GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Football Club has re-signed Defender Jake Vanderlaan for the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season.
Vanderlaan, 23, was limited to one appearance in the 2017 campaign due to a torn achilles tendon. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound center back also appeared in nine competitive matches for GRFC during its Great Lakes West Conference-winning season in 2016, starting both Midwest Region playoff games. He was selected as the club’s man of the match for his performance in a 0-0 draw at Detroit City FC on July 1.
A native of Grand Haven, Mich., Vanderlaan appeared in one match for Michigan Stars FC in 2016 before signing for GRFC. He began his NPSL career with a two-year spell at Lansing United from 2014-15, winning a Great Lakes West Conference title and a Midwest Region playoff championship in his first season with the Hoops.
Vanderlaan spent four seasons at Oakland University from 2012-15, where he tallied six assists in 62 appearances. In his final season with the Golden Grizzlies, he earned Second Team All-Horizon League honors.
Vanderlaan is excited to be back with the squad, commenting: “With a new manager in place like Lewis you cannot help but get extremely antsy for the season to start. It’s an enticing atmosphere from the chemistry within the team to the support we receive from our city and of course the irreplaceable Grand Army. On a personal note, I am grateful for the opportunity to get back on the field for GRFC after what was an unfortunate 2017 season that was cut short by a torn Achilles. It’s all smiles as the season approaches.”
“Jake has shown great perseverance and commitment to get back after his difficult injury last year” said Head Coach Lewis Robinson. “We are thrilled to have him back with our team for 2018. His quality on the ball combined with his defensive abilities makes him one of the top defenders in the league”.