GRFC Signs Pair From Aquinas

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Football Club has re-signed forward Alex Mendez and also signed midfielder Franco Calabrese for the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season.

Mendez, 20, registered two goals in 13 competitive appearances with the Boys in Blue during the 2017 season. He garnered Man of the Match accolades after tallying a goal in a 5-0 preseason victory against Hope College on April 22.

The 6-foot forward recently completed his sophomore year at Aquinas College and ranked among the team leaders with 13 goals (1st), six game-winning goals (1st) and eight assists (T1st) in 18 starts. A native of Guatemala, Mendez was named the WHAC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 16 and was honored as a First-Team All-WHAC selection in November.

Prior to transferring to the Saints, Mendez began his collegiate career at Davenport University in 2015. During his lone season with the Panthers, Mendez recorded six goals and two assists in 22 appearances. Alex is the younger brother of GRFC and Aquinas alumnus Aldony Mendez, who scored once for the Boys in Blue during their inaugural 2015 GLPL campaign.

Calabrese, 20, recently concluded his sophomore season with Aquinas, dishing out nine assists in 18 appearances. In total, the 5-foot-11 midfielder has accumulated one goal and 11 assists in 34 appearances with the Saints. The Grand Rapids native joins the Boys in Blue after spending the 2017 campaign with Ole SC.  He was added to the squad after impressing coaches at the open tryout in early January.

Prior to his collegiate career, Calabrese played for East Kentwood High School, tallying eight goals and 16 assists in his senior year en route to helping the Falcons capture the 2015 OK Red Conference title. Calabrese was subsequently named to the MHSSCA Division 1 All-State Second Team.

GRFC will begin the home portion of its 2018 NPSL schedule on Sunday, May 27 against the Milwaukee Torrent at 6 p.m. at Houseman Field. Additional home dates confirmed by the NPSL include June 3, June 8, June 15, June 22 and June 29.

Fans can secure their full-season ticket packages by clicking here or visit grandrapidsfc.com for more information.