Trevor James' debut as Detroit City FC coach undone by solitary goal in exhibition loss

Larry O'Connor
The Detroit News
Nate Steinwascher, who made several saves in the first half, could do little to stop Markus Smarzoch's drive in the 52nd minute.

Trevor James' debut as Detroit City FC coach was spoiled by a markman's right foot whose 30-yard strike was the difference in a 1-0 Chattanooga FC victory Saturday during a friendly before 4,129 spectators at Finley Stadium.

James was hired in January to replace Ben Pirmann, who left after six seasons to become an assistant with USL Championship side Memphis 901 FC. 

In the 52nd minute, Chattanooga FC's Markus Smarzoch was unmarked and able to launch a howitzer shot into the upper-left corner that DCFC goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher had little chance to stop.

Detroit's new manager has brought back many familiar faces, but still has made some intriguing signings this offseason. A handful of those made their DCFC debuts against Chattanooga, including midfielder Willie Spurr (Evergreen State College/Portland Timbers U23) and defender Jalen Crisler (Gonzaga/Seattle Sounder U23).

Most impressive, though, was forward Amadou Cisse, who had some darting runs and slammed a half-volley off the side netting in the 28th minute. Cisse, who is from the Ivory Coast, previously played at Madonna University and NPSL's Kalamazoo FC.


Cisse tallied 27 goals and 30 assists at Madonna while being named Kalamazoo's top offensive player.

Le Rouge plays Michigan State Saturday, April 20, at The Corner Ballpark in a friendly before wrapping up the preseason Saturday, May 4, against USL League Two Flint City Bucks at Atwood Stadium.

DCFC opens the NPSL regular campaign Sunday, May 12, against the Michigan Stars at Ultimate Soccer Arenas.