Detroit City FC

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Detroit City FC
Full name Detroit City Football Club

Le Rouge, DCFC, City,

The Club of The People
Founded 2012
Stadium Keyworth Stadium
Ground Capacity 7,000
Head Coach Ben Pirmann
League National Premier Soccer League
Website Club home page
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. Detroit City plays its home games at Cass Technical High School in downtown Detroit, but has announced plans to move in 2016 to Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, a small city encircled by Detroit.[1] The club manager is Ben Pirmann.

Detroit City FC has a rivalry with FC Buffalo, and AFC Cleveland with whom it contests the Rust Belt Derby. 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.[2] 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.[citation needed]

Current Season[edit]

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 all-time record of 3,884 supporters for its 3-1 win against the Michigan Stars on July 11, 2015.[citation needed]

In The Community[edit]

Detroit City FC supporters with the city's skyline behind them

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."[3]

The club operates the Detroit City Futbol League, a recreational, community-driven adult soccer league in the summer.[4] In 2014, the team announced its first fall recreational adult league, Soktoberfest.[5] Detroit City FC also works with Think Detroit PAL to operate free youth soccer clinics and give 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 benefitted 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.[6]

Also 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.[7] 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.[8] The club has strong ties with Cass Tech High School, investing thousands of dollars into improving the Cass Tech field, a benefit to the 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".[citation needed]


See also: Rust Belt Derby

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.[9] 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.[10] Cleveland won the inaugural Rust Belt Derby on June 23, 2012 following a 1-1 draw with Detroit.[11] 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.

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.


  • 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)
  • United States Colby Cunningham (2014 – present)



2013 Detroit City FC

2015 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
United States MF Jeff Adkins
United States MF Latif Alashe
United States FW Wade Allen
Mexico FW Javier Bautista
France GK Alexandre Bouillennec
United States MF Bobby Budlong
United States MF Tommy Catalano
United States FW Tyler Channell
Bulgaria MF George Chomakov
Romania MF Danny Dragoi
England MF David Edwardson
United States DF Jon Evans
United States DF Connor Furgason
United States DF Sebastian Harris
United States DF Zeke Harris
United States MF Colin Helmrich
Australia MF Ross Hendry
Republic of Macedonia DF Alex Isaevski
Canada DF Bennett Jull
United States DF Ryan Keener
No. Position Player
England DF Michael Lamb
England FW Charlie MacInness
United States DF Colin McAtee
England FW William Mellors-Blair
United States GK Bret Mollon
United States DF Andre Morris
England MF James Murphy
United States FW Zach Myers
United States DF Josh Rogers (Captain)
United States MF Lachlan Savage
United States MF Cyrus Saydee
United States DF Zach Schewee
England GK Eliott Tarney
United States MF Kevin Taylor
United States MF Spencer Thompson
United States MF T.J. Van Slooten
Canada MF Troy Watson
Canada DF Brendan Woodfull
United States MF Matt Ybarra

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


Domestic League[edit]

  • NPSL Midwest Region - Great Lakes Conference
    • Champions (1): 2013

Regional Competitions[edit]


Year Tier League Regular Season Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Avg Attendance
2012 4 NPSL 2nd of 5, Midwest-Great Lakes (5-2-5) Conference Semifinal Not Eligible[12] 1295
2013 4 NPSL 1st of 6, Midwest-Great Lakes (11-0-1) Conference Final Did not qualify[13] 1715
2014 4 NPSL 2nd of 5, Midwest-Great Lakes West (8-3-3) Did not qualify First Round 2857[14]
2015 4 NPSL 2nd of 13, Midwest (8-2-2) Regional Semifinal First Round 3528 [15]

Current Season[edit]

2015 NPSL Midwest Region Standings

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Madison 56ers (C) 12 9 1 2 30 19 +11 28 2015 NPSL Midwest Region playoffs
2 Detroit City FC 12 8 2 2 30 14 +16 26
3 AFC Cleveland 12 8 2 2 30 10 +20 26
4 Indiana Fire 12 7 3 2 22 10 +12 24
5 FC Buffalo 12 6 4 2 24 16 +8 22
6 Lansing United 12 6 2 4 16 14 +2 20
7 Erie Commodores FC 12 5 0 7 24 27 −3 15
8 Minnesota United FC Reserves 12 4 2 6 18 25 −7 14
9 Michigan Stars FC 12 4 1 7 17 21 −4 13
10 Cincinnati Saints 12 4 1 7 14 21 −7 13
11 FC Indiana Lions 12 2 3 7 15 32 −17 9
12 Fort Pitt FC Regiment 12 2 2 8 12 26 −14 8
13 Minnesota Twin Stars 12 1 1 10 13 30 −17 4
Updated to match(es) played on July 22, 2015. 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
(C) Champion.

Historic Record Vs Opponents[edit]

0-0-0 Win-Loss-Draw
0-0 Win-Loss
* No games played
Opponent Regular Season Playoffs U.S. Open Total Played Win %
Ohio AFC Cleveland 4-1-3 1-2 * 5-3-3 11 0.591
Ohio Cincinnati Saints 4-0-0 * * 4-0-0 4 1.000
Pennsylvania Erie Commodores FC[A] 3-2-2 0-1 * 3-3-2 8 0.500
New York FC Buffalo 4-1-2 * * 4-1-2 7 0.714
Pennsylvania Fort Pitt FC Regiment 2-0-0 * * 2-0-0 2 1.000
New York GBFC Thunder 2-0-1 * * 2-0-1 3 0.833
Indiana Indiana Fire 1-1-1 * * 1-1-1 3 0.500
Michigan Lansing United 2-1-1 * * 2-1-1 4 0.625
Wisconsin Madison 56ers 1-0-0 * * 1-0-0 1 1.000
Michigan Michigan Bucks * * 0-1 0-1-0 1 0.000
Michigan Michigan Stars FC[B] 5-1-0 * * 5-1-0 6 0.833
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 0.500
Illinois RWB Adria * * 0-0-1
(0-1 PKs)
0-0-1 1 0.500
Ohio Zanesville Athletic FC[C] 3-0-0 * * 3-0-0 3 1.000
Total 32-7-11 1-3 0-1-1 33-11-12 56 0.696
  • Note: Table includes all competitive matches and does not include friendlies.
  • Updated to end of 2015 season
  1. ^ A Erie Admirals S.C. were renamed Erie Commodores FC in 2015.
  2. ^ B FC Sparta Michigan were renamed Michigan Stars FC in 2013.
  3. ^ C Zanesville Athletic FC folded in 2013.

Kit Supplier and Sponsor[edit]

Years Kit manufacturer Sponsor
Front Sponsor Back Sponsor
2012 Nike Independent Detroit businesses sponsored individual players Slows to Go/ Michigan Greensafe Products
2013 None CorePower/MillKing it Productions
2015 Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Local Marketing Association[16] Henry Ford Health System and M1 Imaging Center


External links[edit]