Detroit City FC

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Detroit City FC
Full name Detroit City Football Club
Nickname(s) Le Rouge, DCFC, City, The Club of The People, The Blood & Treasure,The Blood & Bones
Founded 2012
Stadium Keyworth Stadium
Ground Capacity 6,000
Head Coach Ben Pirmann
League National Premier Soccer League
Website Club home page
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, but has since moved to Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, a small enclave of Detroit, starting with the 2016 season.[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.[3]

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.[4]

Current Season

The 2016 pre-season began with the Keyworth investment drive, which raised $741,250[5] 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.[6] Detroit City played its first home game in Keyworth on May 20, 2016 drawing 1-1 against AFC Ann Arbor in front of a record 7,410 supporters.

In The Community

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."[7]

The club operates the Detroit City Futbol League, a recreational, community-driven adult soccer league in the summer.[8] In 2014, the team announced its first fall recreational adult league, Soktoberfest.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] 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

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".[14]


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.[15] 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.[16] Cleveland won the inaugural Rust Belt Derby on June 23, 2012 following a 1-1 draw with Detroit.[17] 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.

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


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.[18] In March it was confirmed that players would be getting assigned numbers for the first time in the team's history.[19]

Historical Kits






  1. Also appeared with the home socks
  2. Urban camouflage pattern

Kit Supplier and Sponsor

Years Kit manufacturer Sponsor
Front Sponsor Secondary Sponsor(s)
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[20] Henry Ford Health System and M1 Imaging Center
2016 M1 Imaging Center, Faygo, Henry Ford Health System


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

Head Coach

Associate Head Coach

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

Assistant Coach

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



2013 Detroit City FC

2016 Roster

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

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Robbie Beckwell
2 United States DF Billy Stevens
3 United States DF Andre Morris
4 United States DF "Seb" Harris (Vice-captain)
5 United States DF Tyler Stephens
7 United States FW Spiro Pliakos
8 United States MF Jeff Adkins
10 United States MF Cyrus Saydee
11 Canada MF Troy Watson
13 Romania MF Danny Dragoi
14 United States MF Matt Ybarra
16 United States FW Wade Allen
19 United States FW Tyler Channel
18 England MF David Edwardson (Captain)
No. Position Player
20 United States DF Matt Nance
21 United States MF Brett Nason
22 Republic of Macedonia DF Alex Isaevski
23 United States DF Zach Schewee
24 Canada FW Jordan Kalk
25 England FW Danny Deakin
28 United States MF Tyler Moorman
30 United States GK Evan Louro
31 United States GK Cody Lang
33 Mexico FW Javi Bautista
77 Norway FW Ali Al-Gashamy
96 England DF Omar Sinclair

Notable Former Players

Black Arrow Award Recipients

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

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

Regional Competitions


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[21] 1,295
2013 4 NPSL 1st of 6, Midwest-Great Lakes (11-0-1) Conference Final Did not qualify[22] 1,715
2014 4 NPSL 2nd of 5, Midwest-Great Lakes West (8-3-3) Did not qualify First Round 2,857[23]
2015 4 NPSL 2nd of 13, Midwest (8-2-2) Regional Semifinal First Round 3,528[24]
2016 4 NPSL In process TBD Second Round TBD

Current Season

2016 NPSL Great Lakes West Conference Standings

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts
1 AFC Ann Arbor 4 3 0 1 8 4 +4 10
2 Kalamazoo FC 4 2 1 1 7 5 +2 7
3 Michigan Stars FC 5 1 1 3 6 6 0 6
4 Lansing United 4 1 1 2 4 3 +1 5
5 Detroit City FC 4 1 1 2 9 8 +1 5
6 Grand Rapids FC 3 1 1 1 3 4 −1 4
7 Dayton Dynamo 4 0 4 0 4 11 −7 0
Updated to match(es) played on May 30, 2016. 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

0-0-0 Win-Loss-Draw
0-0 Win-Loss
* No games played
Opponent Regular Season Playoffs U.S. Open Total Played Win %
Michigan AFC Ann Arbor 0-0-1 * * 0-0-1 1 0.500
Ohio AFC Cleveland 4-1-3 1-2 * 5-3-3 11 0.591
Ohio Dayton Dynamo[A] 5-0-0 * * 5-0-0 5 1.000
Pennsylvania Erie Commodores FC[B] 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 Kalamazoo FC 0-1-0 * * 0-1-0 1 0.000
Michigan Lansing United 2-1-1 * * 2-1-1 4 0.625
Kentucky Louisville City FC * * 0-0-1 (0-1 PKs) 0-0-1 1 0.500
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 0.250
Michigan Michigan Stars FC[C] 5-1-1 * * 5-1-1 7 0.786
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[D] 3-0-0 * * 3-0-0 3 1.000
Total 33-8-13 1-3 0-1-3 (1-2 PKs) 34-12-16 62 0.677
  • Note: Table includes all competitive matches and does not include friendlies.
  • Updated to May 22, 2016 vs Kalamazoo
  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 FC Sparta Michigan were renamed Michigan Stars FC in 2013.
  4. ^ D Zanesville Athletic FC folded in 2013.


  1. Foster, Terry (September 10, 2015). "Detroit City FC wants to move to Hamtramck stadium". Detroit News. Retrieved September 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "NPSL soccer: Detroit City FC's first loss ends their season, falling 4-1 to Erie Admirals in playoffs". MLive. Retrieved 2016-03-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "WEEKEND REPORT: DCFC FINISH REGULAR SEASON WITH SHUTOUT WIN". Detroit City FC homepage. Retrieved 2016-03-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "DETROIT CITY FC RAISES $741,250 THROUGH COMMUNITY INVESTMENT CAMPAIGN". Detroit City FC homepage. Retrieved 2016-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Welcome back, Dave Edwardson!". Detroit City FC Twitter. Retrieved 2016-03-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "DCFC TAKES DOWN MADISON 56ERS". Detroit City FC homepage. Retrieved 2016-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "RougeRoversNGS". Rouge Rovers on twitter. Retrieved 2016-03-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Detroit City FC brings soccer culture and excitement back to downtown". MLive Media Group. Retrieved March 17, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "The Rust Belt Derby". Soccer News Day. Soccer News Day. Retrieved June 26, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Episode 15 – Ben Pirmann and Alex Wright". Detroit City FC Fan Cast. Retrieved 23 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Confirmation of Assigned Numbers". Detroit City FC Twitter. Retrieved 22 March 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Gerald Barnhart. "NPSL announces four of 6.5 US Open Cup berths for 2012 tournament". Retrieved May 16, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Josh Hakala (April 9, 2013). "Great Lakes Division teams decline 2013 US Open Cup berths as NPSL entries finalized". Retrieved May 7, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Boys in Rouge: Number Crunchin'".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links