Muskegon Risers to Join NPSL in 2020
The NPSL’s Great Lakes Conference will welcome Muskegon Risers as its newest competitor starting in 2020. The Michigan club has fielded a men’s team in local adult leagues as well as the second division of the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL).
NPSL Soccer News: The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has announced Muskegon Risers (Muskegon, MI) as its latest expansion club. The Risers will begin competition in the Midwest Region’s Great Lakes Conference in 2020.
“We are thrilled to begin our 2020 expansion campaign with such a strong club in the Muskegon Risers,” said Cindy Spera, NPSL Managing Director. “We are excited to see the NPSL brand continue to grow in Michigan and throughout the Midwest. We are confident that the Risers will be successful on and off the pitch.”
The Muskegon Risers was founded in January 2014, with the focus on social and economic impact in Muskegon Lakeshore through soccer. The “Risers” name was inspired by the “’Muskegon, Together Rising” sculpture that stands in the heart of downtown Muskegon.
The Risers have experienced success in a number of indoor and outdoor leagues, including the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) and the Major Arena Soccer League II (MASL II).
MKG’s NPSL program will be led by Owner/President Matt Schmitt, Director of Soccer Operations/head coach Stuart Collins, and Sales and Marketing Manager Kody Harrell.
Schmitt played collegiate soccer at the University of Michigan from 2006-2010. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biopsychology and after college worked in a sales and marketing role for Evolve Group Marketing (Troy, MI) and Neurocore (Grand Rapids, MI).
“On the field, we understand the quality of competition in the NPSL’s Great Lakes Conference is second-to-none at this level of soccer in the United States,” said Schmitt. “We are thrilled at the challenge of competing each week to win games. From a business standpoint, we’re looking forward to collaborating with fellow conference members and showcasing the beautiful game in our community with high operational standards. With these two focuses in mind, we expect the 2020 season to be an overwhelming success.”
Collins is a former player at Davenport University. He has logged the most minutes as a player in Muskegon Risers history and has also served as team captain since May of 2016. After playing four years as a starter for Davenport, Collins remained with the team and helped his former teammates make an impressive run to the program’s first NAIA National Championship in 2014. A native of Cork in the Republic of Ireland, Collins graduated from Davenport with a degree in marketing. Outside of Davenport, Collins is Technical Director for Michigan Fire Juniors and has coached since 2007.
In 2014, Harrell started as a marketing intern with the Muskegon Risers and has developed into his role as the team’s Sales and Marketing Manager. Prior to joining the Muskegon Risers, Harrell studied at Muskegon Community College and Charleston University. He graduated with a degree in business management in 2016 and works in a similar role for the Muskegon Risers MASL II team.
Home matches during the 2020 NPSL season will be played at Monsignor Kehren Stadium on the campus of Muskegon Catholic Central (MCC). The facility consists of a natural grass playing surface, a home section with 3,000 seats and an away section with a capacity of 1,000.
“The Muskegon Risers are an extension of the Muskegon lakeshore community, which is the greatest asset our organization will bring to the conference and league as a whole,” said Schmitt. “Our team has a unique history, strong business sense, and collaborative mindset which we are eager to share with fellow membership.”
“The NPSL is extremely excited to announce its first new team for the 2020 season,” said Dina Case, NPSL Director of Membership Development. “Muskegon Risers bring a well-known brand to the Great Lakes Conference and we expect that they will do great things both on and off the field for the NPSL in 2020 and beyond.”
More information about the club can be found here.