Grand Rapids FC

Grand Rapids FC is an American soccer club based in Grand Rapids, Michigan whose senior men's team plays in USL League Two. The team was founded in 2014 and its first season was in 2015. It was initially funded by a group of supporters who purchased memberships to cover the operating expenses, as well as by local sponsors. It is currently owned by Matt Roberts who was behind the initial creation of the club and changed from supporter owned to single owner. [1]

Grand Rapids FC
Full nameGrand Rapids Football Club
Nickname(s)The Blues, GRFC
Founded2014 (2014)
StadiumTBA
OwnersMatt Roberts
Head CoachLewis Robinson
LeagueUSL League Two
20193rd, Great Lakes Conference (NPSL)
Playoffs: DNQ
WebsiteClub website

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]

On December 5, 2019 it was announced that the club would be moving from the NPSL to USL League Two. It was also announced that Houseman Field would no longer be used as the home venue but a new home has yet to be determined.[8]

Stadium

Houseman Field in the Midtown neighborhood of Grand Rapids was the club's home field for the first 5 seasons.[9]. A new home field has yet to be determined.[10]

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)

2019 roster

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

No. Position Player
00 GK Brandon Gomez
0 GK David Paquette
1 GK Joe White
2 DF Jake Vanderlaan
3 DF Austin Swiech
4 MF Liam Bickett
5 DF Wladimir Babaew
6 DF Samuel Biek
7 FW Anthony Bowie
8 FW Eric Conerty
9 FW Matt Whelan
10 FW Scott Doney (captain)
11 DF Caleb Postlewait
12 MF Greg Timmer
13 FW Gabe Mateo
14 MF George Jermy
No. Position Player
15 MF Jack McCarren
16 MF Daire O'Riordan
17 MF TJ Ifaturoti
18 DF Jaylen Shannon
19 MF Dan Bulley
20 MF Alex Mendoza
21 GK Naoya Fugono
22 FW Hassan Cancro
23 MF Alex Gloshen
24 DF Greg Williams
25 MF Caden Jackman
28 FW James Decosemo
29 DF Franco Calabrese
35 DF Jalen Rodriguez
44 FW Max Mikkola
77 FW Joe Broekhuizen

Head coaches

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

Honors

National Premier Soccer League

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

Statistics

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 2nd of 7, Midwest-Great Lakes (7–3–2) Regional first round DNQ [C] [C]
2019 4 NPSL 3rd of 8, Midwest-Great Lakes (9–3–2) DNQ DNQ [C] [C]
  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.[12]
  3. ^ C Attendance figures for 2018 and 2019 have not been made public by the organization.

Current league season

2019 NPSL Great Lakes Conference Standings

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Detroit City FC (C) 14 10 1 3 39 6 +33 33 Midwest Region Semifinals
2 AFC Ann Arbor 14 9 2 3 25 10 +15 30 Midwest Region Quarterfinals
3 Grand Rapids FC 14 9 3 2 24 12 +12 29
4 Kalamazoo FC 14 6 3 5 18 13 +5 23
5 FC Columbus 14 4 8 2 18 23 5 14[lower-alpha 1]
6 Michigan Stars FC 14 3 6 5 14 17 3 14[lower-alpha 1]
7 Toledo Villa FC 14 2 11 1 11 38 27 7
8 FC Indiana 14 1 10 3 8 38 30 6
Source: NPSL standings
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head to head; 3) goal differential in head to head results; 4) wins; 5) total goal differential; 6) fewest losses; 7) coin toss. If three or more teams are tied on points, a mini-table involving only the tied teams is used, and teams are ranked in the mini-table on points. If two teams are tied on points in the mini-table, the two-team rules for classification apply. If three or more teams are tied on points in the mini-table, they are ranked based on 1) wins in conference competition; 2) total goal differential in conference competition; 3) fewest losses in conference competition; 4) coin toss.
(C) Champion.
Notes:
  1. FC Columbus and Michigan Stars FC were equal on head to head points (2-2) and head to head goal difference (0-0).

Historic record vs opponents

Legend
0–0–0 Win-Loss-Draw
0–0 Win-Loss
* No games played
Opponent League Playoffs U.S. Open Amateur Cup MI Cup Played Total GF GA GD Win %
AAFC Lumberjacks * * * * 1–0 1 1–0–0 3 0 +3 1.000
AFC Ann Arbor 4–5–1 * * * * 10 4–5–1 15 13 +2 .450
AFC Cleveland * 0–0–1 (0–1 PKs) * * * 1 0–0–1 0 0 0 .500
Ann Arbor FC * * * 1–0 * 1 1–0–0 4 1 +3 1.000
Chicago FC United * * 0–1 * * 1 0–1–0 0 1 −1 .000
Croatian Eagles 1–0–1 * * * * 2 1–0–1 3 1 +2 .750
Dayton Dynamo 2–0–0 * * * * 2 2–0–0 2 0 +2 1.000
Detroit City FC 2–2–4 * * * * 8 2–2–4 13 12 +1 .500
Duluth FC * 0–0–1 (0–1 PKs) * * * 1 0–0–1 2 2 0 .500
FC Columbus 1–3–0 * * * * 4 1–3–0 3 8 −5 .250
FC Indiana 6–0–0 * * * * 6 6–0–0 26 2 +24 1.000
Flint City Bucks * * * * 0–1 1 0–1–0 1 2 –1 .000
Indy Eleven NPSL * 1–0 * * * 1 1–0–0 1 0 +1 1.000
Kalamazoo FC 6–1–1 * * * * 8 6–1–1 18 7 +11 .813
Lansing United 2–1–1 * * * 0–0–1 (0–1 PKs) 5 2–1–2 9 7 +2 .600
Livonia City FC * * * 0–1 [D] * 1 0–1–0 0 1 –1 .000
Michigan Stars FC 3–1–2 * * * * 6 3–1–2 7 5 +2 .667
Milwaukee Torrent 2–0–2 * * * * 4 2–0–2 7 5 +2 .750
Muskegon Risers SC * * * * 2–0 2 2–0–0 5 3 +2 1.000
Oakland United 1–1–0 * * * * 2 1–1–0 4 2 +2 .500
RWB Adria 0–2–0 * * * * 2 0–2–0 2 6 −4 .000
Toledo Villa FC 2–0–0 * * * * 2 2–0–0 6 1 +5 1.000
Total 32–16–12 1–0–2 (0–2 PKs) 0–1 1–1 3–1–1 (0–1 PKs) 71 37–19–15 131 79 +52 .627
  • Note: Table includes all competitive matches and does not include friendlies.
  • Updated to end of 2019 season.
  1. ^ D Livonia City FC forfeited this May 4, 2019 match due to fielding an ineligible player. Grand Rapids FC was subsequently disqualified from the 2019 Amateur Cup for fielding too many players in the competition.[13]

Player records

  • Note: Table includes all competitive matches and does not include friendlies.
  • Updated to end of 2019 season.

Reference:[14]

Club culture

Supporters

The Grand Army is the supporters group for Grand Rapids FC.[15] Starting in 2015, all pre-game festivities were held at Bob's Bar and a march led through the Midtown neighborhood.[16] In June 2015 a fanzine entitled What if it Rains started publication.[17] 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. Peter J. Wallner (December 5, 2019). "Grand Rapids FC makes move to a new league". MLive.com. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  9. http://www.mlive.com/sports/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/07/houseman_field_agrees_to_becom.html
  10. Peter J. Wallner (December 5, 2019). "Grand Rapids FC makes move to a new league". MLive.com. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  11. "Grand Rapids FC – Team". GrandRapidsFC.com. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  12. "How do you enter the 2016 US Open Cup?".
  13. "Grand Rapids FC disqualified from U.S. Amateur Cup". mLive. May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  14. "What if it Rains". WhatIfItRains.net. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  15. "MOTU VIGET". Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  16. "Game Day FAQ". Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  17. "About". Retrieved July 1, 2018.
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