Instead of doing a standard season wrap (like in 2014), I thought I’d take a look back at 2015 as a whole in order to mention some of the significant off-the-field events that involved Detroit City FC this year. Without further delay…
– February/March – A pair of Q&A’s give us the chance to learn more about ownership’s plans for the club in the near future, as well as the history and philosophy of the Northern Guard. Among the things learned at the first session, it is announced that all 2015 league home matches will be streamed online.
– April – The first title sponsor in club history, Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, is unveiled, as are the kits for the upcoming season.
Head Coach: Ben Pirmann
Captain: Josh Rogers
NPSL Midwest Region: 2nd
NPSL Midwest Regional Playoffs: Semifinal
102nd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: First Round
Rust Belt Derby: Winner (3rd time)
Top Goalscorer (All Competitions): Will Mellors-Blair (10)
Black Arrow Award (Team MVP): Dave Edwardson
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102nd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
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In which I pull up my preseason prognostications and hold myself accountable and/or break my arm patting myself on the back.
2015 NPSL Midwest Region
In all honesty, I’m mainly concerned with figuring out where City will end up. In this regard, I think I did a pretty good job. If it wasn’t for Madison playing a super easy schedule in which they faced the worst team in the division three times, my prediction would’ve been spot-on.
Other than that, Cleveland and Buffalo exceeded my expectations, while Lansing and Minnesota Utd. underperformed.
5 Wild Guesses
1. A newcomer will win the Black Arrow Award (Team MVP).
Verdict: Incorrect. The award went to long-serving midfielder Dave Edwardson.
2. City will score at least 6 goals in a game.
Verdict: Correct. City set a new club record for goals in a game, scoring 6 against the Minnesota TwinStars on May 29th.
3. City will take at least 15 points from its final 6 matches (the second half of the season).
Verdict: Correct. City took exactly 15 points from its final 6 matches. Only a loss to Erie prevented them from earning the #1 seed and hosting the playoffs.
4. Average home attendance will be over 3000 and all league matches will sell out.
Verdict: 1/2 Correct. Average home attendance for the regular season came out to 3528, but not every single game was a sellout.
5. This will be the last season at Cass
Verdict: Correct. Keyworth awaits.
Goals of the Year
#3 Seb Harris saves the season opener.
— NPSL Gameday (@NPSLGameday) May 16, 2015
#2 Will Mellors-Blair breaks Lansing for good.
#1 Matt Ybarra calls in the Cincinnati Fire Department with his weak-footed volley into the upper 90.
— Detroit City FC (@DetroitCityFC) December 8, 2015
BIR Player Awards
MVP: Will Mellors-Blair (ST) Consistently excellent from the beginning of the season to the very end. He basically WAS City’s attack throughout the course of the year, and his absence was painfully evident in the playoff loss to Cleveland.
Breakout Player: Will Mellors-Blair (ST) I have to give this one to WMB as well. He was a solid player in 2014, but he elevated his game to a completely different level this year. And, with preseason injuries to Zach Myers and Javi Bautista, things could’ve gotten ugly if he hadn’t.
Unsung Hero: Troy Watson (CM) By the end of the year, his play was garnering more and more attention, but for much of the season, he was just an anonymous guy that happened to be playing a lot and having a significant, if not easily noticeable, impact. His emergence as a strong defensive-minded central midfielder helped shield the back line and greatly contributed to the team resolving its early season struggles with allowing too many goals.
Detroit City FC All-time Best XI
Updates for 2015: WMB, Dave Edwardson, Alex Isaevski, and Bret Mollon bump Jeff Adkins, Kevin Taylor, Zeke Harris, and Jeremy Clark, respectively
Subs (7): Knox Cameron (ST), Jeff Adkins (Wing/ST), Kevin Taylor (CM), Zeke Harris (RB), Seb Harris (CB/RB), Nick Lewin (CB/LB/RB), Jeremy Clark (GK)
During and after the season, a few notable fansites are launched: DCFC Fancast – the first podcast dedicated to all things City; Michael Kitchen’s game-by-game scrapbook project; the new NGS website (with the brilliant domain name: noonelikes.us).
– October – To fund the renovations to City’s new home, Keyworth Stadium, an ambitions community investment program is announced.
As of today, less than two months from the deadline, around $150,000 still needs to be raised. Click here to learn more.
This brings us to the end. 2015 was a year of tremendous growth, not only for the club, but for yours truly. Hopefully next year has more of the same in store. See you all in 2016!