Warm up your vocal chords, put on your gold and rouge, and brainstorm ideas for new tifos. Detroit City FC’s third season is less than two months away from taking off.
The early stages begin on March 22, when the first tryout will take place. According to head coach Ben Pirmann, there will be another tryout on May 3, and preseason training will begin in the subsequent days.
Pirmann returns for his second season at the helm after leading Le Rouge to a sterling 11-1-1 record last year. Despite losing Fabio Pereira, Adam Bedell, and Joey Dillon to Major League Soccer, DCFC returns a proven and reliable core group of players.
The initial signing of returning players for the 2014 campaign include:
David Edwardson – CM
Josh Rogers – CD
Jonny Evans – D
Zach Myers – F
Locky Savage – CM
Jeff Adkins – M
Latif Alashe – CM
Spencer Thompson – CM
Tom Oatley – F
Nick Schroeder – F
Matt Ybarra – D
Miche’le Lipari – M
Cyrus Saydee – M
Chase Jabbori – D
Wade Allan – F
With a good mix of college players and recent graduates, Pirmann and the club’s ownership has developed a solidified foundation while working to fill remaining roster spots. With two new clubs in Michigan set to embark on their inaugural campaign — Lansing United and Michigan Stars FC— recruiting has gotten more competitive, but Pirmann insists Detroit City FC will be just fine.
“It will be very tough to replicate winning the entire regular season title in the NPSL like last year with the massive expansion of the league and more good teams and players, but we go out to win every single game,” Pirmann said. “We are actively recruiting the top players in the nation and North America to continue the winning tradition of DCFC.”
Added captain Josh Rogers: “Ben has put his imprint on our team and instilled a hard working, fast-paced playing style that will only set us up to succeed.”
Rogers and one of last season’s leading scorers, Zach Myers, highlight the list of returnees. With five other starters coming back — Allen, Saydee, Lipari, Alashe, and Adkins — a second consecutive division title is not just an aspiration, but more so an expectation. After an early exit from the divisional playoffs, the team remains hungry to build upon last season’s regular season triumphs, and redeem itself in the playoffs.
“Despite all of the success we had last year, losing at home in that fashion left a bitter taste in my mouth,” Myers said. “Guys are motivated to replicate the success of last year and take it to the next level come playoff time.”
Throughout the offseason, Myers has found time to balance a full time job and kick the ball around with some of the DCFC guys. Rogers has already been thinking about stepping out to Cass Tech for the first time this season, and is looking forward to beginning a rivalry with Lansing.
As long as last year was any indication the Detroit City FC ownership is expecting record-breaking attendance numbers this season. Co-owner David Dwaihy expressed his satisfaction with the response the organization received from season ticket sales and the social media blitz. In just two short years, Le Rouge has been able to establish itself as one of the more successful clubs in the NPSL.
“I am really looking forward to getting back to training with the players,” Pirmann said. “Preparing on a weekly basis for the weekend’s matches is a great feeling, and I am excited to get back to that with the DCFC group of guys.”
The feeling resonates with the rest of the returning players too, as summer nights in Cass Tech cannot come soon enough.
“There’s nothing sweeter or more exciting than leading the boys out of the tunnel at Cass,” Rogers said. “Shouts of ‘Come and get it,’ the tifos, and the smell of flares are narcotic. It’s such an exhilarating experience.”
The pulse of Michigan soccer is beginning to beat faster. The only wish DCFC has is that the next three months could move along just as quickly.