Detroit City FC

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Full name Detroit City Football Club
Nickname(s) Le Rouge (official), Wolfpack
Founded 2012; 5 years ago (2012)
Stadium Keyworth Stadium, "The Key"
Ground Capacity 7,000[1]
Owners David Dwaihy, Todd Kropp, Sean Mann, Ben Steffans, Alex Wright
Head Coach Ben Pirmann
League National Premier Soccer League
Website Club website
Charity colors
Current season

Detroit City FC (DCFC) is a semi-professional American soccer club based in Detroit, Michigan that plays in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), the fourth tier of the American soccer pyramid. The club played its home matches at Cass Technical High School in downtown Detroit until 2015, before moving to Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, an enclave of Detroit.[2] The club manager is Ben Pirmann, affectionately referred to as "Caesar" by fans.[3]

The team's nickname is Le Rouge, derived from Detroit's French roots and the River Rouge that flows through Detroit and many of its suburbs.


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.[4] 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 was ranked #1 in the NPSL following an undefeated regular season and a Rust Belt Derby Championship. After beating rival AFC Cleveland for the third time that season in the semi-finals 3–1, DCFC lost to the Erie Admirals, ending the season with a 12–1–1 record.[5]

The club went 8–3–3 in all competitions in 2014 and finished in second place in a newly aligned Great Lakes West Conference of the Midwest Region of the National Premier Soccer League, which is one of two fourth-division soccer leagues in the United States. Detroit City FC made its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup debut on May 7, losing to RWB Adria in penalty kicks after a 2–2 draw. In the NPSL regular season, the club claimed the Rust Belt Derby trophy for its second-straight year. Additionally, the team extended its home winning streak to 15 games, with its last home loss being in July 2013. In attendance, the club reached its Cass Tech record of 3,884 supporters for its 3–1 win against the Michigan Stars on July 11, 2015.[6]

Keyworth Stadium within Wayne County, Michigan with the city of Hamtramck highlighted.
Volunteers work on refurbishing the west grandstand at Keyworth Stadium prior to the 2016 season.

The 2016 pre-season began with the Keyworth investment drive, which raised $741,250[7] for restorations and renovations on Keyworth Stadium. On March 10, Detroit City began roster announcements confirming the return of the 2015 Black Arrow MVP Dave Edwardson.[8] Detroit City played its first home game in Keyworth on May 20, 2016 drawing 1–1 against AFC Ann Arbor in front of a then-record 7,410 supporters. Detroit City also saw success in the US Open Cup beating the Michigan Bucks at PKs[9] before falling to Louisville City FC, a professional USL side, also at PKs.[10] The 2016 NPSL season proved less successful, failing to make it to the play-offs and finishing with a 4–4–4 record.

Current Season[edit]

In August of 2016, Detroit City confirmed Ben Pirmann would return for a fifth season with the club.[11] After the launch of the 2017 season tickets, the club announced from Belfast that the club would face off against Glentoran F.C. in May to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Detroit Cougars.[12] Glentoran FC played in the United Soccer Association as the Detroit Cougars in the 1967 season when they went 3–6–3.[13] Detroit City also had an international friendly against Venezia FC that they won 2-0. Despite starting the 2017 NPSL campaign with two points from three games, Detroit City went on a nine game winning streak to finish second over-all in the Great Lakes Conference. The post-season included three wins, including a 3-2 win over first place Ann Arbor to win the Midwest Championship.[14] Detroit ended its season in the NPSL national semi-finals with a loss in PKs against Midland-Odessa FC, from Texas, in front of a record crowd of 7,533.[15]

In The Community[edit]

Detroit City FC supporters with the city's skyline behind them in during a match at Cass Tech in 2013.

Since its beginning in 2012, Detroit City FC has been dedicated to supporting the city of Detroit and building community through its own partnerships and philanthropic missions, as noted in the club's motto, "Passion for our city. Passion for the game."[16]

The club operates the Detroit City Futbol League, a recreational, community-driven adult soccer league in the summer.[17] In 2014, the team announced its first fall recreational adult league, Soktoberfest.[18] Detroit City FC also works with Think Detroit PAL to operate free youth soccer clinics and provide free admission to Detroit PAL participants.

Each season, one regular-season home game is dedicated as a fundraiser for a Detroit-area charity. On May 26, 2013, the club's match against Zanesville Athletic benefited the Wounded Warrior Project and Hooligans for Heroes, a nonprofit started by members of the Northern Guard Supporters. On June 6, 2014, the club became the first American sports team to wear a uniform in support of LGBTQ inclusion in a regulation match. Le Rouge dedicated the June 6th match versus Erie Admirals S.C. to inclusivity in sports, auctioning off the commemorative jerseys to benefit the Ruth Ellis Center, a Highland Park, MI., shelter for at-risk, runaway and homeless LGBTQ youth.[19] For the 2015 season, City donned their alternate kits to support Think Detroit PAL, auctioning the game-worn kits to support youth league soccer in the city.[20] On June 9, 2016 it was announced that the June 25 game against Dayton Dynamo would be their annual charity match, supporting Freedom House Detroit, a non-profit supporting refugees seeking asylum in the United States and Canada.[21]

In 2014, the club announced its partnership with United Way of Southeastern Michigan to support its "Michigan No Kid Hungry" initiative and promote healthy lifestyles for youth in Detroit.[22] On September 7, 2014, City hosted its inaugural Detroit Public Schools Showcase, which featured a friendly match for City followed by a regulation match between Cass Tech High School and Detroit Renaissance High School, with proceeds from the night going toward the boys soccer programs.[23] The club has strong ties with Cass Tech High School, investing thousands of dollars into improving the Cass Tech field, a benefit to both the soccer and football programs. City also presented the Cass Tech girls soccer program with new uniforms early in the 2014 season.

Club Culture[edit]

The Northern Guard celebrate a goal during a home game at Cass Tech


The soccer supporting culture at DCFC matches is made up of several groups, with the largest and most notable being the Northern Guard Supporters.

Known for setting off smoke bombs, marching into the stadium in a parade-like manner, and chanting an established series of songs and cheers, supporters groups have become a staple at Detroit City FC home and away games. Supporters who travel to away games are often referred to as "Rouge Rovers".[24]


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.[25] 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.[26] Cleveland won the inaugural Rust Belt Derby on June 23, 2012 following a 1–1 draw with Detroit.[27] Detroit City FC would come back and win the 2013 Rust Belt Derby trophy after beating FC Buffalo 2–1. The 2014 trophy went to Detroit on goal differential after all three teams finished with a win and a loss in Derby play, and Detroit would win again in 2015 after a 1–1 draw in the FC Buffalo-AFC Cleveland Derby match that Buffalo needed to win by more than a goal to take the trophy. As of 2017 the status of the derby is unknown as Detroit City does not have any scheduled matches against either side.

The end-of-season friendly against the Windsor (Ontario) Stars has become a mainstay of Detroit City FC season fixtures. The final match of the season against Windsor has become a showcase of reserve players for Le Rouge, giving those in attendance a preview of future talent for the next season. It also has become tradition for the Northern Guard Supporters to light off the remainder of their smoke supply from the year as a sendoff for the players and supporters.

More recently, a fierce, cross-league rivalry has developed with the Michigan Bucks, the other major 4th Division team in Metro-Detroit. The two faced off in the Opening Round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in 2015 and 2016, with the Bucks winning the first meeting 3–0 and City taking the second meeting in penalties (0–0, 4–3 PK).

Team Image[edit]


In their debut season, Detroit City wore plain rouge (dark red/maroon) as their home kit and gold shirts and white shorts on the road. As is common for low-tier soccer in the United States, these kits featured only numbers on the back and no names. Each shirt had a different front sponsor. Starting in 2013 the home kits remained rouge while the travel kits dropped the gold in favor of white kits with rouge and gold elements. 2013 also had DCFC wear the first set of third kits, specifically for their charity match. These charity kits were grey/black ("urban") camouflage, though starting in 2014 they were black shirts paired with white shorts.

Starting in 2015, the front office chose to move to simpler, more available designs after Nike failed to deliver any kits for sale to the general public during the 2014 season. This trend was reaffirmed in 2016, before the new kits were unveiled.[28] In March it was confirmed that players would be getting assigned numbers for the first time in the team's history.[29]

Historical Kits[edit]






  1. ^ Also appeared with the home socks

Kit Supplier, Sponsors, and Charities[edit]

Years Kit manufacturer Sponsor Kit Charity
Front Sponsor Secondary Sponsor(s)
2012 Nike Independent Detroit businesses sponsored individual players Slows to Go, Michigan Greensafe Products None
2013 None CorePower, MillKing it Productions Wounded Warriors
2014 Ruth Ellis Foundation
2015 Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Local Marketing Association[30][31] Henry Ford Health System, M1 Imaging Center Detroit PAL[32]
2016 M1 Imaging Center, Faygo, Henry Ford Health System Freedom House Detroit[33]
2017 Adidas[34] Faygo, Henry Ford Health System, Strategic Staffing Solutions Alternatives for Girls[35]

Front Office[edit]


  • United States Sean Mann
  • United States Todd Kropp
  • United States Alex Wright
  • United States David Dwaihy
  • United States Ben Steffans

Head Coach[edit]

Associate Head Coach[edit]

  • United States Cale Wassermann (2012)
  • United States Adil Salmoni (2013–present)

Assistant Coach[edit]

  • United States Colby Cunningham (2014–2016)
  • United States Josh Rogers (2016–present)

Director of Goalkeeping[edit]

  • United States Bret Mollon (2016–present)



2013 Detroit City FC

2017 Roster[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
0 United States GK Fernando Pina
1 United States GK Nate Steinwascher
2 England DF Owain Hoskins
3 United States DF Spencer Glass
4 United States DF Sebastian Harris (Vice-captain)
5 Republic of Ireland DF Stephen Carroll
7 United States FW Spiro Pliakos
8 United States MF Jeff Adkins
9 Canada FW Shawn Lawson
10 Liberia MF Cyrus Saydee
11 Canada MF Troy Watson
12 United States MF Luke Hauswirth
13 United States MF Bakie Goodman
14 United States DF Zach Bock
16 England DF Adam Spinks
17 Bulgaria MF George Chomakov
18 England MF David Edwardson (Captain)
19 United States FW Roderic Green
No. Position Player
20 Scotland FW Max Todd
21 United States MF Aaron Franco
22 Paraguay FW Mauricio Castorino
23 United States DF Zach Schewee
26 United States FW Tommy Catalano
27 United States MF Andrew Dalou
28 United States FW Tyler Moorman
29 United States GK Joe Smith
30 United States GK Colin Miller
32 United States FW Elijah Rice
33 England MF Derrick Otim
35 United States FW Kyle Coffee
44 Costa Rica DF Kervin Kenton
45 United States FW Jordan Tyler
46 France MF Louis Dargent
96 England DF Omar Sinclair
97 South Africa FW Tyrone Mondi

Note: Roster up-to-date as of 06-28-17.[36]

Notable Former Players[edit]

Black Arrow Award Recipients[edit]

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..

  • 2012: Scotland Keith Lough and United States Josh Rogers
  • 2013: United States Zach Myers
  • 2014: United States Cyrus Saydee
  • 2015: England David Edwardson
  • 2016: United States Tommy Catalano
  • 2017: South Africa Tyrone Mondi


Domestic League[edit]

Regional Competitions[edit]


Year Tier League Regular Season (W–T–L) Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Avg Attendance
2012 4 NPSL 2nd of 5, Midwest-Great Lakes (5–2–5) Conference Semifinal Not Eligible[37] 1,295
2013 4 NPSL 1st of 6, Midwest-Great Lakes (11–0–1) Conference Final Did not qualify[38] 1,715
2014 4 NPSL 2nd of 5, Midwest-Great Lakes West (8–3–3) Did not qualify First Round 2,857[39]
2015 4 NPSL 2nd of 13, Midwest (8–2–2) Regional Semifinal First Round 3,528[40]
2016 4 NPSL 5th of 7, Midwest-Great Lakes West (4–4–4) Did not qualify Second Round 5,208[41]
2017 4 NPSL 2nd of 8, Midwest-Great Lakes (9–3–2) National Semi-Final Did not qualify TBD

Current Season[edit]

2017 NPSL Great Lakes Conference Standings

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 AFC Ann Arbor 14 12 1 1 33 9 +24 37 2017 NPSL Midwest Region playoffs
2 Detroit City FC 14 9 2 3 29 19 +10 30
3 Grand Rapids FC 14 6 6 2 26 21 +5 20
4 Lansing United 14 6 7 1 27 24 +3 19
5 Kalamazoo FC 14 5 6 3 22 23 −1 18
6 Michigan Stars FC 14 3 5 6 26 30 −4 15
7 Milwaukee Torrent 14 3 6 5 26 27 −1 14
8 FC Indiana 14 1 12 1 16 52 −36 4
Source: NPSL standings
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head to head; 3) goal differential in head to head results; 4) wins; 5) total goal differential; 6) fewest losses; 7) coin toss

Historic Record Vs Opponents[edit]

0–0–0 Win-Loss-Draw
0–0 Win-Loss
* No games played

Competitive Records[edit]

Opponent Regular Season Playoffs U.S. Open Total Played Win %
Michigan AFC Ann Arbor 1–2–1 1–0 * 2–2–1 5 .500
Ohio AFC Cleveland 4–1–3 1–2 * 5–3–3 11 .591
Minnesota Dakota Fusion FC * 1–0 * 1–0–0 1 1.000
Ohio Dayton Dynamo[A] 6–0–0 * * 6–0–0 6 1.000
Minnesota Duluth FC * 1–0 * 1–0–0 1 1.000
Pennsylvania Erie Commodores FC[B] 3–2–2 0–1 * 3–3–2 8 .500
New York (state) FC Buffalo 4–1–2 * * 4–1–2 7 .714
Indiana FC Indiana 2–0–0 * * 2–0–0 2 1.000
Pennsylvania Fort Pitt FC Regiment 2–0–0 * * 2–0–0 2 1.000
New York (state) GBFC Thunder 2–0–1 * * 2–0–1 3 .833
Michigan Grand Rapids FC 2–1–1 * * 2–1–1 4 .625
Indiana Indy Eleven NPSL[C] 1–1–1 * * 1–1–1 3 .500
Michigan Kalamazoo FC 3–1–0 * * 3–1–0 4 .750
Michigan Lansing United 3–2–3 * * 3–2–2 7 .714
Kentucky Louisville City FC * * 0–0–1 (0–1 PKs) 0–0–1 1 .500
Wisconsin Madison 56ers 1–0–0 * * 1–0–0 1 1.000
Michigan Michigan Bucks * * 0–1–1 (1–0 PKs) 0–1–1 2 .250
Michigan Michigan Stars FC[D] 6–2–2 * * 6–2–2 10 .700
Texas Midland-Odessa FC * 0–0–1 (0–1 PKs) * 0–0–1 1 .500
Wisconsin Milwaukee Torrent 1–0–1 * * 1–0–1 2 .750
Minnesota Minnesota Twin Stars 1–0–0 * * 1–0–0 1 1.000
Minnesota Minnesota United FC Reserves 0–0–1 * * 0–0–1 1 .500
Illinois RWB Adria * * 0–0–1 (0–1 PKs) 0–0–1 1 .500
Ohio Zanesville Athletic FC 3–0–0 * * 3–0–0 3 1.000
Total 45–13–13 4–3–1 (4-4 PKs) 0–1–3 (1–2 PKs) 46–17–21 85 .665
  • Note: Table includes all competitive matches and does not include friendlies.
  • Updated through August 5, 2017
  1. ^ A Cincinnati Saints were renamed Dayton Dynamo in 2016.
  2. ^ B Erie Admirals S.C. were renamed Erie Commodores FC in 2015.
  3. ^ C Indiana Fire changed names and affiliations to Indiana Eleven in 2015.
  4. ^ D FC Sparta Michigan were renamed Michigan Stars FC in 2013.

International Exhibition[edit]

Year Opponent Result Overall
2012 Canada Windsor Stars 0–0[42] 0–0–1
2013 Canada Windsor Stars 2–0 1–0–1
2014 Canada Windsor Stars 0–0[43] 1–0–2
2015 Canada Windsor Stars 0–1[44] 1–1–2
2016 England FC United of Manchester 3–3[45] 0–0–1
2016 Canada Windsor TFC[E] 3–1[46] 2–1–2
2017 Northern Ireland Glentoran FC 1–0[47] 1–0–0
2017 Italy Venezia F.C. 2–0[48] 1–0–0
2017 Canada Windsor TFC 0–0 2–1–3
  1. ^ E Windsor Stars were renamed Windsor TFC in 2016.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Foster, Terry (September 10, 2015). "Detroit City FC wants to move to Hamtramck stadium". Detroit News. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  3. ^ "DCFCFC Episode 15: Ben Pirmann and Alex Wright". Stitcher. Retrieved 2016-07-15. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "NPSL soccer: Detroit City FC's first loss ends their season, falling 4–1 to Erie Admirals in playoffs". MLive. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  6. ^ "WEEKEND REPORT: DCFC FINISH REGULAR SEASON WITH SHUTOUT WIN". Detroit City FC homepage. Archived from the original on March 21, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  7. ^ "DETROIT CITY FC RAISES $741,250 THROUGH COMMUNITY INVESTMENT CAMPAIGN". Detroit City FC homepage. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  8. ^ "Welcome back, Dave Edwardson!". Detroit City FC Twitter. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  9. ^ "Detroit City FC beats Bucks in U.S. Open Cup opener". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  10. ^ "Louisville City FC beats Detroit City on PKs". Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  11. ^ "Q&A: Detroit City FC coach expects to return next season". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  12. ^ "Detroit City FC to host Glentoran FC for Detroit Cougars Tribute Match on May 27". Detroit City FC homepage. Retrieved 2016-11-27. 
  13. ^ "1967–1968 Detroit Cougars". Fun While it Lasted. Retrieved 2016-11-27. 
  14. ^ Folson, Brandon. "Weary Tyrone Mondi's late goal sends Detroit City FC to NPSL semifinals". Detroit Free Press. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  15. ^ Folsom, Brandon. "Detroit City FC's season ends on PK's in semifinal loss to Midland-Odessa F". Detroit Free Press. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
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  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "DCFC TAKES DOWN MADISON 56ERS". Detroit City FC homepage. Retrieved 2016-02-16. [permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Detroit City FC announces Freedom House as 2016 charity partner". Detroit City FC homepage. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "RougeRoversNGS". Rouge Rovers on twitter. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
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  27. ^ "The Rust Belt Derby". Soccer News Day. Soccer News Day. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Episode 15 – Ben Pirmann and Alex Wright". Detroit City FC Fan Cast. Archived from the original on February 27, 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  29. ^ "Confirmation of Assigned Numbers". Detroit City FC Twitter. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  30. ^ Bill Shea. "Detroit City Football Club signs three jersey sponsors". Crain's Detroit. 
  31. ^ Kurt Nagl. "Detroit City FC unveils new jerseys and sponsors". Crain's Detroit. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  32. ^ "Detroit City FC Hosts Benefit Game for PAL". Detroit PAL. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  33. ^ "Detroit FC Will Auction Jerseys for Charity". In Play! Magazine. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  34. ^ Kurt Nagl. "Detroit City FC unveils new jerseys and sponsors". Crain's Detroit. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  35. ^ Tyler Clifford. "Detroit City FC chooses Alternatives For Girls as 2017 charity partner". Crain's Detroit. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  36. ^ "Detroit City FC 2017 Roster". 
  37. ^ Gerald Barnhart. "NPSL announces four of 6.5 US Open Cup berths for 2012 tournament". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  38. ^ Josh Hakala (April 9, 2013). "Great Lakes Division teams decline 2013 US Open Cup berths as NPSL entries finalized". Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Boys in Rouge: Number Crunchin'". 
  40. ^ Andrew Goode. "Number Crunchin' 2015 Attendance". 
  41. ^ Andrew Goode. "Speramus Meliora". Retrieved July 28, 2016. 
  42. ^ Kendall, Max. "Detroit City FC close out special inaugural season with exhibition game with Windsor Stars". MLive. MLive. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  43. ^ Veneza, Ricardo. "Rowdy Fans Highlight of Friendly". Blackburn News. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  44. ^ Brockman, Alex. "Amateur soccer flourishing in downtown Detroit". Windsor Star. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  45. ^ Wilson, Wright. "Goals galore as Detroit City FC knots FC United of Manchester, 3-3". Detroit Free Press. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  46. ^ Wilson, Wright. "Detroit City FC caps year with 3-1 win vs. Windsor TFC". Detroit Free Press. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  47. ^ O'Connor, Larry. "Moorman's blast lifts DCFC past Glentoran". The Detroit News. The Detroit News. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  48. ^ O'Connor, Larry. "Detroit City FC beats Venezia in playoffs tune-up". The Detroit News. The Detroit News. Retrieved 19 July 2017. 

External links[edit]