Veteran defender Madison Duncan is back at Detroit City Football Club for her second season. With her return, the Troy native brings four years of collegiate experience from Michigan State as well as professional playing experience in the Czech Republic, both of which have helped shape her game.
“I think college soccer is definitely more aggressive, so I think that is something that I probably brought here,” she said. “The Big Ten in general is super physical, so I guess being physical on the ball and kind of shoulder to shoulder, I brought that.”
She also took on her fair share of tough competition during her career as a Spartan including the reigning Big Ten champions and even an international opponent.
“I think it was my junior year, but we got to play the Mexican National Team. It was so cool because that was probably the most fans that I had played in front of and they all had signs and banners and it was a really intense, fun game,” she said. “There was also one year we played Penn State, who had won the national championship the year before, and we beat them and that was our senior game as well – that was an incredible game.”
After her collegiate career, Duncan spent some time playing overseas for FC Slovacko in the Czech professional league which added a new aspect to her game: communicating without speaking.
“Of course there was the language barrier, so I’m so grateful to play in the team where I can communicate because that’s definitely difficult,” she said. “One thing that I did learn in the Czech Republic that I’m able to bring here is actually nonverbal communication.”
Duncan would have to point to the foot she wanted the ball at because she didn’t speak the same language as her teammates. However, she’s found that this skill still comes in handy while playing with DCFC.
“I have to do it here because the fans are so loud, so a lot of the time you honestly can’t even hear your own teammates, so you have to be able to communicate without being able to hear each other so I’m kind of grateful for that experience of doing that,” she said.
After winning the 2021 team MVP award, Duncan is excited to be back with Le Rouge as a veteran, ready to help out the new players as they all enter the USL W league for the first time.
“It’s definitely a bit more calm, you know, and I can see in the newbies kind of how I felt last year so I feel good that I’m able to kind of comfort them and provide them with that help and aid that people provided for me last year,” Duncan said.
For Duncan, the decision to return was an easy one, citing the love from the community and the team as to why it was a no-brainer.
“I think just the community and the environment is incredible,” she said. “If you ask anyone on the team, they’ll tell you about the community and how well the team meshes. We’re like a family, so I think that was one thing that drew me back and then of course the fans and playing at Keyworth. It’s just an experience like none other that I’ve had, and I had a blast last year and I want to help take this team professional.”
Duncan and the rest of Detroit City FC will enter their first season in the USL W League, a pre-professional league, in the Great Lakes Division along with Kalamazoo FC, AFC Ann Arbor, Flint City AFC, Indy Eleven, Kings Hammer FC, Midwest United FC, and Racing Louisville FC.