SAFC Offseason Report 3: Detroit City FC named opening day opponent

The USL Championship and San Antonio FC announced the home opener for the 2022 season. The Alamo City Boys will be facing USL newcomers Detroit City FC, who are coming over from NISA. San Antonio FC is coming off a successful 2021 season where they finished second in the Western Conference Mountain Division, clinched the playoffs for the third time in club history and made it to the Western Conference Final where they fell to eventual USL Cup Champions Orange County SC. Detroit City FC completed a historic NISA season, finishing top of the table with just one loss and winning the NISA Championship.

Jose Gallegos returns on a mutli year deal with San Antonio FC. Photo by Soy SAF

This will be the first time ever San Antonio FC and Detroit City FC will face off. San Antonio FC is entering their seventh season and are undefeated in home openers with 4 wins and 2 draws, outscoring opponents 12-5. Daniel Garcia scored the first ever home opener goal on April 9, 2016 which resulted in a 1-1 draw versus Swope Park Rangers. Santiago Patino scored a hat trick last season to open up the 2021 season at home versus Colorado Springs Switchbacks in 3-0 win.

Mitch Taintor returns on a multi year deal with SAFC. Photo by Soy SAF

Detroit City FC was founded in 2012 and are entering their tenth year of existence. They starting play in the NPSL from 2012 to 2019 and made the move to NISA during 2019/2020 spring season. Detroit City only played one match in spring of 2020 during the Covid-19 shortened season. They were able to play the fall season winning the Championship. In 2021, Detroit City FC finished with 14 wins, 3 draws and just 1 loss and were NISA Champions once again. They enter the USL Championship for the 2022 season in the Eastern Conference.

Photo from Detroit City FC

Detroit City FC’s fan base has grown every year and have become one the most passionate in lower league soccer rivaling even some MLS clubs fan and supporter bases. In 2019, while still in the NPSL, Detroit City FC averaged 6,341 fans per home match and they travelled well in the Mid-west for away matches. The main supporter group for Detroit City is the Northern Guard, which were founded in 2012 by brothers Gene and Ken Butcher. Supporters brings flags, drums and smoke to matches giving a very loud and European style atmosphere to the stadium, they also march through the streets leading up to the stadium in an awesome display that rivals Seattle Sounder fans. The Northern Guard was featured in a Copa 90 video giving them national and international exposure.

Detroit plays in Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, Michigan (located in Detroit) which was built in 1936, the club paid for renovations and had a record crowd of 7,887 when they hosted Italian Serie A club Frosinone Calico in 2018.

There is a San Antonio and SAFC connection with Detroit City FC. Maxi Rodriguez played with SAFC from 2017 to 2018 and joined Detroit City for 2021, making an immediate impact leading the team with eight goals and one assist in 29 matches. Armando Quezada was a back up keeper for SAFC in 2018 behind Diego Restrepo and Matt Cardone, appeared in four matches for Detroit City FC. Pato Botello, graduate from St. Mary’s University and graduate from Brandeis HS in San Antonio played in 27 matches with 24 starts scoring nine goals and recording four assists.

Pato Botello and Maxi Rodriguez with Detroit City FC

San Antonio FC will host Detroit City FC on March 12th, 2022 at Toyota Field which seats 8,296 and includes 16 executive suites. It will the Alamo City Boys first match at home match since they faced Rio Grande Valley in the 2020 USL playoffs.

FC Dallas also announced that they will play a preseason match versus San Antonio FC at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on February 12th at 1PM and SAFC will travel to California to face LA Galaxy II on March 19th for Los Dos Home Opener.

For tickets and more information on the 2022 season go to https://www.sanantoniofc.com/tickets or call/text 210-444-5657.

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