Historic 2019 campaign comes to and end
The 2019 Demize NPSL season was one of making club history and setting records. 2019 was the club’s first year of partnership with International Soccer Exchange in which owner Chris Hanlon and other Demize staff travelled to Brazil. Here they were able to scout players and hire Brazilian coach Guilherme Ferreira; the first foreign coach of the club. It is also worth noting that the roster was made up of players from 17 different countries with an average age of just 23.
This squad was able to reach new heights. Demize NPSL finished the regular season tied for second place in a Heartland Conference that was brutally competitive. The playoff race for the conference went down to the final weekend of games, and Demize NPSL finished with 13 points in 10 games. The points per game (PPG) of 1.30 was a club record for the Demize and was enough to earn the club its first playoff birth in 15 years. Throughout the 2019 campaign, Demize NPSL rounded out the regular season with 3 wins, 4 draws, and 3 losses. This season included multiple first time wins for the club such as beating FC Wichita at home and Little Rock Rangers away.
For the first time in club history, Demize had a player on the All-Conference team at every position. 19 year-old goalkeeper Lucas Daunhauer received the honor after helping Demize to 8 points and 2 clean sheets in his 6 regular season appearances. Defender Stephen Al-Sayed was also recognized as All-Conference defender who brought a sense of leadership and determination to the back line. In the midfield, Gustavo Nascimento made his way into the Conference XI through consistent performances while scoring 3 goals. Marcelo Hernandez rounded out the team's All-Conference honors at forward while contributing 2 goals and 3 assists.
Even with an impressive 2019 regular season outing, Demize was not finished yet and carried their momentum into the playoffs. The Little Rock Rangers hosted Demize NPSL for the first round of the playoffs in which the Demize were able to earn their second win in a row at War Memorial stadium. The clubs first ever playoff game didn't lack excitement as the competition came down to penalty kicks. Demize fell to Tulsa Athletic, who is still unbeaten this season, in the Heartland Conference Final. The club is looking to expand and grow from their success in the 2019 NPSL season and is excited to see what the future holds.