By Fletcher Sharpe/NPSL.com
Carpathia FC is a club with traditional German influence, located in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
From the historic photos of past teams on the walls, to the small but warm atmosphere within
their main home base, The Carpathia Club, the feeling is distinctly unique from an average club.
Continuing with their unique feel, Carpathia began their NPSL announcement event with a
rendition of “Schwer mit den Schätzen des Orients beladen” by their local German men’s choir.
“We’re very close knit. It’s a family style environment,” Carpathia FC President and Owner
Bruce Wilden said. “After games, our younger players make sure to speak to and shake hands
with our older members who come to watch the game. It’s about respect.”
In front of a crowd of players and supporters, Wilden spoke about Carpathia’s plans for the
“We’re at the place we needed to be,” Wilden said. “Now, we’re back at the top of amateur
soccer in the entire country.”
The uniqueness of the surroundings doesn’t disappear on gameday either. Two years ago,
Carpathia hosted RWB Adria, where they were victorious 2-0. Afterwards, both teams and their
supporters celebrated with a traditional German Biergarten and festivities.
“That’s the beauty of our club,” Wilden said. “It’s a fun environment. We play hard, and if we
win, that’s great. If we don’t, then that’s it, the game is over, it’s on to the next one.”
Carpathia finished with a total of 12 wins, seven losses, and one tie in 2016 and 2017. Their lone
playoff berth in 2017 ended with a 5-3 loss in the finals to their German brethren, Milwaukee
Bavarians. Carpathia would post back-to-back six-win seasons (6-2-2 in 2018 and 6-2-1 in
2019) before losing in the regional semifinals to Joliet United Soccer Club.
“We like to travel as a team,” Wilden said with a smile. “ One of our biggest let downs was that
we did not really travel outside the state as much as we would have liked, but now with the way
that our conference is set up, we’ll get to go some places as a team and show people what
Carpathia is about, which is playing hard, playing direct, and winning.”
While most of their games will be held at Avondale High School in Auburn Hills, Wilden said he
would love to get one big game at the Carpathia Club. “It’s too unique of a place to not have at
least one game here,” Wilden said.
Carpathia will not charge an attendance fee for their first year in the NPSL. “We would much
rather have people in the seats first, instead of worrying about costs,” Wilden said.
Carpathia joins a strong conference that includes the likes of Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC,
Muskegon Risers, Fort Wayne SC, FC Indiana, Toledo Villa FC, and FC Columbus.
“We are proud to finally be a part of well-established national league,” Wilden said, beaming,
“Five years ago, speaking honestly, I don’t know if this move would have been possible, but
right now, the NPSL is where we needed to be, and we’re ready to show people that we can play
in this league and do it our way.”
Photo Credit: Fletcher Sharpe/NPSL.com