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.
At the conclusion of each season fans get to vote for the team's MVP and recipient of the Black Arrow Award. The title of the trophy is taken from the nickname of Gil Heron, a Jamaican footballer who lived in Detroit and became the first ever black player for Celtic F.C..
Updated to games played on July 11, 2014.
Source: NPSL Standings
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored. (C) = Conference Champion; (E) = Eliminated; (Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated
Midwest Region standings
Each conference champion receives a playoff birth. The next best team based on points per game receives a playoff birth as the wildcard team.
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 2014, City fans recorded an all new high attendance record at Cass Tech, with 3,112 people coming out to watch Detroit City FC defeat Lansing United, 1-0.
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 has competed in friendly games against the 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.