Detroit City FC (DCFC) and Celtic Soccer Club (CSC) today announced a multi-faceted youth affiliation that includes the rebranding of Canton Celtic Soccer Club as Detroit City FC Youth West and Genesee Celtic Soccer Club as Detroit City FC Youth Genesee.
The affiliation will allow Detroit City FC and Celtic Soccer Club to serve a larger geographic area, with the community-focused clubs working to combine resources and networks to provide accessible soccer development and training to more youth across Metro Detroit and beyond.
The partnership creates a structured path to the Detroit City FC first team for CSC’s more than 800 select and premier youth players.
Detroit City FC will provide technical staff and will work with CSC to develop a coaching curriculum for the program. As part of the partnership, CSC members will have unmatched access to exclusive opportunities with DCFC coaches and players, as well as ticket discounts for Detroit City FC matches at Keyworth Stadium.
Canton Celtic Soccer Club will operate as Detroit City FC Youth West and Genesee Celtic Soccer Club will operate as Detroit City FC Youth Genesee starting in June of 2019, with the opportunity for future expansion throughout Celtic Soccer Club’s additional regions. After the current uniform cycle completes, the new youth affiliate players and staff will transition into the familiar Rouge & Gold of DCFC by June of 2021.
The alliance will allow each entity to benefit from the strengths of the other, as operational and administrative duties will reside with DCFC Youth West, and DCFC will tap its professional approach and year-round commitment to the grassroots game to enhance the experience of club players.
“Kids in our community deserve a club they will never grow out of,” DCFC CEO Sean Mann said. “We are excited about this affiliation with Celtic Soccer Club. Since our founding, DCFC has become known for our belief in the positive power of community soccer. Every sports fan in our state understands that the love for our teams is something passed from generation to generation. We are thrilled by the potential of this next step in the growth of our club. These young players will suit up in the same kits as our first team. That is how you foster true passion for the game.”
“It has always been our goal to give our members the best possible soccer experience, which is why this new partnership with DCFC is so exciting for the Canton Celtic Soccer Club,” CSC Club Director Pete Alexander said. “As a professional club, DCFC has built their brand around many of the core values that we have designed the Canton Soccer Club around. We both have strong ties to the community, we both value the members that support us and we both believe in giving back to the game.
"Partnering with DCFC is the next logical step to our already strong club by adding a pathway for players beyond club and college. As DCFC marches toward their full inaugural professional season in 2020, it gives our players something bigger for them to be proud of as part of their club. As we move forward this partnership should be incredible for both the CSC and DCFC!”
“The mission of the club has always been twofold: Providing the best opportunities possible for the players and fostering a passion for the sport,” Genesee President Rob Nuckolls said. “Adding a partnership with DCFC accomplishes both. If we can help bring the atmosphere at Keyworth Stadium to youth soccer in Genesee County, we have succeeded.”
For Detroit City, this marks an exciting chapter in its mission to sustainably grow the local youth game. Last year, DCFC launched its Select program in partnership with Detroit PAL, a comprehensive low to no-cost soccer program for youth in Detroit.
The new partnership taps into decades of work by Canton Soccer Club to grow the game throughout the Canton area and beyond. Established in 1978, CSC is one of Metro Detroit’s largest youth clubs, with more than 2,700 participating members in teams and leagues from U3 to Over-55.
About Detroit City FC: Detroit City FC is a grassroots football club representing the city in a positive light, and building community through the beautiful game. A member of the National Premier Soccer League since 2012, Detroit City has established itself as one of the most talked about soccer teams in North America. Learn more about the club at detcityfc.com.
About Canton Soccer Club: Canton Soccer Club was established in 1978 as a USYSA affiliated Soccer Program whose main goal was to offer soccer teams and leagues to the youth of the Canton area. Since then the CSC has truly become a full-service soccer organization, offering teams and leagues for players from U3 to Over-55.
Over the years the Club has grown both in numbers as well as in teams and individual achievements. They have over 2,700 participating members, with 800+ select and premier players, over 1,400 recreational players and nearly 500 adult players. They have approximately 130 coaches, a full-time Club Director, and staff, as well as a volunteer staff too numerous to count. Canton Soccer also host one of the largest and best-run soccer tournaments every Memorial weekend that draws consistently 500-600 teams annually - the Canton Cup.
About Genesee Soccer Club: Established in 1979, the Genesee Celtic Soccer Club was originally known as the Flint Arrows. In 2011, the current partners revived the club, which lead to an alliance with the Canton Soccer Club in 2016. That relationship allowed the Genesee group more opportunities for it’s players and so will the partnership with DCFC. The Genesee group has grown into 28 teams between select, premier, and recreation.