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USL CHAMPIONSHIP Rutz’s 89th minute tally lifts DCFC to season-opening win

Updated: Apr 1


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USL CHAMPIONSHIP: Rutz’s 89th minute tally lifts DCFC to season-opening win

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – Connor Rutz has a flair for the dramatic.

The Walled Lake Northern and Saginaw Valley State product scored the go-ahead goal in the 89th minute Saturday in leading Detroit City FC to a 2-1 road win over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC in USL Championship crossover play.

 Detroit City FC begins year three in the USL Championship league and the 2024 campaign under new leadership. New head coach Danny Dichio officially took charge of his first regular-season game and was looking to start his time with Le Rouge with a victory.

 Rutz and Company delivered.

 With the game tied 1-1, Detroit would have one final opportunity in this game – and it would come in the 89th minute off a Rhys Williams cross into the box. The ball bounced off a Switchbacks defender and pinballed between two Switchbacks players and Connor Rutz. Rutz fell at the goal line, and while lying on the ground, he managed to put the ball into the net, giving Le Rouge a 2-1 lead with only stoppage time left.

The game kicked off in chilly Colorado Springs with sustained pressure from the Switchbacks. Colorado Springs continually put pressure on the Detroit backline, but each time they came close, Detroit would clear the ball out of harm’s way.

Off the sustained pressure from Colorado Springs, Detroit came with pressure of its own. A fantastic cutback from Maxi Rodriguez in the 11th minute led to a great cross to debutant Elvis Amoh, who slotted it into the net for his first-ever goal for Le Rouge and gave them a 1-0 lead.

Detroit City would have another excellent scoring opportunity in the 36th minute, as another debutant, Ali Coote, took a shot from just outside the box, but the shot went just wide of the post.

As the halftime whistle blew, Detroit City (1-0-0) felt good going into the locker room up 1-0, and given that they dictated most of the half, they had good reason for it. But they knew Colorado Springs was dangerous, and just one slip-up could change the game.

The second half started at a furious pace for Colorado Springs (0-1-0). Within two minutes, Switchbacks had a free kick in a dangerous position just outside the box. A perfectly executed set piece with two one-touch passes leads to Matt Mahoney putting the ball in the back of the net to tie up the game at 1.

Maalique Foster had a breakaway opportunity in the 56th minute for Switchbacks, but the shot went just wide of the post after sliding past Nate Steinwascher’s dive.

In the 60th minute, Koa Santos received a second yellow card from the referee for a dangerous tackle, forcing Colorado Springs to play with ten men for the final 30 minutes.

Trying to take advantage of the man advantage, Detroit came close to reclaiming the lead in the 67th minute as debutant Alex Villanueva crossed a beautiful ball to Amoh, who shot just wide of the net.

Colorado Springs was awarded a corner in the 74th minute and Steinwascher (Utica Ford/University of Indianapolis) made a huge save to keep the score tied, clearing the ball off the goal line to keep the game at 1-1.

Detroit held off a final Colorado Springs attack in stoppage time, giving them the full three points in Dichio’s first game as head coach. For DCFC, this would be their first USL Championship season-opening win, previously going 0-0-2.

Detroit City FC returns to Keyworth Stadium next weekend for the club’s 2024 home opener against Loudoun United on March 23. Tickets for next Saturday’s 4 p.m. kickoff can be found at

For more information about Detroit City FC, visit and follow @DetroitCityFC on X and Facebook and @detroitcityfootballclub on Instagram.



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