Oakland County FC’s voyage into excitingly uncharted territory begins this Saturday night. Michigan’s supporter-owned soccer team begins their debut UPSL (United Premier Soccer League) season at 7:00 PM tomorrow at Clawson Stadium. The team’s ownership group, composed of three young metro-Detroit entrepreneurs, have laid the groundwork for a historic season.
Oakland County fans will be in full voice, and cowbell, as their team are set to take on all comers. The first foe will be the Indiana Old Bhoys, one of two out-of-state opponents OCFC will meet during the 2018 regular season. The men in purple will be competing in the UPSL’s Midwest Conference—East region. The region consists of six teams: four teams from Michigan, and one each from Indiana and Ohio.
Saturday’s opening match will be the first of seven home games for the club. OCFC’s regular season spans from May 12 to July 21. Five of the scheduled home games are in league play, while two more games consist of a Milk Cup match on May 18, and an exhibition against Waza Flo on July 13.
Week 1 of the 2018 season is finally here.
— Oakland County FC (@OaklandCountyFC) May 7, 2018
A Year Like No Other
The club will be providing fans and neighbors with an experience possibly never before seen in their new hometown. The 2.2 square mile Oakland County City of Clawson has a rich history of youth and School athletics; however, OCFC will bring semi-professional sports to the community for the first time since the 1920’s, when ‘Pech’ Glovitz and the Clawson Merchants played semi-pro football in the Border Cities’ League*.
Not only will game-days bring a high level soccer game to the field, the game day program will also feature music from a DJ, kids KwikGoal Zone, face painting, one dollar per-minute massages, as well as a food tent. As an opening day bonus, the first 100 fans arriving to the game on Saturday will receive a purple cowbell.
— Oakland County FC (@OaklandCountyFC) May 3, 2018
The Staff and the Team
The 2018 team of players has been scouted and recruited to all-new levels. Along with adding scout Talal Khoulani to the staff, OCFC were able to secure the coaching services of Darryl Evans and Derek Peters. The new staff additions allowed co-owner Nick Morana to assume the role of Technical Director, and step away from coaching responsibilities.
Head coach Darryl Evans came to Oakland County FC from Michigan Revolution youth soccer academy. Evans played for both Macomb Community College and for semi-pro teams in Germany before starting his coaching career more than five years ago.
After the final training session before Saturday’s opening match, Coach Evans spoke about his team heading into the 2018 season.
“All of these guys can really play, so its really about the players building chemistry. The guys are not only learning my system, that are getting to know each other as well. So it takes playing real games together, to really grow together. The scrimmage we had on Tuesday night really helped, just from the first to second half there was improvement.”
Curious neighbors and super fans alike couldn’t help but sneak-a-peak at Tuesday night’s local scrimmage match at Clawson Stadium.
With around 25 players on the roster heading into the opening weekend, competition for the 18 game day spots is fierce. Coach Evans admitted that he has tough decisions on his hands, and a few players may have put themselves on his team sheet with strong performances at Thursday night’s practice session.
“I’ll be honest, I had my list put together, but a few really wanted it tonight and might have changed my mind. There are a couple guys I’m going to have to talk to coach Peters about now. There are probably 15 guys for certain right now, and the next three will have to be decided.”
Webcast Brings Oakland County FC to the World
For those who can not attend every Oakland County FC home game, there is a great new solution. Another addition made by the club in 2018 is a live webcast of every home game. Fans can now view their team from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. The new webcast infinitely broadens the visibility of the club, and is a truly groundbreaking step forward for the team in purple. Game highlights and full match replays are great additional features to the new Golive Sportscast service, also.
— GoLiveSportsCast (@GoLiveSportCast) May 8, 2018
Adding character and quality to the new webcast is the commentary partnership of Jeremy Otto and Brendan Johnson. The pair have been a staple of the Madonna University athletics broadcasts and will bring the chemistry of a partnership that spans more than three years. The duo are in demand, as Otto has a full schedule of radio broadcasts lined up and Johnson is involved in coaching basketball, on top of their OCFC duties.
— Oakland County FC (@OaklandCountyFC) April 25, 2018
The commentary team, like the fans, are excited at the season ahead for Oakland County FC:
“It’s been exciting to see all the news unfold this offseason with the new signings, new field, new league, and the introduction of the live broadcasts. Nothing can match the start of a season though, and I think everyone is equally excited to get it kicked off. It has been fun to see the club grow over the last three years, with live broadcasts being the latest addition. This will give fans a unique perspective of the team and allow OCFC to expand their reach even further. I’m [also] excited to transition from the public address microphone to the broadcast booth, after two seasons.” – Jeremy Otto
Brendan Johnson, who will be the color man to Otto’s play-by-play adds,
“I’m excited to see how the team gels early in the season. The team has a lot of guys from different backgrounds and I’m interested to see how they do playing together. It will be neat to watch them grow and the level of play progress throughout the season. I think the fans will greatly enjoy and appreciate the [webcast] and the players will enjoy the additional spotlight.” – Brendan Johnson