GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Football Club has signed midfielders Pepe Martinez-Bertrand and Giuseppe Vitale for the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season.
Martinez-Bertrand appeared in all 22 games for Western Michigan University as a redshirt freshman in 2017, recording two goals and a pair of assists. On Nov. 25, the 5-foot-10, 160-pound midfielder scored the opening marker in the Broncos’ 2-1 defeat at Michigan State University in the third round of the 2017 College Cup.
Prior to his collegiate career, Martinez-Bertrand played with Kokomo (Ind.) High School as a senior foreign exchange student in 2015. The Sant Antoni de Vilamajor, Spain, native tallied 17 goals and 14 assists to help the Wildkats win the North Central Conference (NCC) and the IHSAA Class 2A Kokomo Sectional championship. Martinez-Bertrand was subsequently honored as an All-NCC selection and garnered ISCA Third-Team All State accolades.
Vitale recently completed his sophomore year at WMU, appearing in all 22 games for the Broncos during the 2017 campaign and earning a place on the MAC All-Tournament Team alongside Anthony Bowie. In addition to his on-field duties, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound midfielder was selected to the 2017 Academic All-MAC Team after achieving a 3.68 grade point average. In total, the Washington Township, Mich., native has made 35 appearances in two seasons with the Broncos.
Prior to his collegiate career, Vitale won a varsity letter in 2012 as a freshman at Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, Mich., before spending three seasons with Vardar Soccer Club.
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.