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US OPEN CUP: Lellouch’s game-winner lifts Michigan Stars to 1-0 triumph over Steel City


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US OPEN CUP: Lellouch’s game-winner lifts Michigan Stars to 1-0 triumph over Steel City

PITTSBURGH – Niels Lellouch simply rose up over the crowd.

The result was the game’s only goal Thursday, as the Michigan Star FC stunned host Steel City FC 1-0 in the US Open Cup First Round at Ambrose Urbanic Field.

Daniel Wright’s long, high serve into the box off a free kick was redirected by Lellouch’s header and into the goal past Steel City FC goalkeeper Garrett Watson in the 83rd minute.

Wright is a local product, growing up in Wixom, Mich., and competing for the Michigan Wolves Academy before stints with Duke University and the University of Virginia.

Zimbabwean transplant Tatenda Mkuruva made it stand with six saves between the pipes for the clean sheet.

Pittsburgh held a 16-11 shots edge in the match, including 6-2 with shots on frame. Lellouch made his chance count. Steel City FC also held a 7-5 advantage on corners, although the Stars held the possession for 57 percent of the match.

Steel City outshot the Michigan Stars 12-2 in the first half and even had a shot from Ryan Mertz ring off the crossbar.

The Michigan Stars are waiting to learn their next opponent plus location and date.


(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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