(WXYZ) — Just a couple of years after going pro, Detroit City FC is moving up to the USL Championship starting with the 2022 season.
The USL Championship is the second division of men's pro soccer in the United States, and is just under Major League Soccer, the first division of pro soccer. There were 31 teams across the country competing last season, and all games are streamed on ESPN+ with 17 different matches airing on ESPN linear channels during the 2021 campaign.
Previously, Le Rouge was in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), where they won the championship.
“It’s clear that the time is right for Detroit City FC to move forward by joining the USL Championship,” said Detroit City FC Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer Sean Mann. “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. 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.”
The club will continue to play home games at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, where they draw thousands of fans. More than 7,000 attended the NISA Championship on July 3.
With the move to the USL, there will be stadium upgrades and additional staff to serve players, fans, broadcasters and more.
“The momentum behind Detroit City FC is remarkable and a credit to every person who has played a role in the club’s rise,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “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.”
The club went public during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering 10% of equity with units starting at $125. In days, 2,700 fans around the globe invested in the teams.
Since the move to NISA and hiring Head Coach and General Manager Trevor James, DCFC has gone 18-3-4 and won two leaue titles.
“The investment campaign was an inspiring solution to the challenges facing our 10th year as a club. When we needed our supporters most, they were there for us,” said DCFC co-owner and COO Todd Kropp. “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.”