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MIDWEST PREMIER LEAGUE SOCCER Michigan Stars cruise past Livonia City


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WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Vincent Vultaggio really likes the way the Michigan Stars semi-pro side is playing right now.

Why wouldn’t he?

The striker has been a big part of the Stars’ early-season success on the pitch. Or should we say dominating effort.

The Stars were every bit of a dominating side in their second match of the season Saturday.

The Rochester Stoney Creek grad fired two goals into the back of the net Saturday afternoon in helping the Stars open up Midwest Premier League play with a resounding 4-0 shutout over visiting Livonia City FC at the Michigan Stars Sports Center near Romeo.

The Stars have done it with defense and offense so far this year and have yet to concede a goal.

“You talk about our defense. We have three guys back there, really a pool of four back there. We have Alex (Ofeimu), Richard (Humphrey), Connor (Ballantyne), Stefan (Baseski) and Solie (Soloman Gambone). Then we have another guy that is hurt and he’ll be back soon, so we really have a strong defense,” praised Vultaggio. “Those guys work their butts off back there. They really hold int down back there. They communicate back there. They move off the ball well.

“In terms of offense that game against Inter (Detroit) was kind of a struggle at first. We weren’t getting chances at first and being the first game it’s tough to play together and assume everything will fall into place and be perfect. But we work on that in training,” said Vultaggio. “We did that so much better today and I think that’s why we played so well.”

After Livonia City FC (0-1-0, 0-1-0) came out and controlled play during the opening minutes, the Michigan Stars scored on just their second shot of the contest to take control.

Vultaggio got on the end of a Rocco Galati cornerkick in the ninth minute to put his team ahead for good.

Vultaggio scored again off a brilliant strike in the 22nd minute. Following a foul just outside the box, Vultaggio laced a 23-yard banger over the wall and into the net to put his team into a 2-0 comfort zone. It was Vultaggio’s third goal of the young season, as he also scored a goal the previous weekend in the Stars’ 3-0 USASA Amateur Cup victory over Inter Detroit.

“I think we created a lot better chances today than we did last week and we were able to control this game a little bit,” added Vultaggio. “We had some great chances. When we had the set piece in front of the goal I was got (ahold) of it and placed it into the goal.”

The Stars (2-0-0, 1-0-0) cashed in another paycheck in the 42nd minute, this time Gjon Melakuqi making a run and blasting a close-range shot from six yards out following a cross from the left corner from Skander Lafaoui.

It was Larfaoui who served up the fourth helper in the 82nd minute, when his pass to Galati was lofted into the corner to cap the scoring.

Marko Matovski notched four saves on the day to collect his second clean sheet of the campaign. He was also in net seven days earlier in the win over Inter Detroit and has anchored the Stars’ impressive back line behind a stout back four on defense.

The Michigan Stars outshot Livonia City FC 15-10 overall, including 9-4 with shots on goal, and even held a 7-2 edge on cornerkicks.

“I thought we as a while played better today than we did last week,” admitted Michigan Stars head coach Angelo Grillo. “We got that early goal which set the tone and we also created a lot of quality chances overall. I am pleased with how much better we played from one week to the next.”

The Stars now own a 7-0 scoring edge after two games and they hope to continue that trend deep into the 2024 campaign where the goal is to contend for the USASA Amateur Cup title and win at least the regular season crown in the Midwest Premier League-Great Lakes East Division this year.

“Defensively we were very solid again. We didn’t give up many great chances. Sure, they had some shots but not a lot of great shots,” added Grillo. “We are trying to build a family (atmosphere) here and we came together in this game, so I’m satisfied with the result. Livonia is a good team. They beat us last year. So coming out of this game with a 4-0 result I am pleased with that.”

A year ago, the Michigan Stars finished fourth in the MWPL-Great Lakes East Division standings with a 6-5-1 overall record and 19 points.

“We hope to do a whole lot better this year,” smiled Brillo.


(Have a story suggestion for the Premier Media Group and the Michigan Soccer Network regarding club soccer, high school varsity, amateur soccer, collegiate soccer or professional soccer of teams or players with Michigan ties, contact Communications Specialist/Web and Content Editor/Director of News Dan Stickradt via email at, or call 248-884-1051. Dan Stickradt is a 31-year veteran of the Michigan Media circles and recently joined the staff full time in March of 2024. Want to schedule a broadcast game or live show, contact PMG/MSN Director of Broadcasting Jonathan Turner for availability and pricing at 


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