Score! Detroit City FC is officially a pro soccer team


Detroit City Football Club playing at Keyworth Stadium. - DION DEGENNARO
  • Dion Degennaro
  • Detroit City Football Club playing at Keyworth Stadium.

Detroit City FC — the Motor City's scrappy, grassroots soccer team — finally made it to the big leagues.

The team officially joined the National Independent Soccer Association Division III league on Wednesday.

"It represents an unimaginable progression that has involved too many people to count — one that started with a neighborhood soccer league rooted in community service and led to Detroit's first professional soccer team in nearly 40 years," DCFC CEO Sean Mann said in a statement. "As we move into this next chapter for Detroit soccer, we know it wouldn't be possible without your continued support. On behalf of everyone at Detroit City FC, we thank you for the time and passion you've invested in City to make it what it is today."

DCFC has long had designs to go pro. A previously announced plan to form a new National Premier Soccer League fell through due to issues in obtaining insurance to cover the teams, and most of the proposed NPSL teams headed instead to NISA, where DCFC eventually wound up. Among other changes, joining NISA means the team will now be able to pay its players.

DCFC started eight years ago as a semi-professional team playing at Cass Tech High. In the years since, "Le Rouge" has grown into a fan phenomenon at a time when Detroit's major pro sports teams aren't doing so great, drawing 6,000 to 7,000 fans per game at its home at Hamtramck's refurbished Keyworth Stadium.

You can read our 2015 cover story on DCFC's rise here. The NISA league officially starts in spring 2020.

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