Detroit Arsenal Championship Not To Be Forgotten
Detroit Arsenal winning the 2005 NPSL National Championship is a special moment in league history, but more importantly, it is a major life event for two people currently involved with the NPSL almost 13 years later.
Shuk was involved in both the playing and coaching side for Arsenal.
"I was older than most of the team. I had finished my short professional career and had started taking my coaching licenses before joining Arsenal. So as the time went on I started helping on the coaching side of the organization and as well as playing. By the end of this era, I was only playing in emergencies and coaching was my main role with the team. With three coaches, Waad, Raad, and myself, we were able to fill all the needs of the team and organization. There is a lot more work to run a team successfully at that level than just practices. Between the three of us, we had everything covered on and off the field."
The 1-0 win over the Sonoma County Sol in the national championship match was certainly something that wouldn't be easily forgotten and for good reason.
"That final is still a match we talk about to this day," Shuk commented. "I think we registered our first and only shot on goal in the 118 minute, and our goalkeeper's performance that night was nothing short of a 120-minute highlight reel. The memories off the field are what made this team. A group of men who not only shared a passion for the game but also a truly enjoyed hanging out and playing together. This is a direct result of our staff's ability to not just pick the best players, instead they picked the players that were best for the team."
The goalkeeper behind the highlight reel described by Shuk was none other than the aforementioned Lubyansky.
Winning the championship was just one part of a special season.
Lubyansky returned to the NPSL with a plan for a completely new team, in a different city & state.
"FC Baltimore came to my brother and I as an idea after seeing the massive fan support of Detroit City FC. My fond recollection of playing in the league made applying for expansion an easy choice."
Shuk, on the other hand, got involved with an established team with a legion of fans.
"I was very fortunate to get back involved in the league. A good friend of mine, Eric Rudland, is the Director of Soccer Operations and Head Coach at AFC Ann Arbor. He approached me when the goalkeeping coaching position at the team was vacant. We sat down and chatted about the team and expectations and agreed this would be a perfect fit. Currently, my role is to train our goalkeepers and work specifically with our backline and any defending players in functional training sessions. The experience at AFC Ann Arbor has been incredible. From the ownership group, the staff, the players, and interns this organization is run professionally. Everyone here understands and embraces their role and this leads to the success on the field."
While the duo's past is incredibly impressive, the future is even more bright. Lubyansky with "FC Baltimore (http://fcbaltimore1729.com/
FC Baltimore NPSL