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Canton-based soccer club to kick off unprecedented scholarship program

 Canton-based soccer club to kick off unprecedented scholarship program

The Detroit City Football Club West is on the verge of making life-changing enhancements for its member families.

There is no better time than now to be a youth soccer player in western Wayne County thanks to the Canton-based Detroit City Football Club West’s ambitious plan to expand its hundreds of members’ on- and off-the-field benefits.

Beginning with the 2024-25 season, every single DCFC West player will receive a college scholarship that has the potential to reach $48,000 spread over four years, explained DCFC West Director of Operations Dan McEvilly.

The plan is believed to be unprecedented in the United States, McEvilly added.

The soccer club has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to 57 players since 2006.

“We’ve been presenting $1,500 scholarships to six of our players for several years, but we want to provide scholarships for all of our players, not just just the ones that are really good at writing essays,” said McEvilly.

“We’ll be able to do this by leveraging what we’ve already been doing — fundraising through our college scholarship golf outing and our endowment fund through the Canton Community Foundation — and growing upon that.”

Collaborative effort

DCFC has partnered with a third-party preparatory and funding organization that has help families save over $98M to date in college tuition.

This chart explains how the DCFC West tuition rewards program works
This chart explains how the DCFC West tuition rewards program works

“It’s very similar to a corporation offering this as an employee benefit or bank/financial institution offering it as a member benefit,” McEvilly explained.

“Its very similar to a corporate employee benefit that banks and financial institutions provide for their members,” McEvilly said.

The program includes over 450 schools nationwide, which includes the likes of Madonna University, Kalamazoo College, Hope College and The University of Detroit Mercy.

The program will work under a legacy format, allowing families to pass down points earned to siblings of DCFC West players.

McEvilly emphasized that players do not have to play college soccer to be eligible for the scholarships.

Expanded training opportunities

In a performance-enhancing on-the-field development, DCFC West will execute a plan beginning with the 2024-25 season to offer three-days-per-week practices to all of its teams, not just its premier squads. Prior to the 2024-25 season, non-premier teams trained twice a week.

“This is a platform/project we’ve been working towards for the last few years,” noted DCFC West Director of Coaching Charlie Bell. “”At DCFC West, we’re making significant changes to ensure every player has the best opportunity to succeed.

“This upcoming season, we’re increasing our commitment — each player will now have three team training sessions per week. It’s not just about honing skills; it’s about unlocking potential, regardless of ages or stages in development.

Explaining the expansion of training, Bell said the club recognizes that development occurs at different paces for everyone.

“Our philosophy is clear: Every child at DCFC West deserves the opportunity to thrive,” Bell said. “We’re committed to empowering each player, which is why we’ve wholeheartedly embraced this ‘Bridging the Gap’ initiative.

‘Level the playing field’

“We’re determined to level the playing field so every player can thrive. Transitioning all team training to three times a week isn’t just about closing gaps; it’s about paving pathways for every player at DCFC West to reach their full potential.”

Bell concluded by saying the 2024-25 season will mark a turning point for the incredibly popular soccer club.

“We’re committed to nurturing talent, promoting inclusivity, and shaping futures, one player at a time,” Bell said.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or

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Ed Wright

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