Match Preview: Flint City Bucks vs. Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC
The Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC return to the pitch at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the familiar confines of NKU Soccer Complex to take on the Flint City Bucks. Last season the Dutch Lions held the advantage against the Bucks with a 1-0-1 record. Both teams ended the 2018 season with identical records of 6-4-4
New City, New Look, New Stadium
The Bucks are no stranger to rebranding. Founded in 1995 as the Mid-Michigan Bucks, competing in the USISL Premier League, the Bucks have always been a competitive team. In 2004, the Mid-Michigan Bucks became the Michigan Bucks. Going into this season, the team has moved to Flint and re-branded as the Flint City Bucks. The logo is spruced up, and the team colors changed to red, blue and gold. The Bucks will play their 2019 matches at Atwood Stadium.
Return of a Champion
Returning to the Bucks this season is two-time PDL Champion Demir Muftari. Muftari won the championship with the Bucks in 2014 and 2016. Muftari was also the PDL coach of the year in 2014 and 2016. His return to coach for the 2019 season is no surprise after last year being promoted to technical director. Without Muftari at the helm, the Bucks ended the season tied for a franchise-worst finish in fourth place in the division.
Players to Watch for the Bucks
Entering into the 2019 season, the Bucks are expected to be the favorites in the Great Lakes Division. Forward Farouk Osman (University of Michigan), midfielders Giuseppe Barone (Michigan State University) and Jared Timmer (Butler University) are all expected to play a big part in the success of the Bucks this season. All three of these players will see considerable minutes this summer as league play gets into full swing. Flint City also has its own one-two punch with Oakland University products Elliott Bentley and Dylan Borzak. Borzak found Bentley on the far post last weekend against the Michigan Stars during the Milk Cup tournament for the game-winner.
The Dutch Lions are on the hunt for their second win in a row after a 3-0 win against the West Virginia Alliance last Friday. CDLFC is likely to run the 4-4-2 formation against Flint City. The Bucks are known for their pressure on the ball and being lethal on the counter-attack. The Dutch Lions will look to capitalize on every mistake that the Bucks make and attack them. The Norse combo-turned-Dutch Lions, Connor Probert and Alex Willis, will be on display again this week against the Bucks. Probert, Willis and NKU teammate Alex Grieve all work well together and are proving to be an important part of the Dutch Lions success this summer.
Storm in the Forecast
Wesley Storm looks to add another clean sheet to his already impressive resume. As an example, Storm had five saves during the match against West Virginia and continues to show great promise in-between the sticks. It would be no surprise to see Wes on a USL 1 or USL Championship roster in the near future. His goals allowed average is hovering near the club record of .91 and after he already holds the club record in save percentage at .819.
Keys to Victory
Flint City Bucks:
- Must neutralize Probert and Willis – the more pressure these two have on them, the harder it will be for CDLFC to get their offense moving
- Pressure the ball
- Score early. If the Bucks can find a way to score against Storm early, it could change the way the Dutch Lions look at the match tactically and may force CDLFC Head Coach Paul Nicholson’s hand.
- Play mistake free in the midfield
Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC:
- Control the midfield – The play of Jorge Guinovart and his ability to hold possession for CDLFC will be an important piece to solving the puzzle that is known as the Flint City Bucks.
- Win 50/50 balls. It seems basic, right? They need to get to each and every 50/50 ball and fight to win possession.
- Maintain the possession advantage
- Minimize the Bucks counter-attack -stop the supply by the wings
Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.CDLFC.com or purchased the day of the match at the gate. Follow the Dutch Lions on Twitter @CincinnatiDLFC to #supportlocalsoccer and for more information regarding #DutchSummer
Check out the Match Recap from Friday’s Cincinnati Dutch Lion match here.