The once-scrappy Detroit City FC just keeps on winning.
Detroit's grassroots professional soccer team will now join the USL Championship league for the 2022 season, according to an announcement by the team on Tuesday. USLC is a Division II league, just under Major League Soccer.
The move will make DCFC more visible: all USLC games are streamed live on ESPN+.
"It's clear that the time is right for Detroit City FC to move forward by joining the USL Championship," DCFC co-owner and CEO Sean Mann said in a statement. "This puts us on track to accomplish many of our shared objectives such as fielding a professional women's side, enhancing our academy program, upgrading our facilities, and expanding our reach."
He added, "Since 2012, our vision for Detroit City FC has been to become Detroit’s soccer club for all time. We strive to be the most inclusive, community-focused, and supporter-driven club in the USA."
Before the USLC move, DCFC was in the National Independent Soccer Association, a third-tier league, where it went on to win the championship twice.
"The momentum behind Detroit City FC is remarkable and a credit to every person who has played a role in the club’s rise," USLC president Jake Edwards said in a statement. "It's hard to find a better example of bringing a community together through soccer. We welcome the DCFC community and its famed supporters into the USL family, and we look forward to seeing this next phase of the club's evolution."
DCFC will still call Hamtramck's Keyworth Stadium home. According to the team, the USLC move will include stadium upgrades and additional staff "better to serve players, fans, broadcasters, and media."
To offset the financial blow of the pandemic, DCFC went public in 2020, raising more than $1.4 million from 2,700 individuals, including rock star Iggy Pop.
"The investment campaign was an inspiring solution to the challenges facing our 10th year as a club," DCFC co-owner and COO Todd Kropp said in a statement. "Moving to the USL Championship honors that commitment and makes us more accessible and impactful. Most importantly, it strengthens our ability to deliver on our conviction that everyone deserves a soccer club that they will never grow out of."
DCFC originated as a neighborhood soccer league in 2010. By 2012 it had formed a minor league team that played at Cass Technical High School, and "Le Rouge" quickly became known for its raucous fanbase. The team moved to Keyworth Stadium in 2016, where it draws thousands of fans.
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