Without a ball being kicked, the National Premier Soccer League's Founders Cup is no more.
Instead, the inaugural competition has been reduced from 11 teams to six and rebranded to the NPSL Members Cup as a reconfigured schedule, which sees Detroit City FC open at home to Chattanooga FC Saturday, Aug. 17, before traveling cross country to Napa, California, and playing Napa Valley 1839 FC Aug. 24.
The Pontiac-based Michigan Stars have also joined the competition, playing DCFC on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Keyworth Stadium, and Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Ultimate Soccer Arenas.
The seismic shift comes as several Founders Cup teams bowed out in recent weeks, including Miami FC, Miami United FC, FC Arizona, Oakland Roots SC, Cal FC, California United Strikers and ASC San Diego.
Miami FC, Oakland Roots and California United are expected to start play in the new National Independent Soccer Association, which is a new third division league that is slated to kick off in September.
The defections left NPSL schedule makers scrambling only weeks before the nascent competition was expected to start.
Instead of a East and West division alignment, the NPSL Members Cup will consist of one division with each team playing 10 matches, five home and five away.
DCFC, which is coming off an 11-1-4 campaign where it won the Great Lakes Conference Division championship, planned to use the Founders Cup as a stepping stone in becoming a full-time professional outfit. Le Rouge fell to Cleveland SC on penalty kicks in the NPSL Midwest Region final on Sunday before 4,568 fans at Keyworth Stadium.
The club has signed numerous players, opposed to relying solely from those from college who return to school in the fall, in preparation for the season's second half.
DCFC also plays Windsor TFC Tuesday, Aug. 6, USL Championship's Indy Eleven Tuesday, Aug. 13, and Mexico's Club Atlas Saturday, Sept. 7, in friendlies at Keyworth. Kickoff is 7:30 for all three matches.
NPSL Members Cup schedule
Saturday, Aug. 17, vs. Chattanooga FC
Saturday, Aug. 24, at Napa Valley 1839 FC
Saturday, Sept. 14, at Milwaukee Torrent
Saturday, Sept. 21, vs New York Cosmos
Saturday, Sept. 28, vs. Napa Valley 1839 FC
Saturday, Oct. 5, at Chattanooga FC
Tuesday, Oct. 8, vs. Michigan Stars
Saturday, Oct. 12, at New York Cosmos
Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Michigan Stars
Saturday, Oct. 19, vs. Milwaukee Torrent