Lansing Ignite FC

Lansing Ignite FC was a professional soccer team based in Lansing, Michigan, United States. The club began play in the newly-formed USL League One in 2019 and ceased operations following their inaugural season.

Lansing Ignite FC
Full nameLansing Ignite Football Club
FoundedOctober 25, 2018 (2018-10-25)
DissolvedOctober 21, 2019 (2019-10-21)
StadiumCooley Law School Stadium
Capacity7,527
OwnerTom Dickson
PresidentNick Grueser
General ManagerJeremy Sampson
CoachNate Miller
LeagueUSL League One

History

The formation of USL League One (originally announced as USL Division III) was first announced in April 2017, and league officials began touring the country looking for candidate cities for new soccer clubs. The city of Lansing was already home to Lansing United, an amateur soccer team in the National Premier Soccer League. In 2018, United moved from NPSL to the Premier Development League, another amateur league often considered the fourth tier of American soccer. The move was seen as a step towards establishing a professional team, as the PDL is managed by United Soccer Leagues, the same organization that manages League One as well as the second-tier United Soccer League.[1]

In September 2018, the Lansing State Journal reported that the owners of the Lansing Lugnuts, a local minor league baseball team, had presented plans to Lansing City Council for a professional soccer team to play at Cooley Law School Stadium, also home to the Lugnuts.[2] On October 8, the city council unanimously approved the plans, which are expected to cost the city $1 million over the course of a five-year contract. This also signaled the end of the Lansing United men's team, as United owner Jeremy Sampson became the new club's general manager; however, Lansing United Women would continue to operate as planned.[3]

On October 25, 2018, USL League One officially announced Lansing Ignite FC as its ninth founding member team, to begin play in 2019.[4] On November 14, 2018, Lansing Ignite FC announced Nate Miller as the inaugural head coach.[5] On March 19, 2019, Lansing Ignite FC announced an affiliation agreement with Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer.[6]

Lansing played their first USL League One match on 30 March 2019, beating Richmond Kickers 3-2 at City Stadium, Richmond.[7] Lansing finished their first season with a 12-6-10 record, good for second place in USL League One.[8] They fell in the playoff semifinal to Greenville Triumph SC, 1-0.[9] On October 14, 2019, midfielder Marshall Hollingsworth posted on Instagram that the Ignite would be folding and that all players had been released from their contracts. Team President Nick Grueser said that the team would not give an update on the team's future until after the conclusion of the League One final.[10]

On October 21, 2019, it was officially announced by USL League One that, despite a successful first season performance-wise, the Ignite would not be returning for the 2020 season.[11]

Sponsorship

Season Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2019 Moneyball LAFCU[12]

Year-by-year

Lansing Ignite FC
Season USL League One Play-offs U.S. Open Cup Top Scorer 1 Head Coach
P W L D GF GA Pts Pos Player Goals
2019 28 12 6 10 49 37 46 2nd National Semifinals 2R Tumi Moshobane 10 Nate Miller

^ 1. Top Scorer includes statistics from league matches only.

Head coaches

  • Includes USL Regular Season, USL Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup. Excludes friendlies.
CoachNationalityStartEndGamesWinLossDrawWin %
Nate Miller  Israel November 14, 2018 October 21, 2019 31 13 8 10 041.94

Average attendance

YearReg. SeasonPlayoffs
2019 2,758 2,340

References

  1. Couch, Graham (May 1, 2018). "Lansing United's move to PDL comes with new rivalries, USL dreams". Lansing State Journal. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  2. Couch, Graham (September 24, 2018). "Lansing Ignite USL pro soccer team likely to begin in downtown Lansing". Lansing State Journal. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  3. Couch, Graham (October 8, 2018). "Lansing Ignite, new USL soccer club, gets go-ahead to play downtown". Lansing State Journal. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  4. "Lansing Ignite FC Unveiled as USL League One Founding Member". USLLeagueOne.com (Press release). USL League One. October 25, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  5. Friend, Phil (November 14, 2018). "Lansing Ignite Soccer's First Coach, Nate Miller, Ready to Bring Championships to the City". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  6. Friend, Phil (March 19, 2019). "Lansing Ignite forms alliance with Chicago Fire, will host MLS team at Cooley Stadium". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  7. Friend, Phil (March 30, 2019). "Lansing Ignite wins inaugural match, 3-2, over Richmond Kickers in USL League One". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  8. "Lansing Ignite FC". uslleagueone.com. USL League One. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019.
  9. Friend, Phil (October 12, 2019). "Lansing Ignite falls to Greenville Triumph, 1-0, in USL League One semifinals". Lansing State Journal. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  10. Friend, Phil (October 14, 2019). "Lansing Ignite president: 'No further updates' about club's future until next week". Lansing State Journal. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  11. "Lansing Ignite FC Ceases Operations". USLLeagueOne.com (Press release). October 21, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  12. "LAFCU Named Official Kit Sponsor of Lansing Ignite". Lansing Ignite. February 12, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
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