Novi, MI (June 9, 2012)- Last Tuesday the Michigan Bucks welcomed the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer to over 2,000 fans at Ultimate Soccer Arenas and sent them home with a one goal defeat. Saturday night the Bucks played the Fire Premier (PDL) in front of nearly 800 fans at Catholic Central High School and handed them a similar result. Nate Boyden headed home the game’s only goal off a Stew Givens throw in at the 24 minute mark to raise the Bucks Great Lakes Division leading record to 4-0-1 (13 points). The Fire are in second place with a record of 3-2-1 (10 points) on the campaign, tied with FC London (3-0-1, 10 points). London comes to town on Friday night for the first head to head showdown between the two clubs.
The Bucks came out early and dominated the first half against the Fire but could only muster the one goal. It appeared the home team had a certain two goal lead when Givens ripped a 35 yard bomb past Fire goalkeeper Jordan Godsey, only to be rejected by the goal post. The Bucks outshot Chicago 10-1 in the first half and created several chances between strikers Stefan St . Louis and Anthony Grant, but could not increase the lead.
The second half started similar to the first stanza but midway through the half, the Fire took control of the game for a 20 minute stretch and had the Bucks defense back peddling. The back line led by Kevin Cope and Sebby Harris controlled the balls in the air, while Givens and Nate Robinson counterattacked from the back flanks. Goal keeper Adam Grinwas was sharp in the nets for the Bucks. Although he was not very busy in the first half, he made a point blank save from five yards out in the 53rd minute to keep the Fire off the scoreboard. As the visitors pushed for the tying goal in the game’ final minutes, Grinwas made three huge saves to record Man of the Match honors. He improved his PDL regular season record to 2-0 and his overall season record (including Open Cup matches) to 5-1. Saturday was the University of Michigan net minder’s fourth shutout of the season.
The Bucks outshot the Fire 18-9 on the night and finished with a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. Bucks head coach Gary Parsons was relieved to get the three points and a couple of days rest for his weary squad who have played nine games in just over three weeks to start the season. “We played some very nice soccer in the first half and probably should have had more that just a one goal lead. But our second half was sluggish, to say the least. We allowed them to start playing and to get into a rhythm and it could have cost us. These guys are too good once they get into the flow, so we had to try and get back to our game plan to close this thing out. We will take a couple of days off before we head out on the road for a game with the (Chicago) Inferno on Tuesday night. We really want to get the three points Tuesday and come back home Friday with the division lead and London coming to try and take it from us,” finished Parsons.
FC London will be at Ultimate Soccer Arenas on Friday, June 15 (7:30 PM kickoff). Tickets for the Great Lakes Division showdown are only $10 Adults and $7 Youth (16 and under) the day of the game. Children 5 and under are always free to Bucks home games. Fans can get special PRESALE discounted tickets for only $6 by visiting the Bucks web site at www.buckssoccer.com and clicking on the TICKETS link.