With just two matches to play in the 2019 NPSL regular season, AFC Ann Arbor are right in the middle of the playoff push. Their upcoming match with Detroit City FC, on Sunday June 7th at 3 PM, could also have the added bonus of deciding the NPSL Great Lakes Champion. AFCAA and DCFC are level on points at the top of the table with 27 points while Grand Rapids FC still remain in the hunt for the postseason with 23 points. A win for either side on Sunday will make it impossible for the other to jump the winner thanks to the NPSL’s head-to-head tiebreaker deciding any potential ties in playoff places.
The Mighty Oak are on a five-match winning streak with each match seeing AFCAA scoring at least two goals in each match and are also riding a three-match clean sheet streak as well. In addition, The Mighty Oak have not conceded a goal before the 85th minute since May 17th in Columbus. In the attacking part of the game, Jordan Montoya has claimed the team lead in goals with five scored, while Yazeed Matthews is following closely behind with four this season. As the season has gone on, Ann Arbor’s attack has begun to properly gel together and will hope to continue their hot streak down this home stretch.
The most recent result for the men was a 2-0 away victory to FC Indiana in what is always a grueling road trip from Ann Arbor down to Lafayette. A goal a piece from the Chalbaud Brothers, Andres and Sebastian, gave The Mighty Oak the victory as the defense secured the clean sheet well despite missing Ben Thornton as a result of his red card suspension. The win followed up a thrilling 2-0 victory in Grand Rapids where goals came early (Matt Braem in the second minute) and late (Jordan Montoya in second half stoppage time) to help push AFCAA into a playoff position. The goal and pair of clean sheets also helped earn Braem a selection to the Football Manager NPSL Team of the Week.
Detroit City conceded their first goal in over 840 minutes of consecutive play on Friday in what was an eventful 1-1 draw with Grand Rapids FC. Ahead of their summer league play in the NPSL Founder’s Cup, DCFC have put together a strong league campaign where they moved past an early speed bump against Kalamazoo FC to put together a strong defense supplemented by the NPSL Great Lakes’ leading scorer in Shawn Lawson (nine goals) and the third-most prolific scorer in the conference in Max Todd (seven goals).
The first meeting of these two teams was a 0-0 draw at Keyworth Stadium with memorable moments like a penalty missed off the post from Lawson along with a Jack Hallahan attempt cleared off the line. This fixture last season was also memorable as The Mighty Oak secured a late-winner in second half stoppage time thanks to a Moco Watson header off a free kick. AFCAA have secured a clean sheet over City in each of their last three meetings.