Detroit City FC's professional debut quickly went from a California dream to the reality of a win with a 2-0 victory over the LA Force on Friday at Cal State Los Angeles.
On-loan defender Matt Lewis (22nd minute) and Roderic Green (93rd minute) had goals for Detroit, which made the jump this season to the professional third-tier National Independent Soccer Association after playing eight years in the semi-professional National Premier Soccer League.
DCFC brought back the core of its team that breezed through the NPSL regular season, winning the Great Lakes Conference Division title as well as winning the NPSL Members Cup in the fall.
Against the LA Force, newcomer Kevin Venegas helped set up DCFC's first goal, bending a free kick from 22 yards out that forced LA Force goalkeeper Berbane Magana to dive to his left and parry away.
DCFC defender Stephen Carroll sidefooted the rebound to Lewis, who drilled the ball into the net to put Le Rouge up 1-0.
DCFC stoutly defended the one-goal lead, closing down passing lanes in the midfield to deny LA Force possession. Goalkeeper Austin Rogers picked up the shutout in his Le Rouge debut.
Green, who came on for Connor Rutz (Commerce Twp./Saginaw Valley) in the 77th minute, took advantage of LA Force pressing for an equalizer late and scored on a scorching run to put the match away.
Rutz, who was signed this week, was given the start up front along with Evans Frimpong as DCFC was without forwards Shawn Lawson (Canada) and Yazeed Matthews (South Africa) due to visa issues. Defender James Vaughan (England) was not available because of the same problem.
On Friday, the New York Cosmos signed forward Isaac Acuña and immediately announced they were loaning him to DCFC pending NISA and USSF approval.
If OK'd, the California native would join Salvatore Barone and Lewis as players on loan to Detroit from the Cosmos, who will be joining NISA this fall. Acuña has been with Mexican outfits Club America, Querétaro, Mérida, and Celaya. He also played in Peru and Guatemala.
He played with the Cosmos last year, scoring both goals against the Michigan Stars in a Members Cup match Sept. 14.
DCFC is off until Saturday, March 21, when it hosts Oakland Roots at Keyworth Stadium. Kickoff is 3 p.m.