Grand Rapids FC

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Grand Rapids FC
Grand Rapids FC.jpg
Full name Grand Rapids Football Club
Nickname(s) The Blues, GRFC
Founded 2014; 4 years ago (2014)
Ground Houseman Field
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Ground Capacity 8,000
Owners Matt Roberts
Head Coach Lewis Robinson
League National Premier Soccer League
Website Club website
Current season

Grand Rapids FC is an American soccer club based in Grand Rapids, Michigan whose senior men's team plays in the National Premier Soccer League. The team was founded in 2014 and its first season was in 2015. It is funded by a group of supporters who purchase memberships to cover the operating expenses, as well as by local sponsors.[1]

History

Grand Rapids FC (GRFC) was started by a group of Grand Rapids residents as a community-funded project along the lines of Nashville FC.[2] Fundraising began on February 14, 2014, by word of mouth and was opened to the public a month later. The team applied to the National Premier Soccer League for the 2015 season but their application was denied.[3] Instead, GRFC and AFC Ann Arbor (also denied an NPSL bid in 2015) founded the Great Lakes Premier League.[4] The new league held its inaugural meeting on January 17, 2015, with six teams.

Following a 2015 season in which GRFC finished in second place, averaging 4,509 fans per game, the team announced on September 25, 2015, that they would leave the Great Lakes Premier League to join the National Premier Soccer League.[5]

The 2016 season resulted in a first-place position in the NPSL Great Lakes West conference and qualification for the playoffs by beating AFC Ann Arbor in a 3–1 victory in front of a club record 6,854 spectators. The club reached the final of the NPSL Midwest Regional playoffs and beat Indy Eleven NPSL in front of a record attendance of 6,912, qualifying the team for the 2017 US Open Cup. The following day GRFC lost against 2016 NPSL champions AFC Cleveland on penalties.

On November 1, 2016, the club announced they would add a women's team under the same GRFC banner, which would begin play in 2017 in a new Midwest division of the United Women's Soccer league.[6] The women's team plays at Grandville High School in Grandville, Michigan. The Grand Rapids FC (women) won the 2017 United Women's Soccer Championship in their inaugural season.[7]

Stadium

Houseman Field

Houseman Field in the Midtown neighborhood of Grand Rapids is the club's home field.[8] Initially, only the south side of the stadium was opened for spectators, but on July 17, 2015, the latest record attendance forced the club to move some spectators at half-time. For the final home match on July 31, spectators were admitted to the north side right away to accommodate the expected record crowd.

Record attendance

  • 6,912 – July 22, 2016, vs Indy Eleven NPSL (second game of a doubleheader, attendance counted both games)
  • 6,854 – July 8, 2016, vs AFC Ann Arbor (single game record)

2018 roster

[9] Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Noah Fazekas
2 United States DF Jake VanderLaan
3 United States MF Austin Swiech
4 England DF Tony Deakin (captain)
5 United States DF Nick Groenewold
6 United States DF Trent Vegter
7 United States FW Anthony Bowie
8 South Africa MF Cam Cavanagh
9 Republic of Ireland FW Matt Whelan
10 United States FW Joe Broekhuizen
11 United States DF Caleb Postlewait
12 New Zealand FW Scott Doney
13 Puerto Rico FW Gabe Mateo
14 United States FW Noble Sullivan
15 Republic of Ireland MF Jack McCarren
16 Republic of Ireland MF Dáire O'Riordan
17 United States FW Morris Kamara
18 Spain MF Pepe Martinez-Bertrand
No. Position Player
19 Jamaica FW Kenroy Howell
20 United States MF Giuseppe Vitale
21 Japan GK Naoyo Fugono
22 United States MF Derek Sutton
23 United States DF Nick Abdoo
24 South Africa DF Kieran Geldenhuys
25 Spain MF Adrian Miling
26 England DF Liam Kettle
28 United States DF Jake Bedi
29 United States MF Franco Calabrese
30 United States GK Kyle Taalman
31 England GK Brendan Brown
32 United States MF Adam Mena
33 United States FW Eric Conerty
35 United States FW Jalen Rodriguez
44 Belgium DF Jordan Atheba
77 Guatemala FW Alex Mendez

Head coaches

  • Albania George Moni (2015–2017)
  • England Lewis Robinson (2018–present)

Honors

National Premier Soccer League

  • Conference championships (1)
    • Midwest Region - Great Lakes West Conference: 2016

Year-by-year

Year Tier League Regular Season Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Average
Attendance
Average
League
Attendance
2015 5 GLPL 2nd of 5 (3-3-2) [A] Ineligible[B] 4,509 3,945
2016 4 NPSL 1st of 7, Midwest-Great Lakes West (7-1-4) Regional final Ineligible[B] 4,315 4,784
2017 4 NPSL 3rd of 8, Midwest-Great Lakes (6-6-2) DNQ First round 2,691 2,588
2018 4 NPSL In progress TBD DNQ
  1. ^ A No playoffs were held in the inaugural season of the Great Lakes Premier League.
  2. ^ B To enter the U.S. Open Cup, in the previous season a team must have belonged to an affiliated league with at least 4 teams that played a schedule of at least 10 games.[10]

Historic record vs opponents

Legend
0-0-0 Win-Loss-Draw
0-0 Win-Loss
* No games played
Opponent League Playoffs U.S. Open MI Cup Played Total GF GA GD Win %
Michigan AFC Ann Arbor 3-4-1 * * * 8 3-4-1 13 11 +2 .438
Ohio AFC Cleveland * 0-0-1 (0-1 PKs) * * 1 0-0-1 0 0 0 .500
Illinois Chicago FC United * * 0-1-0 * 1 0-1-0 0 1 –1 .000
Wisconsin Croatian Eagles 1-0-1 * * * 2 1-0-1 3 1 +2 .750
Ohio Dayton Dynamo 2-0-0 * * * 2 2-0-0 2 0 +2 1.000
Michigan Detroit City FC 2-2-1 * * * 5 2-2-1 8 7 +1 .500
Ohio FC Columbus 0-1-0 * * * 1 0-1-0 0 3 −3 .000
Indiana FC Indiana 4-0-0 * * * 4 4-0-0 19 1 +18 1.000
Indiana Indy Eleven NPSL * 1-0-0 * * 1 1-0-0 1 0 +1 1.000
Michigan Kalamazoo FC 4-1-1 * * * 6 4-1-1 15 6 +9 .750
Michigan Lansing United 2-1-1 * * 0-0-1 (0-1 PKs) 5 2-1-2 9 7 +2 .600
Michigan Michigan Stars FC 2-0-2 * * * 4 2-0-2 4 2 +2 .750
Wisconsin Milwaukee Torrent 2-0-2 * * * 4 2-0-2 7 5 +2 .750
Michigan Muskegon Risers SC * * * 2-0-0 2 2-0-0 5 3 +2 1.000
Michigan Oakland United 1-1-0 * * * 2 1-1-0 4 2 +2 .500
Illinois RWB Adria 0-2-0 * * * 2 0-2-0 2 6 −4 .000
Total 23-12-9 1-0-1 (0-1 PKs) 0-1-0 2-0-1 (0-1 PKs) 50 26-13-11 92 55 +37 .630
  • Note: Table includes all competitive matches and does not include friendlies.
  • Updated June 22, 2018 vs Ann Arbor

Player records

Goals

Rank Player Goals Years
1 New Zealand Scott Doney 9 2016–
2 United States Noble Sullivan 7 2015–
United States Jalen Rodriguez 2017–
4 United States Anthony Bowie 6 2016–
5 United States Greg Timmer 5 2016–2017
Republic of Ireland Matt Whelan 2018–
7 United States Tyler Fischer 4 2015–2016
United States Joe Broekhuizen 2016–
United States Nick Abdoo 2015–
10 United States Domenic Barone 3 2015–2017
Bosnia and Herzegovina Elmedin Zukic 2015–2017
United States Peter Brown 2016–2017
United States Caleb Postlewait 2017–
Guatemala Alexis Mendez 2017–

Updated to June 17, 2018 vs Detroit

Appearances

Rank Player Apps Years
1 United States Noah Fazekas 37 2016–
England Tony Deakin 2015–
3 New Zealand Scott Doney 34 2016–
4 United States Nick Abdoo 33 2015–
5 United States Noble Sullivan 30 2015–
6 United States Greg Timmer 23 2016–2017
United States Anthony Bowie 2016–
South Africa Cam Cavanagh 2017–
United States Joe Broekhuizen 2016–
10 United States Tyler Fischer 22 2015–2016
United States Peter Brown 2016–2017
Liberia Tarwo Konbloa 2016–2017
United States Trent Vegter 2016–

Updated to June 17, 2018 vs Detroit
Note: These statistics are for competitive matches and do not include friendlies.
Reference:[11]

Club culture

The south side of Houseman Field, with members of the Grand Army supporters group in the foreground. Attendance 3,843.

Supporters

The Grand Army is the supporters group for Grand Rapids FC. Starting in 2015, all pre-game festivities were held at Bob's Bar and a march led through the Midtown neighborhood. In June 2015 a fanzine entitled What if it Rains started publication. The name of the magazine referred to one of the reasons the NPSL originally declined the club's application and celebrated the club's massive support.

References

  1. ^ "A Soccer Club in Grand Rapids?". Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Many pitch in for hometown soccer franchise". GRBJ.com. Retrieved October 16, 2017. 
  3. ^ "sports.yahoo.com". yahoo.com. Retrieved October 16, 2017. 
  4. ^ "NPSL denies Ann Arbor semi-pro soccer club's application; owners plan to establish new league". MLive.com. December 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Grand Rapids Football Club Joins the NPSL – Grand Rapids FC". GrandRapidsFC.com. Retrieved October 16, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Grand Rapids FC launches women's team for 2017 season". 
  7. ^ "Grand Rapids FC beats Santa Clarita, captures United Women's Soccer championship". MLive.com. July 2017. 
  8. ^ http://www.mlive.com/sports/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/07/houseman_field_agrees_to_becom.html
  9. ^ "Grand Rapids FC – Grand Rapids FC". GrandRapidsFC.com. Retrieved April 20, 2018. 
  10. ^ "How do you enter the 2016 US Open Cup?". 
  11. ^ "What if it Rains". WhatIfItRains.net. Retrieved October 16, 2017. 

External links

  • Official website
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