GAME RECAP: Toledo Villa FC

Andrew Streitel

KZFC earn another shutout in win against TVFC

Kalamazoo FC were on the road for their only National Premier Soccer League match of the weekend against Toledo Villa FC. KZFC would go on to win the match 2-0 and improve their shutout streak to four games.

This was the first match of the season against NPSL newcomer, TVFC, and KZFC would start the two-game series well with a commanding victory. KZFC would start strong with both Donovan and Dalton Michael performing well in the offensive third. It was a back and forth first 25 minutes as KZFC had the better chances on net but TVFC controlled the ball.

It was much of the same for the rest of the first half until stoppage time arrived and things got more exciting. Nils Valdmanis worked hard to get a turnover and found Giuseppe Vitale open near the top of the box. Vitale calmly slotted the ball into the right corner and scored the game’s first goal. KZFC goalkeeper, Isaac Walker, would be tested just minutes after the goal when he made a great point blank save to keep TVFC scoreless entering halftime.

Kalamazoo FC would start the second half with lots of energy as they pressured higher up the field. This would rattle TVFC as they struggled to keep possession of the ball. KZFC was in control of the second half when they added another goal in the 66th minute.

A shot from long range was deflected back into the box and Nooh Aljabaly would smash the rebound home and give KZFC a 2-0 advantage. Aljabaly substituted into the game just ten minutes before and made an immediate impact scoring his first goal of the season.

Kalamazoo FC continued to control the flow of the game after their second goal. The defense would be tested though late as Walker made another huge save late in the game to keep the teams shutout streak alive. The KZFC defense held true and the game would end in a 2-0 road win.

Kalamazoo FC has now won two games in a row and continue their four-game shutout streak. The team has not lost a NPSL game since late May and look to continue their run next weekend with two league games.

Kalamazoo FC will be on the road in the 131 derby against Grand Rapids FC this upcoming Friday. KZFC will be back home on June 30th as they host Michigan Stars FC at 5:30 p.m.

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.