Detroit City Football Club takes the next step in its evolution by joining a new professional league.
Le Rouge will be one of 11 charter members in the yet-to-be-named association, which is being formed in cooperation with City’s parent organization, the National Premier Soccer League. The new league will consist of NPSL clubs and teams that previously played in the North American Soccer League. The New York Cosmos, one of the American game’s most recognizable names, will be one of the charter members. So will the 2018 NPSL national champion Miami FC. Other teams include ASC San Diego, Cal FC, California United Strikers, FC Arizona, Oakland Roots, Chattanooga FC, Miami United, and Milwaukee Torrent.
Sean Mann is one of DCFC’s owners. He says 2019 will be a transition year for the club.
“It’s kind of a segue-type season,” Mann says. “We’ll play our normal season, May through July. And then in the fall, the new league would kick things off with a half-season tournament.” The winner of that tournament would claim the Founders Cup. A full-season scheduled would start in 2020.
A longer season means more matches at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, and more opportunities for fans to experience the club soccer phenomenon. DCFC typically draws almost 6,000 people to its home games. Mann says City’s supporters have been a major reason for the club’s progress.
“We have a rabid fan base,” Mann says. “We have something that’s caught the attention of not only American soccer, but globally as well.”
Mann says the ownership team hopes to keep ticket prices affordable as they transition from a semi-pro summer club to a longer schedule with professional contracts.
Click on the audio player to hear the conversation with WDET’s Pat Batcheller.