Foster)

67' TUL - Darío Suárez (Eric Bird)

69' TUL - Eric Bird (Rodrigo da Costa)

75' DET - Michael Bryant (Antoine Hoppenot)

UP NEXT

FC Tulsa's final road match of the season will take place in Indianapolis next Saturday, October 1 as the club takes on Indy Eleven. Fans can tune into the match on ESPN+ or locally on My41 Tulsa.


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United Soccer League Championship Stories from September 24, 2022


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