We’ll document GRFC’s history here. It aims to be a bullet-point, highlight kind of history, not a week-by-week log of all events.


2016 NPSL Midwest Great Lakes West conference champions
2016 NPSL Midwest Regional playoff runner-up (national QF)

2014 > Nashville | Houseman | What if it Rains | GLPL Formation
2015 > First Outings | Home Opener | First Season Ends | NPSL Invites Us
2016 > Cracking Start | Top of the Table | Champions! | Regional Finalist
2017 > After the Flood, Exodus | Noah Sees Red | Record Win in Indiana


Nashville Concept

Feb 14 2014
Following on from discussions in the GRFWF Facebook group about GR getting a team of its own, a post is shared by Casey Siereveld about the setup at Nashville where a crowd-funding initiative got a new team up and running. Matt Roberts’ Valentine’s Day dinner is ruined - or at least that of his better half - and the concept has wheels.


Jul 9 2014
It is announced that Houseman Field in Midtown will host GRFC.

What if it Rains

Oct 6 2014
Announced to GRFC members that conference owners vote unanimously to allow us into the NPSL.

Oct 16 2014
The NPSL Executive Board denies our expansion bid due to the crowd-funded model. One of their two major concerns:
"What if it rains on every game day and you don’t sell enough tickets?"

GLPL Formation

Dec 18 2014
Great Lakes Premier League announces its formation with GRFC, AFC Ann Arbor (also denied by NPSL) and Oakland United; Croatian Eagles and RWB Adria follow shortly after.


First Outings

Apr 12 2015
The first appearance of an XI in GRFC’s name as the team plays a scrimmage in Allendale vs GVSU’s club team. The first goal was scored by Elmedin Zukic in the 9th minute, and the Blues run out 8-0 winners. Zukic scored a second, Noble Sullivan also scored two, Deakin, Abdoo, Ornelas-Luna and Broekhuizen the rest.
GRFC Report / YouTube

May 9 2015
The first official outing for GRFC, in a friendly at NPSL neighbors Lansing United. While it was certainly not a 1st choice XI fielded by the hosts, GRFC were also missing a few top players. A very even match was highlighted by two key events: A triple save by Beau Prey on the way to a first official clean sheet, and a timely pass from Lito Esquivel putting Domenic Barone into position to clip the ball over the keeper for the club’s first official goal, sending GRFC supporters on the sidelines into a frenzy.
LanU Report / YouTube

May 23 2015
The first GRFC league game, a trip to Rochester for a game against Oakland United (now Oakland County). Noble Sullivan’s goal wasn’t enough and we dropped the game 1-2.

Home Opener

May 30 2015
GRFC’s first home game seemed to take an age to arrive. We’d played two away games but finally the home opener was upon us. Many supporters of this project had guessed we’d get a thousand in bad weather, a couple in pleasant conditions. This estimate was partly based on the few thousand that showed up for an open air World Cup USA game screening the summer before. When the NPSL turned us down in October, one of their major concerns was if it rained and we didn’t sell enough tickets.

Now, being in Michigan we were used to some pretty nasty home openers for summer sports. It’s not unusual for the Detroit Tigers or our local West Michigan Whitecaps to begin their seasons in barely-above-freezing conditions in April. But this was late May, it would be June on Monday. The week before had seen temps in the upper 70s and 80s. The match day’s high was basically the overnight low, in the 60s. By the time the Grand Army’s first home march arrived at Houseman Field, the temperatures were plummeting into the low 50s and a swirling misty drizzle was making for some unsummery conditions. It felt like one of those cold baseball home openers.

But... 2,409 people showed up. More than attended the inaugural home games for NPSL flagships such as Chattanooga and Detroit in previous years. On the pitch, Domenic Barone scores the club’s first hat-trick with the first three goals scored in GRFC play at Houseman Field, and the home side ran out 5-1 winners against AFC Ann Arbor.

First Season Ends

Jul 17 2015
The final home league match against Oakland United sees 5,117 attend, at half-time the Grand Army is moved over to the north side to allow more room for the latest record crowd.

Jul 25 2015
GRFC win their final match of the season, a first away win in the GLPL, a 3-1 win against Croatian Eagles in Milwaukee. Final league position 2nd of 5, with a 3-2-3 record for 11 points.

Jul 31 2015
A final home match of the season, a friendly against Muskegon Risers, sees 6,651 arrive at Houseman Field where the north side is opened pre-game for the first time. Across seven home matches whether league or friendly, an average of 4,509 is achieved.

NPSL Invites Us

Sep 25 2015
We are admitted to the NPSL along with AFC Ann Arbor, as the league reverses on its previous decision due to the success of both clubs.


Cracking Start

May 20 2016
Just 48 seconds into our NPSL debut at Pontiac’s Wisner Stadium, Peter Brown’s goal gets us off the mark! We drew the first game 1-1.

Top of the Table

Jul 3 2016
A third straight clean sheet in the league by Noah Fazekas in a 1-0 win over Dayton Dynamo, along with a defeat by season-long leaders AFC Ann Arbor, leaves GRFC top of the table for the first time in their history.


Jul 8 2016
A new club record attendance of 6,854 watch the top two clubs in the league fight to confirm one of the playoff spots. Jared Timmer equalized AFCAA’s goal shortly after half time. Noble Sullivan’s matchwinner followed by an insurance goal from Gabe Mateo brought a first ever title to GRFC, along with first seed in the Regional playoffs.

Regional Finalist

Jul 22-23 2016
Another club record attendance of 6,912 watched GRFC beat Indy Eleven NPSL 1-0 in the regional semi-final thanks to another Noble Sullivan winner. That win qualified GRFC for the 2017 U.S. Open Cup. The next day a smaller crowd was in attendance for the final against AFC Cleveland, which went through extra time scoreless before GRFC lost in penalties 1-3. National quarter-finalists in our first NPSL season! Noah Fazekas had both clean sheets, totaling seven for the season.


After the Flood, Exodus

May 10 2017
Our debut in the U.S. Open Cup against FC United lasted just three minutes. Thunderstorms in the Chicago area caused the initial interruption in play, and by the time lightning had ceased, torrential rain had flooded the field rendering it unplayable. The teams returned less than two days later and a Peter Brown own goal near the end of regulation knocked us out. The aftermath of the restarted fixture included the mass walkout of all four Barone brothers and Lito Esquivel, protesting disciplinary action taken against Hunter Barone for an incident towards the end of the match.

Noah Sees Red

Jun 2 2017
After a decent start, largely mirroring results at the beginning of the successful 2016 campaign, we went to Hamtramck. A lunging challenge by Noah Fazekas just three minutes into the game saw him sent off, and despite a Greg Timmer opener the ten men were unable to keep a stronger DCFC at bay and they ended up 3-1 winners.

Record Win in Indiana

Jun 30 2017
A soggy pitch in balmy Lafayette was the scene for a club record win against FC Indiana. The Blues racked up four first half goals and finished 6-1 winners, a highlight of an otherwise slightly more than mediocre season.