Meet Grand Rapids FC, America's next supporter-owned and operated soccer club | SIDELINE

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Grand Rapids FC

Nashville FC, started by a couple of friends enjoying a root beer, are the first fully supporter-owned soccer club in the United States.

Grand Rapids FC, based in the West Michigan city, plan to be next.

Is the very first supporter-owned American derby in our future? Grand Rapids FC aims to join and compete in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) in 2015. They would be joining Nashville FC, who made their NPSL debut earlier this month with a preseason friendly against a local NAIA powerhouse.

With a year to plan, now is the time to get in on the ground floor with Grand Rapids FC. The group is still accepting founding memberships, which are a modest $100, and has done quite well for itself over a short period of time.

According to the club's website, it currently sits at 54 percent of a predetermined membership goal. You can purchase your membership stake in the club or make a non-membership donation of any amount through the Grand Rapids FC website.

As is the case with Nashville FC, a membership entitles you to one vote on major club decisions and free admission to all home games, as well as a Grand Rapids FC founding member's scarf.

There's a town hall meeting scheduled for next Thursday, April 24, for anyone who wants to learn more about Grand Rapids FC and meet the founding members already on board.