Lewis Off To Flying Start on Loan Spell

The defender scored in his NISA debut
Published Mar 5, 2020

Only one game into his loan with Detroit City FC and New York Cosmos defender Matt Lewis already has made an impact.

Not only did the center back help Detroit City FC register a clean sheet in its National Independent Soccer Association season opener last week, but he also tallied the first goal in the club's pro history in a 2-0 win over the LA Force.

Lewis attributed his goal to his offensive production during the NPSL Members Cup season.

"I finished the year last year scoring some goals, so I was confident going into this year scoring goals, making a difference on the scoresheet," he said. "It was an easy one, but I was happy to get it. Obviously, the first goal in Detroit pro soccer history, it's a cool experience for me, a cool moment."

Former Cosmos defender-midfielder Kevin Venegas started the scoring sequence with a free kick just outside the left side of the penalty area. Force goalkeeper tried to parry it out to a Detroit player on the right side. "The other center back cut it across and a nice, little tap-in," Lewis said.

Lewis' experience with Detroit in the spring season will enable him to play on a regular basis, develop and keep his fitness -- mental and physical -- and give the Cosmos some feedback about what the league is about. The Cosmos will start the fall campaign in August.

The 23-year-old Lewis has considered himself fortunate to have been loaned out. He is one of three Cosmos players loaned to Detroit, including midfielder Salvatore Barone and forward Isaac Acuna.

"He's in a great spot," Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said. "Detroit is a winning environment. I know Trevor [James, Detroit coach]. They're being coached well. It's good to place guys into that type of environment, happy obviously contributing and playing.

"Matt has a bright future. I think he's doing well there. We'll be watching him closely, just like the rest of our guys we have out. We will have them hopefully at a high level and 100 percent once we start or once the spring season ends."

Lewis was grateful for the opportunity to compete during the spring season.

"I have to thank Erik [Stover, Cosmos COO] and Carlos for signing me earlier in the season," he said. "Having a guy like Trevor taking me in and giving me the opportunity to play all year, helping each other out, is really cool. I appreciate Trevor for that. I'm really enjoying my time with Trevor. He's a great coach. He has a lot of knowledge about the game."

Being able to play against the teams, being able to play in the stadiums, being able to play against the opponents and knowing what to expect going into August, is a big advantage for me as well. Hopefully, I can bring that experience to the team [Cosmos]."

Veteran Emmanuele Sembroni, who teamed with Lewis to forge a formidable center back pair last year, said he was looking forward to working with Lewis again. They have been in contact during the offseason.

"I miss him. We had a great feeling," Sembroni said during a Cosmos training session at The Long Island Sports Hub in Syosset, N.Y. on Tuesday. "I think we built something important. I just want to give my best to Matty or whatever players will come in our position to help him to grow and to play to his maximum potential."

Lewis will have to wait a while to grow his game.

After its season opener, Detroit will have a three-week break as its next game won't be until its home opener against the Oakland Roots at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, Mich. on March 21. The club is expected to participate in some scrimmages until then.