It seems the East Division of the Midwest Premier League got jealous when they saw Justin Wasik’s recap of the West Division champions, Bavarians SC, because now the East has one of their own.
Midwest Premier League contributor Kyle Clayton has equalized the divisions for smallworld, and his take on Detroit City FC U23’s title-winning season is below.
After the first season for Detroit City FC’s U23 squad, they can proudly say that they are champions of the inaugural Midwest Premier League East division. Having only dropped three points all campaign, the title of champions is well-deserved for the young squad.
“It’s a testament to what the boys have been doing all season,” said DCFC U23s head coach Javi Bautista. “They definitely deserve it.”
The entire league was aware of what DCFC has been doing on the professional front. Fielding a U23 squad is an entirely different beast, but one that they tamed well. The side started the season out against their professional rivals, the Michigan Stars. In their first ever
“U23 Derby”, DCFC claimed their first points in a comeback win away to the Stars, a side that impressed in the early weeks of the season.
Detroit proved themselves to be a class above the rest, following the Stars victory with a 5-0 win away to Livonia City and two 3-0 wins against the West Michigan Bearings, home and away.
“The boys know that every single game is going to be a difficult game for us,” Bautista said. “Every team is going to want to beat us.”
After eight games unbeaten, DCFC went on to face Lansing Common FC for the first time in the season, their biggest hurdle to jump on the way to the trophy. Lansing knew that they needed to beat DCFC twice to have a chance of finishing in the top spot, and with a 3-0 win for the Robins in the first game, a cup-final atmosphere was set up at Keyworth for the return fixture.
A back-and-forth game that resulted in a 3-2 win for DCFC clinched the title on the day and rounded off a nearly perfect campaign for the young squad. While only conceding 11 goals in 14 games, the title felt inevitable for large parts of the season. The 3-0 result against Lansing was a slight blemish that prevented an invincible campaign, but that didn’t dampen any celebrations when the title was eventually clinched.
“It’s a developmental squad, so the idea isn’t necessarily to try and win as many games as possible,” Bautista said. “It’s more trying to get players to break into the first team so they’re ready for the next level.”
What has been a successful season due to a title win has also been a successful season with squad development as well. Bautista claimed several times throughout the season that this squad was created to build players for the future Detroit City first team, and that is
already proving to be true, with several players receiving call-ups to the professional squad during the NISA Independent Cup.
Success seems to be following DCFC wherever they go, and with their U23s continuing that trend, they have set the bar in the MWPL East. Having a side that went nearly an entire season without a loss is certainly a motivating factor for the rest of the clubs in the league and
has let them know what is required of them to challenge DCFC.
Overall, the Detroit City U23 squad has made their mark on the MWPL and has proven that, despite their youth, they’re here to play
an important role in the league.