Congratulations, Le Rouge, you did it.
Detroit City FC is now on track to join the new National Independent Soccer Association pro league, which kicks off in spring 2020.
The announcement comes just weeks after DCFC's original plan to go pro imploded. DCFC had previously announced
its intention to form a new National Premier Soccer League, but those plans fell through
due to issues in obtaining insurance to cover the teams. Most of the NPSL teams jumped ship, with some of them heading to NISA, where DCFC eventually followed.
In a letter posted to DCFC's website
, team co-owner Sean Mann called the move "The Biggest Chapter Yet For Your Club."
"With your support, what started as a community organizing project to bring together neighbors in Detroit is now poised to be Detroit’s first professional soccer team in generations," he wrote.
One of the most significant changes is the new professional designation will allow the team to pay its players.
Pending final approval from U.S. Soccer, DCFC will join the league along with fellow newcomers Chattanooga FC and Oakland Roots. The NISA league also includes Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Charlotte, Connecticut, Los Angeles, Miami, Orange County, Philadelphia, Providence, and San Diego.
"These clubs truly represent their communities and are proof the open system for soccer is the best way forward," NISA Commissioner John Prutch said in a release. "Each has built their support the correct way and that support will sustain them and NISA for years to come. Congratulations to each of them (owners, staff, players, and supporters) for taking that step to play professional soccer."
DCFC started eight years ago as a semi-professional team playing at Cass Tech High. In the years since, it has grown, now drawing 6,000 to 7,000 fans at its new home at Hamtramck's Keyworth Stadium.
DCFC and Chattanooga meet Saturday in the clubs’ first National Premier Soccer League Members Cup play Saturday at Keyworth Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
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