We at DSN have been chronicling the growing efforts to bring professional soccer to Detroit. The plans have already been in place under Tom Gores and Dan Gilbert. Now, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press, there are efforts to integrate the Michigan Bucks and Detroit City FC into the Detroit MLS structure.
In the report, MLS Commissioner Don Garber “acknowledged at the news conference that he wants to find a way to involve both the Michigan Bucks and Detroit City FC (which plays in the National Premier Soccer League, also in the fourth level of pro soccer) in the effort to bring MLS to Detroit, although there’s no firm plan on how that will happen.”
The Michigan Bucks are a Premier Development League club that was founded in 1995 and play at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, Michigan. They have been one of the most successful PDL teams in the United States with eleven US Open Cup appearances, 11 divisional championships, and two league titles in 2006 and ’14. In 2006, the Bucks became affiliated with MLS squad Columbus Crew. They also have 62 former players that have been either drafted or signed into the MLS as well.
The more famous of the two is Detroit City FC. They have garnered national and local attention and have continued to be tied with any soccer talk in the city. Their fans have been more than impressive and they continue to grow from their humble beginnings.
There is no soccer movement in the city of Detroit without DCFC. They have backed their strong support as well with a gaudy win-tie-loss record of 32-11-7, including a 2013 campaign where they didn’t lose a match. Their inclusion is essential to the growth of soccer in Detroit just as much as the Michigan Bucks.
This statement by the commissioner, however, is intriguing on two fronts.
First and foremost, there have been statements from DCFC supporters against the move of the MLS into Detroit. Their points have been well conveyed and have clearly brought attention to the commissioner of the MLS. They have been bringing in a lot of outside attention to soccer for the city and it would be a grave mistake not to include them.
Secondly, the Michigan Bucks have been surprisingly put into the background with this news despite major success in the Premier Development League. They have been very consistent and have MLS ties as well. There should be efforts to include them as much as DCFC.
Having the man behind the soccer movement in America mention both teams is due credit that hasn’t been reciprocated as much as it should.
Arn Tellem, Vice Chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment, also commented on the inclusion of both franchises as well.
Tellem stated that:
“Every MLS team has a USL team affiliate, and that’s important to a potential franchise for both player and fan development,’ Tellem said. ‘We are fortunate to have two established minor league soccer programs here in Michigan with the Bucks and DCFC, and we’ve had conversations with both clubs. It’s premature to speculate where those conversations will lead, but we intend to keep talking about how we can work together as the bid process unfolds.
We have tremendous respect for those clubs, their supporters and everything they’ve accomplished.”