Glory for Akron City FC in important win against Flower City Union

The win moves Akron City FC to 4-0-2 in the Great Lakes standings

Writer: Sideline and Beat Reporter, Cade Cracas

Akron, Ohio- History has been made yet again in the 2024 season for Akron City FC (ACFC).

ACFC secured a decisive victory on Saturday, June 15, as they triumphed over Flower City Union (FCU) from their home stadium. In a dominant showing of skill, ACFC was all over FCU from the opening whistle as they comfortably trotted to a 6-2 win.

The win not only solidifies ACFC’s second-place position in the Great Lakes standings but continues to grow the club’s reputation as an up-and-coming force on the national side of the NPSL.

“We executed everything well,” ACFC Head Coach Andy Hoggarth said. “In the first half, we shut the game down…and then [in the second half] we closed it out well.”

From the start, ACFC maintained control of the pace and tempo of the game. Through the opening five minutes of play, they barely allowed the opposition to play with the ball on their half of the field.

They continued to push FCU’s backline deeper and deeper until it broke down just seven minutes into the game. ACFC’s Quinn Groves sent a rocket towards FCU goalkeeper Kodai Tsuzuki who narrowly missed making a miraculous play for the save.

The goal barreled into the bottom left corner to open the outing up with a 1-0 lead in favor of the home team. Just moments later in the 10th and 12th minutes, forward Sam Sarver found back-to-back goals. Immediately, ACFC had taken momentum with a 3-0 lead.

However, just when you thought they were done, they turned it up a notch even further.

Sarver, with his lightning speed, torched his way past the away team’s defense and buried the ball past Tsuzuki in the 27th minute for the game’s fourth goal.

The only hiccup for Akron occurred in the 40th minute with FCU midfielder Damon Almazan striking the ball from outside the box into the bottom left corner.

Down the stretch of the first half, Sarver netted his fourth goal of the game to make a 5-1 advantage in favor of ACFC.

“I think his presence on the field and off the field is great,” Hoggarth said. “He is an unbelievable player and an unbelievable person.”

At the halftime break, Hoggarth praised the rest of his team for their relentless commitment to taking control of the game early.

“We talked in the team meeting before the game about how we could get on top of FCU early,” Hoggarth said. “We found three in the first 12 minutes, that’s the perfect start to a game.”

In recent games, ACFC has come out halftime swinging and has only looked sharper with the ball. Fortunately for the home team, but unfortunately for the struggling FCU, that remained to be the case on Saturday.

Sarver continued to fly past the opposing team’s defense and in the 51st minute, he found his fifth goal of the game. That score would mark his seventh goal through the last two games, an impressive mark at any level of the game.

The only other notable action in the second half came from the foot of FCU forward Jordan Miller who scored his team’s second goal of the game. That goal found the back of the net in the 75th minute.

For the rest of the game, ACFC sat back and defended well to secure the four-goal win at a 6-2 scoreline.

“It was a great feeling. Especially with it being a bounce-back win after last week,” Sarver said. “It puts us right into a good spot for playoffs and the hunt for top two.

“Maybe if we can get a few good results to go our way, we can win the league.”

The win improves ACFC’s record to 5-0-3 overall and 4-0-2 in league play while the club’s goal differential moves to 21-7.

ACFC looks to return to the pitch in a high-stakes rivalry match against Cleveland SC on Saturday, June 22. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. from Green Street Stadium on the campus of St.Vincent-St. Mary High School.

“I don’t think enough people in the town realize what they have in their backyard,” Turchan said. “Akron City FC and Cleveland SC both provide high-level play and are competing for playoffs.

“I don’t know where else you’d rather be next Saturday night.”