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; 3 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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

No. Position Player
4 England DF Tony Deakin (captain)

Head coaches[edit]

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

Honors[edit]

National Premier Soccer League

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

Year-by-year[edit]

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
  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[edit]

Legend
0-0-0 Win-Loss-Draw
0-0 Win-Loss
* No games played
Opponent League Playoffs U.S. Open Played Total GF GA GD Win %
Michigan AFC Ann Arbor 2-3-1 * * 6 2-3-1 11 9 +2 .417
Ohio AFC Cleveland * 0-0-1 (0-1 PKs) * 1 0-0-1 0 0 0 .500
Illinois Chicago FC United * * 0-1 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 1-2-1 * * 4 1-2-1 6 7 −1 .375
Indiana FC Indiana 2-0-0 * * 2 2-0-0 9 1 +8 1.000
Indiana Indy Eleven NPSL * 1-0 * 1 1-0-0 1 0 +1 1.000
Michigan Kalamazoo FC 2-1-1 * * 4 2-1-1 7 4 +3 .625
Michigan Lansing United 2-1-1 * * 4 2-1-1 8 6 +2 .625
Michigan Michigan Stars FC 2-0-2 * * 4 2-0-2 4 2 +2 .750
Wisconsin Milwaukee Torrent 1-0-1 * * 2 1-0-1 5 4 +1 .750
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 16-10-8 1-0-1 (0-1 PKs) 0-1 37 17-11-9 62 43 +19 .581
  • Note: Table includes all competitive matches and does not include friendlies.
  • Updated to end of 2017 season

Player records[edit]

Goals[edit]

Rank Player Goals Years
1 United States Noble Sullivan 7 2015–
2 United States Jalen Rodriguez 5 2017–
United States Greg Timmer 2016–
United States Anthony Bowie 2016–
5 New Zealand Scott Doney 4 2016–
United States Tyler Fischer 2015–2016
United States Joe Broekhuizen 2016–
United States Nick Abdoo 2015–
9 United States Domenic Barone 3 2015–2017
Bosnia and Herzegovina Elmedin Zukic 2015–
United States Peter Brown 2016–

Updated to end of 2017 season

Appearances[edit]

Rank Player Apps Years
1 United States Nick Abdoo 33 2015–
2 United States Noble Sullivan 30 2015–
3 England Tony Deakin 29 2015–
4 United States Noah Fazekas 28 2016–
5 New Zealand Scott Doney 26 2016–
6 United States Greg Timmer 23 2016–
7 United States Tyler Fischer 22 2015–2016
United States Peter Brown 2016–
Liberia Tarwo Konbloa 2016–
10 United States Joe Broekhuizen 21 2016–

Updated to end of 2017 season
Note: These statistics are for competitive matches and do not include friendlies.
Reference:[11]

Club culture[edit]

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

Supporters[edit]

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[edit]

External links[edit]