Michigan Stars draw 2-2 with Detroit City FC in season opener

5/14/2017

By Shelly Watkins

 Cristian Dragoi was named the Michigan Stars Man of the Match

Cristian Dragoi was named the Michigan Stars Man of the Match

Two second half goals and a PK stop lifted the Michigan Stars to a 2-2 draw against Detroit City FC on Sunday afternoon.  The Stars played host to City and their lively supporters on a beautiful Mother’s Day afternoon in Berkley in this season’s opening match.

Detroit City struck first, just three minutes into the game, on a goal by midfield Captain David Edwardson, with the assist from Cyrus Saydee. 

The slow start did not surprise Stars head coach, Morris Lupenec. 

“We started today with new staff, new players, and three minutes in they get a goal,” said Lupenec.  “We were on our heels right away.  We’re young and we haven’t played much together, but we were stressing to the guys, ‘just don’t quit’.”

Twenty-five minutes later Adam Spinks beat Stars’ goalkeeper Anthony Mwembia on a 20-yard bomb to the upper left corner of the goal.

Trailing DCFC 2-0 at halftime, substitute Elliot Collier’s spark immediately impacted the offense by providing a perfect cross-field pass to Austin Ricci who beat DCFC keeper Colin Miller at 59:00. 

“Elliot was brilliant for us,” said Lupenec.  “He added a lot of energy and it was something we really needed.  We were lacking that in certain moments but he really stepped up for us.”

Mwembia also stepped up in the second half for the Stars.

With five minutes remaining in the 2-1 match, Detroit City was awarded a PK on a Stars’ hand ball in the box.  Mwembia made a diving save on Saydee’s shot to the corner, singlehandedly firing up his teammates and silencing the DCFC drums for the moment.

With momentum swinging the Stars way, midfielder Kyle Thompson first stung the crossbar with a header at 88:00 then scored the equalizer at the 90-minute mark on a sweet cross from Nebojsa Popovic.

At the end of the day, both teams shared the points.

Cristian Dragoi was named Man of the Match by his coaches for his midfield tenacity throughout the 90 minutes.  

The Michigan Stars (0-0-1) host Grand Rapids FC next Friday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m. at Hurley Field, Berkley.

Michigan Stars FC 2017 Schedule Begins At Home

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Stars Host Detroit City FC on Home Opener May 14th

The Michigan Stars FC are excited to announce their 2017 home schedule at Hurley Field in Berkley, Michigan. The home opener will be on Sunday, May 14th at 4pm against Detroit City FC (DCFC). 

The 2017 season picks up where it left off last year against Detroit City FC when the Stars played at Detroit’s Keyworth stadium and won 2-1. This time Michigan Stars FC will welcome DCFC and the Northern Guard to Hurley field when they meet on May 14th. 

The full Michigan Stars FC 2017 Home Schedule at Hurley Field is as follows:

 

Sunday 5/14 at 4pm v Detroit City FC

Friday 5/19 at 7pm v Grand Rapids FC

Friday 6/2 at 7pm v AFC Ann Arbor

Sunday 6/11 at 4pm v Milwaukee Torrent

Friday 6/16 at 7pm v Kalamazoo FC

Friday 7/7 at 7pm v Lansing United

Friday 7/14 at 7pm v FC Indiana

Tickets

 

Single tickets will go on sale this Friday, February 10th at www.MichiganStarsFC.com

$10 Adults At Gate

$8 Youth At Gate

$8 Adults Advance Online

$6 Youth Advance Online

 

 

The Stars are also excited to be a part of the 2017 Michigan Milk Cup, brought together by their sponsor United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM), along with Lansing United, AFC Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo FC and Grand Rapids FC.  The teams will use their 4 home and away games to secure their title as Michigan’s top club.

Conference and Playoffs Information

The Stars will compete in the Great Lakes West conference again this year with includes Detroit City FC, Lansing United, AFC Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo FC, Grand Rapids FC, Milwaukee Torrent and FC Indiana. 

The conference is a part of the the 2017 NPSL Midwest Region will include 22 teams grouped in three conferences:  East, Great Lakes, and North.  At the end of the regular season the top two teams in each conference, a total of six teams, will qualify for the Midwest Region playoffs.  

There will be three conference winners and the top two will be determined with seeds #1 and #2 getting a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

The other teams participating in the playoffs will compete as shown in the breakdown below with the seeding being determined by calculating the average points per game among the second place finishers in each conference. 

 

Playoff Games 1 and 2 will be hosted by seeds #3 and #4 respectively on Saturday, July 22.  The lowest-seeded winner will advance to play the #1 seed in Game 3 and the highest-seeded winner will advance to play the #2 seed in Game 4.  Games 3 and 4 will be played on Friday, July 28.  The winners of Games 3 and 4 will play in Game 5 on Saturday, July 29, or Sunday, July 30, in case of a weather delay. 

The host of the Midwest Region Final Four will be determined by a Midwest Region vote of the member clubs. The opportunity to host is open to any of the teams that qualify for the Regional Semifinal.  Prior to the final game of the season, each team who qualifies for the playoffs and is interested in hosting, shall submit proposals to host the Midwest playoff weekend. By Wednesday, July 19th the region will vote on the bids and rank them.  At the conclusion of the Qualifying Round, the highest ranked bid of the four remaining teams will be named as the host.

About NPSL

The National Premier Soccer League is a 4th tier semi-pro national soccer league with four regions spread across the country. The Midwest Region hosts 3 conferences including the Great Lakes, which includes six Michigan clubs. Last season, newcomers Grand Rapids FC and AFC Ann Arbor advanced to the Midwest Region playoffs where both teams were eliminated by soon to be national champions, AFC Cleveland. The 2017 season will run from early May until late July with the NPSL playoffs taking place at the end of the season (late July/early August). For more information on the league visit NPSL.com.

 

About UDIM

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) is the umbrella organization for the Dairy Council of Michigan and the American Dairy Association of Michigan.

We believe milk is a natural beverage that delivers nutrition, health, and true local flavor. We are dedicated to being your credible source for information about dairy foods and Michigan dairy farming by providing science-based nutrition information to foster a healthier society. 

Our dairy farm families proudly produce milk in their communities using state-of-the-art practices to ensure it is wholesome and fresh. We are committed to raising awareness of the benefits of consuming dairy products among generations of Michigan residents. We accomplish this by working with health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and the media. For more information visit the Milk Means More website here.

To keep up on all of the breaking news and updates, go to www.MichiganStarsFC.com or follow us on Twitter @MichiganStarsFC , Facebook Michigan Stars FC and Instagram Michigan Stars FC

 

TWO SEMI-PRO SOCCER TEAMS TO CALL BERKLEY HOME

Motor City FC and Michigan Stars FC Will Play 2017 Season At Hurley Field

Hurley Field in Berkley Michigan is now the home to two semi-professional soccer teams with the Women’s Premier Soccer League Motor City FC (MCFC) team and the National Premier Soccer League Michigan Stars FC (MSFC) team.

Michigan Sports Foundation’s Chairman/Owner Ned Fawaz is “excited to bring his teams together at Hurley Field and knows we will be able to provide superb entertainment as well as become a solid foundation for the community.”

The seasons will begin in May 2017 and run until the end of July with the hopes of playoffs at that time.  Both teams just missed out on playoffs in the 2016 season with MCFC coming in second and MSFC in third place in their conferences.  

Berkley’s City motto is “We Care” and our organization is excited to become a part of that mindset with being a part of the Chamber of Commerce and many of the events and activities all around the city this year and in the future.  We will help in providing fundraising for groups, businesses and schools in the area as well as being another exciting option for families and fans to have a place to go for a weekend match or two. 

“Hurley serves as an excellent venue for the soccer community. We will have the only game in metro Detroit where families can come out on the weekend and watch both women’s and men’s top caliber soccer,” Stated President Shereef Akeel.

Motor City FC’s Head Coach Aaron Byrd is looking forward to the addition of the men’s team to Hurley, “Berkley was a fantastic venue for the women last year. It’s such a great city and close to a lot of local soccer talent.  We are excited to be back there and to bring the men’s team along with us this time. Bringing high level men’s and women’s soccer to Berkley should provide an amazing summer for the teams, the fans, and the community.”

Michigan Stars FC Head Coach Morris Lupenec explained, “Look at the landscape of soccer today around the country, it’s the fastest growing sport and for soccer fans in Michigan, having two teams at Hurley provides kids and fans with a great opportunity to come out and watch the beautiful game. They can see that there can be a progression from college to another higher tier of soccer in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) and Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). It is easier to understand the stepping stones it takes to get to the dream of playing pro when you can watch the semi-professional level right in your own community.”

Special thanks to Berkley Mayor Dr. Phil O’Dwyer, Councilmember Jack Blanchard, Chamber of Commerce Executive Direct Darlene Rothman, Events and Operations Manager RoseAnn Nicolai, CAE, Hurley Stadium Manager Bruce Hill and everyone else in the community for their help and participation in today’s announcement and official kickoff to Berkley’s Summer of Soccer with Michigan Stars FC and Motor City FC!

Season Tickets

Season Tickets Are Now On Sale!

Purchase can be made online at both team’s websites below. The cost will be $70 for a season ticket along with a scarf, $50 for a youth season ticket or a SPECIAL DUAL SEASON TICKET of $100 which gains access to both MCFC and MSFC home games along with a scarf for both teams!

Player announcements and schedules will begin to be released shortly.

For further information on Motor City FC, please go to www.motorcityfootball.club or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/MotorCFC Facebook www.facebook.com/motorcityfc/ or Instagram at Motor City FC.

For information on Michigan Stars FC, go to www.MichiganStarsFC.com or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/MichiganStarsFC  , Facebook www.facebook.com/michiganstarsfc/ and Instagram MichiganStarsFootballClub

Wagstaff Resigns As Michigan Stars FC’s Head Coach

Stellar Year Brings Reluctant Resignation Due To Other Commitments

Michigan Stars FC will start the 2017 season revamping their coaching staff due to the departure of their head coach. 

Last year, in Coach Andy Wagstaff’s first year at helm, the 2016 Nationals Premier Soccer League season found the Stars in good standing within the Great Lakes West Conference in which they finished just shy of getting into the playoffs. 

The season began with three straight ties and the Stars making their presence known in every single match they were in that year not to mention a few stand out games including the 2-1 win at AFC Ann Arbor midway through the season and the impressive 2-1 win in the last game at Detroit City FC.

Preparation for the 2017 season began as scheduled with the idea of Wagstaff at helm, however, after a long deliberation, Wagstaff knew that something needed to give in his schedule and the newest role was the one that needed to change.

Andy Wagstaff is the travel youth soccer club Liverpool FC Michigan owner as well as the Saginaw Valley State University men’s head coach and a US Soccer Scout.  Despite making it all work last year with honorable and competitive style, the other roles need to take precedence this year which will benefit many in the state under his direction.

“In the 2016 NPSL season as head coach of the Michigan Stars I had a fantastic experience. Initially when approached to coach the team by Shereef Akeel I was very flattered and accepted the position, even though I knew that being able to Coach the Stars as well as operate in all of my other roles would be a challenge.” stated Wagstaff.

Coach continued saying that “The Michigan Stars understood the numerous responsibilities I had but still took a chance on me. I feel like I repaid them for their faith in me as their head coach last year by helping the team finish in 3rd place missing out on the play offs by only a point. I was looking forward to helping the team get into the play offs this year and make a run at a national title, but I just felt overwhelmed between my other commitments at Liverpool FC IA Michigan and Saginaw Valley and felt it was time for me to focus my attention fully onto those two programs. Therefore, I have reluctantly decided to resign from the role as head coach.  The Stars board led by Club owner Dr. Ned Fawez, President Shereef Akeel and GM Chris Corteg treated professionalism and with the utmost class and integrity throughout my time as HC. I cannot thank them enough for their faith and confidence in me and will always be available to provide them with any consultancy or advice on any soccer matter as they move forward. I also want to thank the players from last year who made it so enjoyable, my assistant Coach Paul Doroh, and my other staff members Kelly Haapala and Jenna Taylor for doing such an outstanding job of helping me be prepared and ready for each game.”

“I eagerly await the upcoming season and am excited to see how the team progresses.”

The Stars are grateful to Wagstaff in helping the program excel last year and in creating this solid foundation in which the new head coach can build upon.

“Andy is a phenomenal professional and an excellent coach. We regret partying ways but we understand that because of his success and roles within the soccer community that his time commitment was very limited.” Stated Stars President, Shereef Akeel.

More announcements on the Michigan Stars FC 2017 NPSL season are to follow shortly. To keep up on all of the breaking news and updates, go to www.MichiganStarsFC.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Five Michigan Clubs to Compete in Michigan Milk Cup

Five Michigan NPSL clubs including AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Lansing United, Kalamazoo FC and the Michigan Stars, will be participating in the newly formed Michigan Milk Cup. The goal of the competition is to crown Michigan’s top participating club annually through a point system including all regular season matches between said clubs. At the end of the NPSL regular season, the club with the most points will be crowned Michigan’s top team, securing the Milk Cup and prize money.

 The 2017 Michigan Milk Cup will include 40 fixtures (within NPSL Great Lakes Conference play). With home and homes for every side, each club will have 4 home matches and 4 away trips to secure their title as Michigan’s top club. The NPSL Midwest Region is set to announce their schedule in February. As all 5 organizations belong to the Great Lakes Conference, fans will have a great map for their team’s path to the top very soon.

 Lansing United owner, Jeremy Sampson is thrilled about the new regional partnership and Michigan Milk Cup.

 He added, “"Lansing United is excited to partner with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan in 2017.  We have always used chocolate milk as a recovery drink for our players, they love drinking it.  We are also thrilled to be participating in the Milk Means More Cup this season, battling it out to see who the best team in Michigan is."

 

About NPSL

The National Premier Soccer League is a 4th tier semi-pro national soccer league with four regions spread across the country. The Midwest Region hosts 3 conferences including the Great Lakes, which includes six Michigan clubs. Last season, newcomers Grand Rapids FC and AFC Ann Arbor advanced to the Midwest Region playoffs where both teams were eliminated by soon to be national champions, AFC Cleveland. The 2017 season will run from early May until late July with the NPSL playoffs taking place at the end of the season (late July/early August). For more information on the league visit NPSL.com.

 

About UDIM

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) is the umbrella organization for the Dairy Council of Michigan and the American Dairy Association of Michigan.

 We believe milk is a natural beverage that delivers nutrition, health, and true local flavor. We are dedicated to being your credible source for information about dairy foods and Michigan dairy farming by providing science-based nutrition information to foster a healthier society.

 Our dairy farm families proudly produce milk in their communities using state-of-the-art practices to ensure it is wholesome and fresh. We are committed to raising awareness of the benefits of consuming dairy products among generations of Michigan residents. We accomplish this by working with health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and the media. For more information visit the Milk Means More website here.

 

Michigan Stars FC welcomes the Michigan Milk Cup as a great platform to further showcase the talent here in Michigan on the pitch but also to create a local competition that unifies the communities throughout the state while encouraging healthy habits, including milk.

 “We are excited to be a part of such a strong group of clubs now competing for the Michigan Milk Cup in its debut season,” stated Stars Head Coach, Andy Wagstaff.  “Our club is honored to be a part of this new cup and are looking forward to increasing awareness to high level soccer in Michigan with the help of our sponsors.”

 Regarding the sponsorship and announcement of the Cup competition, Stars President Shereef Akeel states, “This is a unique partnership between United Dairy and the Michigan NPSL teams is a testament to our league’s shared vision to bring the best of products to our growing soccer community.

 You can’t go wrong with milk and soccer.”

 Further announcements on the Michigan Star FC 2017 season will be coming soon. For more information, please go to www.MichiganStarsFC.com and follow us on twitter @MichiganStarsFC and Facebook Michigan Stars FC.

NPSL Announces the 2017 Midwest Region Conference Breakdown

Michigan Stars FC Compete In The Great Lakes Conference

The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) announced today the conference breakdown for the Midwest Region for the 2017 season.  There will be three conferences within the Midwest Region which are the East, North and Great Lakes conferences.

Michigan Stars FC will once again compete in the Great Lakes Conference which includes Milwaukee Torrent, FC Indiana, Detroit City FC, AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Lansing United and Kalamazoo FC.

The 2017 season begins the weekend of May 12-14th with the last day of the season on July 22nd and the Midwest Region Playoffs are the week of July 24th.

The Great Lakes Conference regular season schedule will be released around February 1st.

Further announcements on the Michigan Star FC 2017 season will be coming soon. For more information, please go to www.MichiganStarsFC.com and follow us on twitter @MichiganStarsFC and Facebook Michigan Stars FC.