WATERFORD, Mich. – Detroit City FC held tryouts for the 2015 season Friday, with over 60 participants showing up and registering for the two-hour event at Oakland Yard in Waterford.
Four of the participants were particularly motivated to try out for the team, driving 14 hours from Iowa to take the field in front of the Northern Guard Supporters.
Levi Fistrovic, Ross Hendry, Charles McInnes and Kyamran Tairov used to play for NPSL's Quad City team before it became inactive. They arrived at the tryout just in time for the 11 p.m. start and headed back home right after it ended at 1 a.m. Saturday.
What drove these players to make such a trip? Dreams of playing soccer in Detroit.
"It looked like a great organization," Fistrovic said. "Everyone knows about Detroit City FC.
Fistrovic is hoping to join DCFC as a left midfielder.
"This is a tryout and (Detroit has) all of these supporters here," Hendry said. Hendry tried out for center midfielder.
The four men were impressed by the fan loyalty that follows DCFC year-round.
Tairov said that he played against the Detroit Waza Flo last season as a PASL player and was impressed with soccer in Detroit. He said that game, along with a 2015 preview video, played a big role in his decision to try out Friday.
The Iowa participants said that it would be an honor to play for head coach Ben Pirmann, a fan-favorite in Detroit. They called the tryout well-organized and highly competitive.
If MacInnes makes the team, he knows what chant he hopes to hear from the fans.
"I am a bit of a Liverpool fan," MacInnes said. "So it's got to be 'you'll never walk alone, walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart."
In their fourth season in the NPSL, Detroit City FC looks to build off of a growing following that has made a splash around the city. The Northern Guard even showed up to the tryouts to support their team. You can see a short video of the fans during the tryout below.
During the 2014 season, fans lined the fences at Cass Tech High School for Detroit games that featured sellout crowds.
Detroit City FC will open the season with a friendly against the Muskegon Risers on May 9. You can find their whole schedule by clicking here.