The Dayton Dutch Lions travelled to the University of Rio Grande on Tuesday night for their fourth exhibition in preparation for the upcoming USL PRO regular season. The two-hour trip to Marietta, Ohio, paid dividends for the Dutch Lions. They returned to Dayton with a 4-0 victory over the RedStorm and needed experience against quality competition.
Dutch Lions Head Coach Patrick Bal stated, “I’m really happy with the way we played tonight. We played as a team. We were all on the same page. This was the best of the four games that we’ve played.”
The Dutch Lions controlled possession in a first half marked by movement without the ball, intelligent decisions, and defensive pressure. The scoring started when Brandon Swartzendruber notched his third goal of the preseason with the assist credited to Kyle Knotek. Later in the half, Joel DeLass delivered the ball to Gibson Bardsley, who had found some space in the box. Bardsley drew a foul and converted the resulting penalty kick. Dayton headed into the locker room with 2-0 lead at the half.
Rio Grande came out of the break with the intent of applying defensive pressure of their own, which was effective in slowing down, but not stopping, the Dutch Lions’ attack. Eli Garner assisted on a goal scored by Joe Broekhuizen. This was followed by a Ryan Grothaus’ first goal in a Dutch Lion uniform. Grothaus was assisted by Nago Mbengue on the play. Rio Grande was able find some space and take advantage of one-on-one chances, but the RedStorm could not turn those opportunities into goals.
The Dayton Dutch Lions FC kicks off its USL PRO season at home against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Beavercreek High School Stadium. To purchase tickets or to learn more about the Dayton Dutch Lions FC, please visit www.daytondutchlionsfc.com.