For the first time ever, Detroit City FC makes the trip West to face off against New Mexico United. Neither club is where they want to be in the table and as the season crosses the midway point, both will be looking to make a statement at The Lab on Saturday night.
Detroit City took the USL by storm in 2022, but they haven’t been able to recapture that same magic in 2023. Despite returning several starters from their inaugural USL season, they haven’t been able to do the same with their form. At least not offensively. Connor Rutz is back but is lacking some of his best-supporting pieces, and it shows. Detroit sits near the bottom of the league in conversation rate and goals scored. Neither of which bodes well for them against a United side that has been improving week over week.
Looking at Saturday night, Detroit’s best chance at picking up a win is the play of Nate Steinwascher. The returning keeper was one of the best in the league in 2022 and his 2023 season is just as impressive. Detroit has one of the best defenses in the league and Steinwascher has a lot to do with their consistency. His command of the back four and their positioning is what has kept Detroit in all of their games this season. Without the defensive play, the season could potentially be a lot worse for the visitors.
Player to Watch
Maxi Rodriguez – The midfielder from San Antonio came into his third season with the club as someone who could drive the play forward similar to Sergio Rivas. While the outcome hasn’t been there, his effort has. One of the bright spots in the season, he could find ways to take over the center of the pitch and put his teammates in position to steal one at The Lab.
United extended their unbeaten run to three matches this past Tuesday, but the draw came with mixed feelings. Some supporters were happy with the effort and after many players went whistle to whistle the Las Vegas match only days sooner, tired legs were to be expected. What was to be expected was United to pick up their third win in a row. It wasn’t that they played down, they were just gassed at the end. With a little extra rest this week, expect to see a more traditional back four from United and earlier/more subs being used to keep the legs fresh.
While Detroit doesn’t give up many goals, they’re not unbeatable. As has been proven by their current spot in the standings. The new-look attack under Head Coach Eric Quill has been turning heads around the league. United has been dynamic and finding ways to get into space that they hadn’t been earlier in the year. The offensive weapons available to Quill should prove to be more than a match for Detroit City in their first trip to The Lab.
Player to Watch
Amando Moreno – Moreno, like Daniel Bruce, has been playing with even greater intensity over the past few weeks and he looks incredibly confident on the ball. It’s a confidence that hasn’t been seen since before his call up to the El Salvadorian national team. Moreno is a dangerous player and has created plenty of opportunities for himself and others.
ESPN Radio 101.7 FM The TEAM’s coverage of the match will begin with the pre-game show with Adam Diehl and Andy Hageman, starting at 6 p.m. After the pre-game show, the duo will carry every play of every game on ESPN Radio 101.7 FM The TEAM, via 1017theteam.com, and the TEAM apps.