GAME RECAP: Grand Rapids FC

Andrew Streitel

KZFC fall short against GRFC

Kalamazoo FC suffers its first loss of the season as they fall to Grand Rapids FC 2-1 on Friday night. Nils Valdmanis was able to score his first goal of the season late in the match.

Friday night was yet another important match for KZFC in their race for a playoff spot. Grand Rapids FC came into the match ranked 13th in the latest National Premier Soccer League power rankings and second place in the conference.

The first half was not pretty, as both teams struggled to find a rhythm offensively. However, both defenses were playing well stopping every attack that came their way. The first half was mostly back and forth until the 40th minute when GRFC would score their first goal of the game.

“We struggled a little bit to get out of first gear and were very sloppy,” said head coach Brian Clements. “Grand Rapids broke up our play very well and a lot of credit goes to them.”

A turnover by the KZFC defense lead to a 3 on 2 that GRFC was able to capitalize on. James Decosemo was able to slot the ball into the bottom right corner. KZFC goalkeeper, Isaac Walker, made some nice saves to finish the half and KZFC went into halftime with a 1-0 deficit.

After a good first 10 minutes of the second half for KZFC, GRFC was able to find their second goal of the night. TJ Ifaturoti used his speed to break down the right side of the field and placed his shot in the left corner of the net. GRFC would able to hold most of the possession in the next 15 minutes till KZFC would make things interesting and score a goal of their own.

With his first touch of the game, Valdmanis, finished a pass that was slotted back to the middle of the box. After erasing the two-goal deficit to one, KZFC would raise their intensity trying to find the equalizer. KZFC was not able to find the tying goal and would lose the match 2-1.

“This loss was a massive eye opener for us tonight,” said coach Clements. “Our ability to move off the ball and keep the ball are things we still need to work on.”

KZFC will host Oakland County FC in the annual Michigan Milk Cup tournament this Sunday. This quarterfinal match is set to kickoff at 5:30 p.m. at Mayors Riverfront Park.

GAME RECAP: Detroit City FC

Andrew Streitel

KZFC scores in stoppage time to beat DCFC

Kalamazoo FC pulls out a thrilling victory over Detroit City FC at Keyworth Stadium. Elliot Miller scored his first goal of the season in stoppage time to give KZFC a 3-2 win on the road.

After seeing heavy rain throughout the day, the field was water logged and both teams would have to adjust to the speed of the ball early in the first half. Detroit City FC saw more of the ball in the first half as they continued to pressure the defense of KZFC early. KZFC looked to attack on the counter with not much success in the first half.

Lasse Kjeldsen and the KZFC defense did well to keep the game scoreless for most of the first half. Goalkeeper Isaac Walker also added some big saves to keep KZFC in the game early on. After a few counter attacks by KZFC, Detroit would open up the scoring in the 40 minute.

Shawn Lawson was able to score the opening goal for Detroit after a ball was slotted across the goal box and he placed his shot into the right corner. KZFC would go into halftime trailing 1-0 with what would be an exciting second half to come.

Detroit would start the second half strong again with lots of pressure on the back line of KZFC. However, KZFC would hold them off and score a goal of their own in the 57 minute. After a penalty kick was awarded to KZFC, Giuseppe Vitale rose to the challenge and placed the ball in the left corner to tie the game at 1-1.

Detroit would respond well by regaining their lead just five minutes later on a miscue by the KZFC defense. Max Todd would secure the ball and score on an open net to give Detroit a 2-1 lead in the 63 minute.

The game would then go back and forth until KZFC would tie the game for the second time in the 73 minute. Dalton Michael would use his speed to get out on the breakaway and slot the ball home to score his league high third goal of the season.

Detroit would then go on the attack creating many chances to score but the back line of KZFC would play phenomenal in the final 15 minutes of the game to hold Detroit to two goals in the game. KZFC looked dangerous all game long on the counter attack and they had one more in them which would end up being the game winner.

Elliot Miller made a run down the right side of the field and got in behind the Detroit defense. He would then take a shot just outside the goal box and chip the goalkeeper to give KZFC a 3-2 lead in stoppage time.

KZFC held strong in the final two minutes of stoppage time and secured, a very hard to get, three points on the road at Keyworth Stadium. Lasse Kjeldsen was named man of the match for his stellar defense. KZFC is currently tied for first place with AFC Ann Arbor in the Great Lakes Conference of the National Premier League.

Kalamazoo FC will be back home on Friday when they host conference rival, Grand Rapids FC. Kickoff at Mayors Riverfront Park is set for 7 p.m.

GAME RECAP: FC Indiana

Andrew Streitel

KZFC earn shutout win against FC Indiana

Kalamazoo FC earned its first win of the early season with a dominate performance against FC Indiana on Friday. KZFC also earned its first shutout of the season with the 3-0 victory.

The game was very physical from the start and FC Indiana looked to be playing defensively as KZFC was able to control the ball early in the first half. Back to back chances from the Michael brothers in the first five minutes just miss the target. FC Indiana was given a great opportunity in the 15 minute when a turnover led to a wide-open shot that goes just wide. Things would then settle down as KZFC would start to control the possession of the ball.

KZFC would start the goal scoring in the 33 minute when Dalton Michael would finish his second goal of the season. After a scramble in the box, the ball would drop to Michaels foot and he would slot it into the right corner. FC Indiana reacted well after the goal with some great chances of their own. However, Isaac Walker would make some incredible saves throughout the entire game to earn his first shutout of the season.

“Walker was excellent tonight, he gets better and better each game,” said coach Brian Clements. “He’s starting to find his voice and command his defensive line.”

FC Indiana would start the second half very strong with back to back chances just two minutes into the half. The physicality of the game would continue with both teams going at each other trying to secure their first win of the season.

“The physicality of the game helped us keep engaged in the second half. We were pretty flat in the first half and I didn’t think we played very well,” said coach Clements. “We dialed in more once the game got more physical in the second half.”

Giuseppe Vitale would find the back of the net in the 55 minute when he headed in a corner kick. It is his first goal of the season and would give KZFC a 2-0 lead. Teams would exchange blows for the rest of the second half.

Not to be out done by his twin brother, Donovan Michael would put the icing on the cake with a goal of his own in the 84 minute to give KZFC a 3-0 lead. Michael was able to speed past the defense on a breakaway and calmly place the ball in the right corner to secure the KZFC victory.

“The Michael brothers have a great work ethic and a desire to get better, when you have the pace like they do it is a great combination and hard for opposing defenders,” said coach Clements.

KZFC would win the match and gain a much needed three points heading into their match against Detroit City FC on Sunday. With a win against Detroit, KZFC could be in a tie for first place with AFC Ann Arbor in the Great Lakes Conference.

“It’s going to be exciting traveling to Detroit,” said coach Clements. “To have people yell at you and say terrible things about you, it’s exciting and it’s why you play the game.”

The match against Detroit City FC is set for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff with a lot on the line for both teams.

GAME RECAP: Monarcas Morelia

Andrew Streitel 

KZFC and Monarcas Morelia Battle to Draw 

Kalamazoo FC faced off against Liga MX side Monarcas Morelia in a preseason match this past Tuesday at Mayors River Front Park. The highly anticipated game did not disappoint as both teams battled to an entertaining 1-1 draw. 

Fans packed the stands which made for a great atmosphere to welcome the team from Mexico. It was a good start for KZFC as they came out strong putting pressure on Monarcas’ back line. Both teams would settle into the first half creating chances on both ends on the field. Dalton Michael made his presence known with creating chances early in the game. 

Much of the first half was back and forth and had a feel of a preseason match, which saw Monarcas goalie, Ricardo Daniel Gutierrez, taking a free kick. Things would change however, when Jose Luis Chavez was shown his second yellow card and was sent off the field in the 35th minute. The game would start to heat up after this point. 

“We tried to control the midfield and then move the ball wide and pull them out of their defensive shape. After the red card, it gave us more freedom to do that,” said head coach Brian Clements. 

Despite playing with only 10 men, Monarcas were able to create great chances on net that tested defenders from KZFC. Monarcas would score first in the 38th minute when they were awarded a penalty pick. Lenin Brian Esquivel calmly placed the ball in the bottom right corner and Monarcas would take the early 1-0 lead into halftime against KZFC. 

KZFC would start the second half just as they did in the first half, with a lot of high pressure and creating offensive chances. Michael and Eoin Broughan were very active throughout the whole game with lots of creativity on the offensive end. KZFC goalie, Isaac Walker also made some key saves that held the score line at 1-0 throughout the second half. 

“Eoin was excellent tonight, his intensity and work rate were very high. He brings something that every team needs, being a work horse,” said coach Clements. 

KZFC started to look very dangerous around the 75th minute as they were locked in offensively creating chance after chance but failing to find the back of the net. Time was running out for KZFC until they were given a penalty kick in the 89th minute for a chance to tie the game. Broughan ripped a shot into the top the right corner to tie the game with just stoppage time to be played. Both teams would try their best to score in the final minutes of the game but neither team were successful and the game would finish in a 1-1 draw.  

“I think we showed some character to keep playing through the advisory that a team like this brings,” said coach Clements. “We need to build on our connections in the midfield so we can move the ball quicker.” 

Kalamazoo FC will wrap up their preseason with a purple and white scrimmage on May 10 before starting their National Premier Soccer League schedule. KZFC will start NPSL play on May 12 when they travel to Ann Arbor to face off against AFC Ann Arbor. 

“This team has great character, we have some great guys that want to win and want to be here and improve, it should be a very exciting season,” said coach Clements. 

2019 Season Giveaway!

For this 2019 season we are ecstatic to announce that in partnership with DeNooyer Chevrolet of Kalamazoo, we will be giving away a two year lease on a black 2019 Chevy Cruze LS! Read below on how to get your chance at winning!

No Purchase Necessary. A purchase will not improve chances of winning. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

Sweepstakes entry instructions: Fill out an entry at a Kalamazoo Football Club game.

Entry into these sweepstakes constitutes each entrant’s full and unconditional acceptance of these Rules.

Sweepstakes period: The sweepstakes entry period begins at 9:00 am EST on  May 17, 2019 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST on July 13, 2019.

Eligibility: Must be 21 years of age, a resident of Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph or Van Buren county, and a legal resident of the United States.

Employees, Officers and board members of the DeNooyer Automotive Family/ DeNooyer Chevrolet /DeNooyer Ford/ DeNooyer Jaguar /Engel Imports and Metro Toyota and their immediate families are not eligible to win. Eligibility is at the sole discretion of DeNooyer Chevrolet and DeNooyer Ford.

This sweepstakes promotion is void wherever prohibited or restricted by law.

Prize: The winner will be selected on July 13, 2019 from eligible entries properly submitted during the sweepstakes period described above. The Grand Prize is a 24 month, 20,000 mile lease of a new 2019 Chevy Cruze LS (Model F5750, VIN # 3G1BC6SM2KS607847.) Lease cash value $8,164.08. The new Cruze will have less than 4,500 miles on the odometer. Winner must have approved credit for lease agreement and current valid driver’s license. Winner will be liable for any overage mileage fees, at a rate of .25 cents per mile. Winner will be bound to specific obligations as detailed in the Lease Agreement itself. Only one Grand Prize will be awarded.

Grand Prize winner has the sole responsibility for all federal, state and local taxes, and license, title and plate fees.

10.The Winner has until August 13, 2019  to provide DeNooyer Chevrolet/ DeNooeyr Ford  with any identification or other documentation necessary to verify identity and eligibility to win the prize. The Winner must also take possession of the vehicle no later than  August 13, 2019. Federal law requires DeNooyer Chevrolet/ DeNooyer Ford to withhold 25% tax from the awarding of the prize. Winner will be required to pay that amount to DeNooyer Chevrolet/   DeNooyer Ford in U.S. Dollars prior to accepting the prize. Any failure to pay the withholding tax or comply with any other requirement set forth in this paragraph by August 13, 2019 will result in forfeiture of the prize and the prize will be awarded to the next randomly selected winner.

Publicity or Personal Use Information: Winner grants DeNooyer Chevrolet/ D eNooyer Ford  the exclusive permission to use of their name, photographs, and personal statement in connection with any publicity received and waive any claims to royalty, right or any other remuneration for such use in marketing.

Taxes: Any valuation of the prize stated above is based on available information; the value of the Cruze will be reported for tax purposes as required by law. The winner is solely responsible for reporting and paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize. The winner must provide DeNooyer Chevrolet/  DeNooyer Ford with a photo ID in addition to a valid taxpayer identification number (social security number) before the prize can be awarded. The Winner will receive a 1099 at the end of the calendar year and a copy will be filed with the IRS.

By participating in this drawing, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of personnel. DeNooyer Chevrolet/  DeNooyer Ford reserves the right to disqualify any participant or potential winner and may refuse to award any prize to a person who is ineligible or who believes has violated any rules, or gained unfair advantage in participating in the contest, or obtained by fraudulent means. DeNooyer Chevrolet/  DeNooyer Ford may waive or change any of the rules at its sole discretion.

Entrants agree to hold harmless DeNooyer Chevrolet/  DeNooyer Ford and their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agencies, officers, directors and employees from responsibility for damages, losses or injuries, including death, personal injury or property damage, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from participate in this promotion or acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the Grand Prize.

For notification of the winner send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: DeNooyer Chevrolet/  DeNooyer Ford , 5800 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo Michigan 49009.

WMU’s Isaac Walker Joins Kalamazoo FC

WMU goalkeeper Isaac Walker has signed with us ahead of our 2019 season. A strong force in the net we are excited to see what he can do for the club, and also for Kalamazoo at the next level! Here are his thoughts:

“I am very excited to be joining KZFC! I can’t wait to represent Kalamazoo on and off the field for a new team!” -Isaac

#OurTownOurTeam

Nieves Signs for 2019 Campaign

Chicago native, and Purdue Northwest player, Isaiah Nieves joins us for our 2019 season! Here’s what he had to say:

“I am excited to represent Kalamazoo FC this year. I can’t wait to play with a new group of guys at the next level!” -Isaiah

#OurTownOurTeam

Brinks Returns for 2019

Kalamazoo FC veteran defender Carson Brinks returns for another go around for the squad. Returning from his season at Davenport University he had this to say:

“I’m excited for the game day atmosphere. That means from playing for the city, all the way the post game interaction with our fans! The experience is one I have enjoyed from minute one, and one that I am thrilled to be able to continue experiencing with the club!” -Carson

#OurTownOurTeam

Aljabaly Takes the Next Step Into NPSL

Trine forward, and overall top-quality player, Nooh Aljabaly has joined Kalamazoo FC this 2019 season with hopes to take his game to next level and develop as a player! Here’s what he had to say:

“I am beyond ready to get on the pitch and work towards a successful season in terms of getting wins for the city, and also growing as a KZFC player!” -Nooh

#OurTownOurTeam

Hughes Ecstatic to Join for 2019 Season

Kenzie Hughes, a freshman coming from Davenport University Men’s Soccer team, will be joining our ranks for our 2019 campaign. Check out how excited he is!

“I am beyond excited to get started playing with Kalamazoo, and have the chance to contribute in front of one of the best fan bases in Michigan! I think this season will be a really great step for myself, Kalamazoo FC as a club, and Kalamazoo as a city!” -Kenzie

#OurTownOurTeam