Grand Rapids FC
|Full name||Grand Rapids Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Blues, GRFC|
Grand Rapids, Michigan
|Head Coach||Lewis Robinson|
|League||National Premier Soccer League|
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.
Grand Rapids FC (GRFC) was started by a group of Grand Rapids residents as a community-funded project along the lines of Nashville FC. 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. Instead, GRFC and AFC Ann Arbor (also denied an NPSL bid in 2015) founded the Great Lakes Premier League. 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.
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. 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.
Houseman Field in the Midtown neighborhood of Grand Rapids is the club's home field. 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.
- 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)
- Conference championships (1)
- Midwest Region - Great Lakes West Conference: 2016
|Year||Tier||League||Regular Season||Playoffs||U.S. Open Cup||Average
|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|
Historic record vs opponents
|*||No games played|
|Opponent||League||Playoffs||U.S. Open||Played||Total||GF||GA||GD||Win %|
|AFC Ann Arbor||2-3-1||*||*||6||2-3-1||11||9||+2||.417|
|AFC Cleveland||*||0-0-1 (0-1 PKs)||*||1||0-0-1||0||0||0||.500|
|Chicago FC United||*||*||0-1||1||0-1-0||0||1||–1||.000|
|Detroit City FC||1-2-1||*||*||4||1-2-1||6||7||−1||.375|
|Indy Eleven NPSL||*||1-0||*||1||1-0-0||1||0||+1||1.000|
|Michigan Stars FC||2-0-2||*||*||4||2-0-2||4||2||+2||.750|
|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
Updated to end of 2017 season
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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.
- "A Soccer Club in Grand Rapids?". Retrieved August 10, 2014.
- "Many pitch in for hometown soccer franchise". GRBJ.com. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
- "sports.yahoo.com". yahoo.com. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
- "NPSL denies Ann Arbor semi-pro soccer club's application; owners plan to establish new league". MLive.com. December 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
- "Grand Rapids Football Club Joins the NPSL – Grand Rapids FC". GrandRapidsFC.com. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
- "Grand Rapids FC launches women's team for 2017 season".
- "Grand Rapids FC beats Santa Clarita, captures United Women's Soccer championship". MLive.com. July 2017.
- "Grand Rapids FC – Grand Rapids FC". GrandRapidsFC.com. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
- "How do you enter the 2016 US Open Cup?".
- "What if it Rains". WhatIfItRains.net. Retrieved October 16, 2017.