Detroit City FC was started by a group of five Detroit residents who wanted a club of their own that would promote the city and help build community through soccer. In their first season in the NPSL, Detroit City FC finished second in the five team Great Lakes Conference of the Midwest Region. Le Rouge went on to lose 2 - 1 to AFC Cleveland in the Great Lakes Conference Semi-finals, ending their season with a 5 - 2 - 5 record. In December 2012, it was announced that head coach Kylie Stannard and associate coach Cale Wassermann would not be returning for a second season with the team due to other obligations. The following month, Ben Pirmann took over as head coach and Adil Salmoni was hired as associate head coach.
In 2013, Detroit City finished first in the Great Lakes Conference of the Midwest Region and were ranked #1 in the NPSL following an undefeated regular season and a Rust Belt Derby Championship. After beating rival AFC Cleveland for the 3rd time that season in the semi-finals 3 - 1, DCFC lost to Erie Admirals, ending their season with a 12-1-1 record.
Le Rouge Supporters, Northern Guard Supporters and the Motor City Supporters are three distinct groups that collectively represent the soccer supporting culture at DCFC matches.
Known for setting off fireworks, walking into the stadium in a parade-like manner, and chanting an already established series of songs and cheers, supporters groups have become a staple at Detroit City FC home games and have even traveled with the team to show their support. In 2013, City fans recorded an all new high attendance record at Cass Tech, bringing over 2600 people to watch Detroit City FC end AFC Cleveland's season with a 3 - 1 victory.
Supporters of Detroit City FC, FC Buffalo, and AFC Cleveland formed the 'Rust Belt Derby'. The winner of the Derby is based on the head to head record of the midwestern clubs during regular season NPSL matches. These are typically high pressure games and particular fan favorites, especially by Detroit City FC supporter groups who have been known to greatly antagonize DCFC’s opponents. Cleveland won the inaugural Rust Belt Derby on June 23, 2012 following a 1-1 draw with Detroit. Detroit City FC would come back and win the 2013 Rust Belt Derby trophy after beating FC Buffalo 2 - 1.
Detroit City FC also compete in friendly games against Windsor Stars in an across the bridge battle. These games create a patriotic sentiment from fans and are normally accompanied by frequent cheers of “USA” and waving American flags.