Detroit City FC 2024 preview: Le Rouge set for 3rd season in USL Championship

Detroit City FC Dominic Grasso
Posted at 12:38 PM, Mar 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 12:38:43-04

Detroit City Football Club (DCFC) kicks off its 2024 season on Saturday on the road, the third season in the USL Championship.

Le Rouge finished last season with a 11-15-8 record. They snuck into the final playoff spot, but got an upset win over the top-seeded Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the playoffs. Detroit lost in the second round to Lousiville City FC.

Last season, Detroit struggled to get the ball into the net, scoring a league-low 31 goals and ranking 17th in the league with 31 shots. However, Le Rouge also kept teams from scoring, conceding only 43 goals.

Returning in 2024

  • Stephen Carroll - Defender
  • Devon Amoo-Mensah - Defender
  • Rhys Williams - Defender
  • Brett Levis - Defender
  • Ben Morris - Forward
  • Yazeed Matthews - Forward
  • Connor Rutz - Forward
  • Michael Bryant - Midfielder
  • Dominic Gasso - Midfielder
  • Maxi Rodriguez - Midfielder
  • Abodulaye Diop - Midfielder
  • Nate Steinwascher - Goalkeeper

New players

  • Matt Sheldon - Defender
  • Alexander Villanueva - Defender
  • Elvis Amoh - Forward
  • Daniel Espeleta - Midfielder
  • Ryan Williams - Midfielder
  • James Murphy - Midfielder
  • Ali Coote - Midfielder
  • Carlos Saldaña - Goalkeeper

The additions will add to some of the team's best players returning, including the 2023 Black Arrow MVP award winner, Amoo-Mensah.
Steinwascher will also return in net for Detroit, after finishing last season with 12 clean sheets, third in the league, and 94 saves, fourth highest in the league.

New coach

During the offseason, Detroit hired a new coach for the club, Danny Dichio. He's the fourth head coach in team history, and former head coach Trevor James, who moved into a new role as the club's first-ever sporting director.

Dichio last served as an assistant coach for Sacramento Republic FC, who finished as the runner-up in the USL Championship Western Conference.

“My family and I are thrilled to be joining Detroit City FC and the community of Detroit. This is a unique club with great leadership, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to get started with the group and build on the recent success of Detroit City Football Club,” Dichio said in a statement at the time the announcement was made.

Dicchio has also brought a new staff with him, including Yianni Michelias as assistant coach, Dan Trosper as the Sports Performance Coach and Emerson Lovato as the new goalkeeper coach. He brought back Chris Stanton as manager of soccer operations at Maureen Lilla as the athletic trainer.

Games to watch

Detroit opens the season on the road Saturday night, taking on the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC at 8 p.m. EDT. They'll open the home season at Keyworth Stadium on March 23 at 4 p.m.

This season will also include five national TV broadcasts for Le Rouge: May 11 against Phoenix Rising; June 26 against Birmingham Legion FC; July 31 at Hartford Athletic; Aug. 7 against Pittsburgh and Sept. 22 against Louisville.

On top of their regular season matches, another game to watch will be the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Detroit will enter the the third round of the tournament on either April 16 or April 17. The biggest soccer tournament in the U.S. will only feature some MLS teams will be in it this year.

Last year, Detroit made it to the third round where they hosted the Minnesota United FC of the MLS. They got on the board early but eventually lost 3-1. In 2022, Detroit beat the MLS Columbus Crew and get into the round of 32.