GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- With an average of more than 4,500 fans at home games, the first year of the Grand Rapids Futball Club was a terrific success, but the team is looking for more success on the field entering year two.
"We definitely owe the fans some wins," said second year midfielder Lito Esquivel. "That's what we're looking to do this year for all the support that they gave us last year. I don't think last year was nearly enough to what they deserve, so this year we'll make sure we get the wins for our fans."
Those wins though will be tougher to come by as GRFC is moving up to the National Premier Soccer League, a step up from the Great Lakes Premier League that the team played in last year. But while the competition is stepping up, so is the talent playing for GRFC, bringing a higher level of soccer to Grand Rapids.
"It's gonna be challenging for all the players, but I think we have the personnel to thrive under this kind of competitive environment and the other thing is it's going to be great for the fans," said coach George Moni. "They're gonna come out of there, I think, they're gonna see a better quality of soccer."
"I think it's gonna be a good challenge for the team," added second year midfielder Nick Abdoo. "We've got a lot of new faces on the team and a lot of new talent on the team, so I think it's a good step up."
GRFC opens with an exhibition match on Friday at Grand Valley.