Oakland County FC midfielder Alejandro Steinwascher fights to keep possession in a 5-0 loss to AFC Ann Arbor at Royal Oak High School May 28.

Oakland County FC midfielder Alejandro Steinwascher fights to keep possession in a 5-0 loss to AFC Ann Arbor at Royal Oak High School May 28.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Oakland County FC home opener showcases new stadium

Team off to 1-1-3 start

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Royal Oak Review | Published June 8, 2022


ROYAL OAK — Oakland County FC returned to its roots in its home opener at Royal Oak High School May 28.

After spending its last three seasons at Clawson Stadium, Oakland County FC opened its 2022 home season at the field it first called home back in 2017.

There were big differences this time around, as the facilities have been upgraded — including a new entrance, team rooms, new turf, an updated concession area, and new ticket booths.

The changes made the venue feel more like a stadium for fans.

“It’s a really nice stadium,” Melanie Anastos said. “There’s a lot more fans here than I thought there would be.”

Anastos and her husband, John, recently moved from Los Angeles to Royal Oak. Both being huge fans of soccer, they were intrigued to check out what Oakland County FC had to offer.

One of those offerings was an endless supply of child entertainment.

Balloons, bounce houses, cornhole, and face painting headlined an atmosphere that Oakland County FC carried from Clawson to Royal Oak.

As the game was set to begin, fans chanted as purple smoke filled the bleachers. Oakland County FC fans were ready to see the team’s first win of the season.

Unfortunately, Oakland County FC continued its struggles this season in a 5-0 loss to AFC Ann Arbor.

AFC Ann Arbor beat Oakland County FC 5-0 in the season opener May 8, and it seemed to be the same story but a different location.

Ann Arbor opened the scoring seven minutes into the game as Yushi Nagao capitalized on a rebound to fire the go-ahead goal into the back of the net.

Junior Nare would notch an insurance goal at the 43-minute mark to enter halftime up 2-0, and the second half showcased a parallel outcome.

David Garcia, Shion Soga and Tomas Casas would each tally a goal in the second half to give Ann Arbor the final margin.

Oakland County FC was shut out in its first three contests this season before drawing with Kalamazoo FC 2-2 June 3. The team then got its first win of the season June 5, 4-2 over Midwest United FC.

Ahren Savickas, an area program director for Kickstart Toddler Soccer, said the support for Oakland County FC will continue no matter where the team plays.

“The dedication is so rampant that nobody really cares where they play,” Savickas said.

A tribute showcased at the stadium May 28 was a sign hung over the bleachers reading “TP7” in honor of Timothy Pontzer.

Pontzer, a former sports writer for C & G Newspapers and a producer at 97.1 the Ticket, died in a crash on Interstate 75 in late June of 2021.

Pontzer was a dedicated fan of Oakland County FC and was named an honorary captain the match after his passing.

Oakland County FC will host Lansing City at 3 p.m. June 12. General admission tickets cost $10 and a family four-pack costs $35. Royal Oak High School is located at 1500 Lexington Blvd.