Two games in four days? No tough task for Akron City FC as they go 2-0 on the road

Writer: Sideline and Beat Reporter, Cade Cracas

Akron City FC (ACFC) competed in two out-of-state outings this week, playing in Buffalo, N.Y., and Hudsonville, Mich.

ACFC came into this week, Monday, June 3 through Saturday, June 8, riding high off of a 4-2 win in the Region II quarterfinal round of the USASA Amateurs Cup. With plenty of confidence and a high level of play being shown on the field, they carried momentum through both outings this week.

On Wednesday, June 5, the team knocked down Niagara 1812 in a dominating 5-0 win. Just a few days later on Saturday, June 8, the club squeaked past Michigan Rangers FC (MRFC) by a score of 3-2.

“I think any time you win with your backs against the wall like that, it brings a bit of belief,” ACFC Head Coach Andy Hoggarth said. “It grows team spirit and gives some enjoyment.

“We are gone for a few days, let’s finish it with a few wins.”

The first game of the week came on Wednesday, where the club was able to thrive from start to finish.

In the first half of play, the offensive onslaught was unleashed by forward Stefan Dobrijevic who found the game’s first goal in the 13th minute. Prior to the goal, ACFC recorded three corner kicks early in the contest, setting the tone early.

From the 32nd minute through the 42nd minute, the club went on to score three more goals en route to a four-total goal first half.

“Obviously we liked to score four goals,” Hoggarth said at the halftime break. “It’s one of those games where you want to show everyone everything you can do.

“We want to keep everything at the highest level we can.”

They would go on to find just one more goal in the game, coming in the 73rd minute from Dobrijevic. That would be the final goal in the game, with ACFC giving up none through 90 minutes.

It would be the team’s second clean sheet of the season in the NPSL.

We have been moving the ball well. We had a lot of chances and took advantage of them,” Dobrijevic said. We just have to prepare mentally to play back-to-back games here soon.”

Four days after the win against Niagara 1812, they traveled up north to take on Michigan Rangers FC.

For the outing against MRFC, it was the second meeting between the two teams on the season. In the first matchup, ACFC was able to wallop them, 6-0.

History would then repeat itself on Saturday, as ACFC was able to best them yet again in a 3-2 affair.

In the first half, ACFC went at their opponent early. They forced multiple free kicks in their favor before forward Sam Sarver attempted to open the game up in the 20th minute. He would dash past the opposing teams’ defense, but the ball was deflected by the MRFC goalkeeper before going out of bounds.

MRFC barreled back the other direction and just four minutes after Sarver’s shot, they recorded one of their own. The shot would find the back of the net to push the opposition up 1-0.

To respond, ACFC would draw a penalty kick in the 39th minute. Mr. Reliable himself, Ryan Kingsford, would be given the honors and just moments later buried the ball into the back netting. His knock tied things up at one heading into halftime.

Coming out of the break ACFC quickly jumped back on the offensive prowl.

They would find the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute from the foot of midfielder Jannis Schmidt, followed by another goal in the 62nd minute, this time from defender Daniel LaCerda.

MRFC would bounce back in the 74th minute with a goal to bring the game within a singular score. Unfortunately for them, it wouldn’t be enough to light a spark to produce a comeback.

The away side, ACFC, went on to win 3-2 through 90 minutes of action. The victory moves the club onto a three-game winning streak and improves their NPSL record to 3-2 on the season.

“We finally saw what we could as an attacking group,” Hoggarth said. “We combined well and we finished well. I think the second half was a complete 45 minutes from the team.”

They next turn their attention to Bavarian United SC for the USASA Amateurs Cup on Sunday, June 9, in South Bend, Ind. The outing to move on to the Region II championship is set to begin at 2:00 P.M. EST

The more opportunities our players have to play in these competitions the better,” ACFC Owner Nick Turchan said. This is great for the continued growth and recognition of the Akron City FC brand in the area and nationally.”