Detroit City FC players got a taste of how competitive life will be in the new third-tier National Independent Soccer Association, holding out for a 1-0 victory on Saturday over NISA-member Philadelphia Fury in a friendly before 5,859 spectators at Keyworth Stadium.
Ryan Peterson's penalty kick in the 63rd minute turned out to be the lone goal, which stood up thanks to a spot kick save by goalkeeper Armando Quezeda making his DCFC debut.
DCFC has been accepted into the new league, which starts play this fall with a showcase. Le Rouge is planning to begin play in NISA in spring 2020 as the club is currently competing in the National Premier Soccer League Members Cup.
After a scoreless first half in the rigorously contested exhibition, Peterson buried a penalty kick to the keeper's right to give DCFC a 1-0 lead.
Peterson, who played at Rutgers and for NPSL's Motown FC, was granted a trip to the penalty spot after being brought down by the Fury goalkeeper inside the box.
Six minutes later, Philadelphia was awarded a penalty for a hand ball by DCFC defender Tiendai Jirira inside the 18-yard area. Quezeda, who previously played with USL 1 side Greenville Triumph, stopped Ian McGrath's PK attempt, diving to his left to stab the ball away. McGrane then skewered the rebound wide.
Cristian Blanco started in goal for DCFC as coach Trevor James continues to look for replacements as Owen Finnerty (Michigan) and Hunter Morse (Michigan State) returned to college.
The Argentinian previously played for NPSL Naples United and looked sharp stopping a Fury half-volley midway in the first half. Quezeda replaced Blanco in the second half.
Victor Fragola, another former Naples United player, joined Richard Bryan as defenders making debuts on DCFC's backline. Bryan, who is from Enfield, England, played his college soccer at Landers University in South Carolina.
DCFC will host Mexican first division's Club Atlas next Saturday in an international friendly at Keyworth. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.