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Grand Rapids Football Club brings semi-pro soccer to Houseman Field

On Saturday, May 30, the new sports team, embracing a concept of "One City, One Club" as their motto, will have its premier. The team is possible thanks to funds raised with the help of over 600 local citizens.
GRFC Founder at Houseman Field

GRFC Founder at Houseman Field /Courtesy of GRFC

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Twitter: @grandrapidsfc

Grand Rapids Football Club (GRFC) kicks off play at Houseman Field in Midtown in the Great Lakes Premier League this Saturday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Houseman Field has seen its fair share of football since its construction in 1923, but the football referred to here is the world’s most popular game across the globe: soccer. The GRFC is the brainchild of founder Matt Roberts, who has watched the evolution of this sport in our area over 25 years of playing and coaching.

“Semi-Professional soccer is a natural progression here,” says Roberts. 

Getting the public to sustain it wholeheartedly has been another story. Several teams for men and one for women have come and gone.

Roberts has taken a different, grassroots approach, to the organization of his team however, and instead of seeking funding from the usual maverick mavens or ultra wealthy with deep pockets, instead he invited over 600 Grand Rapidians to share that dream.

Embracing a concept of “One City, One Club,” GRFC’s motto, Roberts has garnered support from soccer enthusiasts one by one. In doing so, he’s brought us all in on the deal and given us a piece of the action.

Additionally, local business has jumped on the bandwagon, too. Thirteen corporate sponsors have come on board to date: SpeakEZ Lounge, Gazelle Sports, 616 Dental Studio, Wordhouse Wealth Coaching, Kent Communications (KCI), BTM Industrial Auctions and Liquidations, Metro Health Sports Medicine, Good Life Physical Therapy, Michigan Tournament Solutions, Uccello’s Ristorante, Bob’s Bar, Proper Soda Company and Heineken. 

On the field, GRFC boasts a wealth of soccer talent with 29 signed so far. The core players have their roots firmly planted locally as former high school, youth club and college players- including some current standouts.

Uniting the soccer community under one banner provides a stern challenge to be sure. Just ask any fan from Manchester, England how united their city is when it comes to the sport. Undaunted, Roberts has created a camaraderie between like minds in Grand Rapids-soccer loving minds, through monthly member gatherings and electronic correspondence, a burgeoning social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, player/coach meet-and-greet events, the team’s charity involvement and his zeal for GRFC’s success.

May 14 brought an inevitable introduction that could only happen in Beer City. GRFC now has its own brew, “Grand Army India Pale Ale” create by Brewery Vivant, affectionately named for the club’s supporter group, The Grand Army. 

And, then there are the scarves. You’ll be seeing them out and about, four feet long, royal blue, the crest and white block lettering emblazoned with, “Grand Rapids FC.” Wrapped neatly in each you’ll find a passionate soccer entrepreneur with a new stake in the beautiful game.

“One City, One Club." It all begins Saturday, May 30 at Houseman Field, and GRFC is poised for success.


For full schedules including team rosters, fan gear, sponsorship opportunities and how to purchase tickets, visit the GRFC website.

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