Attacking midfielder Danny Deakin, whose slashing runs and deft passing enlivened Keyworth Stadium in two brief but eventful tenures, is returning to Detroit City FC for a third, the team announced Monday.
The Sheffield, England, native is best known for setting up DCFC’s lone goal in a heart-breaking 4-1 U.S. Open Cup extra-time defeat at FC Cincinnati last season.
Deakin starred at South Carolina and was selected by Major League Soccer's Orlando City FC with 64th pick overall in 2017 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. He featured in 20 matches with second-tier United Soccer League Orlando City B, scoring one goal. The club went on a one-year hiatus and Deakin returned to Detroit where he made nine appearances in 2016.
After a meteoric start, Deakin departed midway through the season to head back to England where he played for Conference North side Curzon Ashton in the sixth tier of the English football pyramid.
Deakin also took time off to heal as he dealt with a few “niggly” injuries, not the least of which was a bad ankle sprain suffered early in DCFC’s 2018 campaign.
“I’m excited to get back into Detroit and start playing again,” Deakin said in an email from England. “I’m 25 years old now, so I should be coming into my prime years.
“I talked to (new coach) Trevor James over the phone a number of times and I like what he is trying to implement at the club. I was also drawn in by the developments of the club, the new surface they have finally installed at Keyworth is a big plus. The fact the team is going pro was obviously the biggest factor in my decision to come back.”
Along with its 14-game regular season National Premier Soccer League schedule, Detroit will play in the inaugural 2019 NPSL Founders Cup starting in August, which is designed as a precursor to a professional league in 2020.
Deakin’s return follows recent news that DCFC’s all-time leading scorer Shawn Lawson will also be back in 2019.
Lawson, who played at Oakland University, led the team with six goals last season in NPSL play, scoring twice in a 6-1 rout over Milwaukee in the team’s regular-season home finale July 2.
DCFC plays Michigan State in a friendly Saturday at The Corner Ballpark. The match is sold out.
The club wraps up its preseason Saturday, May 2, against USL League 2 side Flint City Bucks at Atwood Stadium. Kickoff is 7.