Detroit City FC's Devon Amoo-Mensah is among four players to have their options exercised by the club for the 2024 USL Championship season. | Photo courtesy Jon DeBoer / Detroit City FC
DETROIT – Detroit City FC announced on Thursday its first roster moves ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season, with 13 players currently set to return to Le Rouge for the new campaign as the side looks to earn its third consecutive trip to the USL Championship Playoffs.
While appointed as the club’s new Head Coach this week, Danny Dichio was directly involved in the discussions that led to these decisions for the roster he will inherit as he begins work at the club.
The club has exercised contract options on defender Devon Amoo-Mensah, midfielder Abdoulaye Diop and forwards Yazeed Matthews and Ben Morris, while declining options on goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher, defenders Oniel Fisher Jr. and Jalen Robinson, and midfielders Richie Ballard and Adrian Billhardt. The club remains in discussions with Steinwascher for his return in the 2024 season.
Nine players are also set to return on current contracts – defenders Michael Bryant, Stephen Carroll, Brett Levis, Matt Lewis and Rhys Williams, midfielders Dominic Gasso and Maxi Rodriguez, and forwards Connor Rutz and Skage Simonsen.
Goalkeeper Ryan Shellow and forward Dario Suarez are each out of contract and free agents, while forward Aaron Bibout has returned to the LA Galaxy II following the conclusion of his loan agreement.
Detroit City FC has retained the heart of the back line that was the essential to the club reaching the postseason, with Black Arrow award winner Devon Amoo-Mensah’s return a no-brainer after another stellar season. The slight question mark here goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher, who received nomination for the Championship’s Goalkeeper of the Year award this past season, but from the outside it’s hard to imagine we won’t see the longtime part of the club between the sticks next season.
Now the work for Sporting Director Trevor James and newly-installed Head Coach Danny Dichio will begin to find pieces that will complement – and potentially upgrade – the returning attacking pieces the side has. After finishing with the lowest Expected Goals mark in the Championship’s regular season this past campaign, the final third of the field must be addressed to help DCFC make a move into the Eastern Conference’s serious challengers in Year 3 in the Championship.