2016 Season Wrap

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Head Coach: Ben Pirmann
Captain: Dave Edwardson
103rd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup: Second Round
NPSL Great Lakes West Conference: 5th
NPSL Midwest Regional Playoffs: Did not qualify
Rust Belt Derby: Winner (4th time)
Top Goalscorer (Competitive Matches): Tommy Catalano (5)
Black Arrow Award (Team MVP): Tommy Catalano

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Friendlies

103rd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

Regular Season

Great Lakes West Final Standings

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A Response to MGoBlog

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As a longtime Michigan Football fan, I’ve been a reader of MGoBlog for over a decade. I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated the in-depth, intelligent, nuanced content produced by Brian Cook and his team. In my opinion it’s by far the best team-specific sports blog on the Internet, and was one of my main sources of inspiration when I started BIR three years ago. In many ways what I’ve been aiming for is to be the “MGoBlog” of Detroit City FC.

So I was taken aback when I read Brian’s utter contempt for City and its supporters in this recent post:

 Nothing is more annoying about DCFC than this. Detroit is a name frequently proposed for MLS expansion because it makes a ton of sense. It’s an excellent sports town and it’s smack dab in the middle of the Toronto-Chicago-Columbus triangle. But Detroit City is vehemently opposed:

…for this team and its passionate supporters, being included would have also presented another conundrum: DCFC’s identity is homegrown and supporters say it would disintegrate under MLS’ sanitized fan control policies.

For them, the only way to keep growing soccer in Detroit, the only way they saw the sport as having a real future here, was to keep it community and supporter-focused. The Detroit sports landscape, Wright said, was too treacherous for any team to turn their back on that model.

That is absurdly self-important and aloof. Many MLS environments are excellent and homegrown because the league was able to establish a détente with existing fans. The league has done a terrific job of crossing over from Family Fun to actually fun environments in Toronto, Seattle, and Portland.

The same can happen in Detroit, because the DCFC hardcore are not 1) particularly numerous and 2) the only soccer fans in the city. If DCFC wants to finish out of the playoff slots in the NPSL because MLS would frown on them saying “fuck” 300 times in a 90 minute match, that’s their prerogative. It should have no impact on MLS’s decision to come to Detroit or not. There’s no reason the two teams can’t coexist since they serve different markets. One will draw the interest of soccer fans; the other will draw the interest of people who like to act tough and watch colored smoke instead of soccer.

The argument that City supporters don’t care about soccer and only go to matches to get drunk and cosplay as European ultras is brought up by our detractors over and over, and each time it gets more tiresome. There may be some supporters for whom this is absolutely true, but for the core of NGS, the dress, smoke and tifo displays, etc. are simply expressions of our love for the club and the ways in which we choose to support it. We create the atmosphere in celebration of what happens on the field, not independent of it. If drawing attention to ourselves in turn makes more people aware of City, we’ve accomplished what we set out to do from the very beginning.

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2017 NPSL Midwest Divisions

I am alive. I haven’t written anything in four months mainly for two reasons: (1) This season burned me out and I just didn’t friggin feel like doing anything for a while, and (2) Unlike 2015, this fall was utterly devoid of any real news pertaining to City.

Things have perked up over the last few weeks, however, and now there are a few items worthy of discussion. I planned on covering the NASL/USL/MLS expansion drama and what it has to do with City, but I’ve decided to save that for my annual State of the Club post which will be up sometime in January. Maybe by then the NASL will have kicked the bucket and will make my analysis that much easier, but for now I’d like to focus on the latest annual reshuffling of the NPSL’s Midwest divisions.

Sidenote: I’m going to call them “divisions” even though the league bizarrely insists on calling them “conferences.” In every major sport in North America, the nomenclature goes: League – Conference – Division, with a descending number of teams in each. NPSL for some reason goes: League – Region – Conference. Everyone I know uses the word “division” to describe the group of teams that City plays in the regular season, and it just sounds better, so that’s what I’m going with.

Anyway,  the formats of the past two years (single 12-team table in 2015, east & west divisions in 2016) seemed to provide good balance and worked well – i.e. the teams that truly deserved to make the playoffs made it and the ones that didn’t deserve it didn’t.

With the rebooting of the old Central Division, now known as the North, the Midwest Region is returning to the unbalanced, poorly structured format of 2014, in which Detroit City finished one point behind Lansing United for most overall points, but failed to qualify for the 4-team playoff because it didn’t win its division and had a lower points-per-game average than the wildcard qualifier.

Not to dwell on the past, but just look how stupid this is:

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Number Crunchin’: 2016 Attendance

Photo by Detroit City FC
Photo by Detroit City FC

Your annual look at Detroit City FC’s home attendance numbers.

Links to previous editions:     2013     2014     2015

Data Sources:

Detroit City FC attendance numbers are announced at games and posted to the club’s official Twitter account.

NASL numbers: Soccer Stadium Digest

USL-Pro numbers: Wiki page/kenn.com

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Previous home attendance averages (competitive matches only):

2012: 1295  CLICK HERE for game-by-game table
2013: 1715  CLICK HERE for game-by-game table
2014: 2857  CLICK HERE for game-by-game table
2015: 3528  CLICK HERE for game-by-game table

Final numbers for 2016:

2016att

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