May 6, 2022 - Sports

Your guide to Detroit City FC's Open Cup run

Detroit City FC fans celebrate.

Detroit City FC fans at Keyworth Stadium in 2021. Photo: David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images.

Plucky Detroit City FC is on a historic run toward U.S. Soccer's national championship.

Why it matters: DCFC has never advanced this far in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, further legitimizing it as a professional soccer club and creating more local buzz.

State of play: Pro soccer can be tough to follow because it has different divisions, leagues and cups — so here's a quick guide to the DCFC:

The big picture: The championship involves teams from all levels of U.S. Soccer — from amateur teams to Major League Soccer clubs — that compete each year in a single-elimination tournament to crown a national champion.

  • DCFC shook up the soccer world with a 2-1 "cupset" over the Columbus Crew on April 19 to advance to the next round of the Open Cup. It was the club's first-ever win against an MLS team.
  • "It's probably the biggest win in terms of clout and stature that the club has ever had," longtime DCFC fan Dean Simmer tells Axios.

Be smart: Le Rouge, the team's nickname, is a nod to the city's French roots and the team's rouge and gold colors.

If you go: Get ready for smoke bombs and lots of chanting. The club's die-hards — including a group called the Northern Guard Supporters — occupy the east end of Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck. They stand, sing and yell throughout matches. The west side of the stadium is more reserved if getting wild isn’t your thing.

  • Bars and restaurants near the stadium include Bumbo's, Motor City Sports Bar, The Painted Lady and the Fowling Warehouse.
  • Pro tip: Download NGS' Guardbook app to learn the chants. Printed versions of the song book — Hell's Hymnal — are usually handed out at the game, too.

Two local stars to watch:

  • Goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher played college soccer for University of Detroit Mercy.
  • And forward Connor Rutz went to Walled Lake Northern High School and played at Saginaw Valley State University.

What's next: The next tournament game is May 10 at Keyworth Stadium against rival Louisville City FC.

  • But first, the DCFC women's team starts its season Saturday, hosting Kalamazoo FC.

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