The 2024 Home Opener: Akron City FC set to pay host to Michigan Rangers FC

Chant, cheer, and heckle at Green Street Stadium for the first home game of the season

Writer: Sideline and Beat Reporter, Cade Cracas

Akron, Ohio- The 2024 home opener is finally here.

Akron can officially pay host to the brand new roster that Akron City FC built to set the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) on notice. ACFC will welcome Michigan Rangers FC on Saturday, May 25, for the clubs first home game of the season.

“It's not a secret home teams feed off larger and lively crowds, we are no different,” said ACFC Owner Nick Turchan. “Our average attendance over the last two years has been in the top 20% of the league, but we still can do a lot better.

In the opening week of play, ACFC took to the road to play against rival side, Cleveland SC. Unfortunately, ACFC fell 1-0 after going down in the 39th minute on one of the only chances the opposition was given on frame.

However, ACFC dominated the majority of the possession and time within the attacking third, showcasing promise moving forward.

“I hope we respond with positive play,” said ACFC Head Coach Andy Hoggarth. “I believe our ability to play at a high level and capitalize on chances in front of goal will reward us.”

On the opposite side, Michigan Rangers FC has one game under their belt as well. Their season opener came against NPSL newcomer, Southern Indiana Guardians FC (SIGFC).

Michigan Rangers FC looked top notch, as they controlled the game with a comfortable 3-0 win.

Last season, they were widely regarded as one of the top teams in the league, boasting an overall record of 8-1-3. They were also second in the league in goal differential with +18 as they scored 30 and gave up just 12.

With a tough task ahead of ACFC, the team is excited for the challenge.

“Expectations are to win as always, take the positives from the Cleveland game, such as all the good chances we created, and execute a bit better,” said Turchan. “I believe the team will respond well, they know they let one get away and have a lot of pride to not let that happen again. 

“Michigan Rangers FC were a playoff team last year and returned a lot of players, so a good test to open the home schedule.”

ACFC’s fanbase is ready to show out for the opening game. The club's fan group, Rubber City Underground (RCU), has been coordinating large groups of supporters and local young players to show up.

“We appreciate the loyal following we have and urge everyone to tell five friends,” said Turchan. “Despite what some of our rivals might think, we are not printing money here.If we can continue to increase attendance, it provides our leadership team more resources to invest back into building a winner and growing the sport in Akron.

“Make sure to swing by our supporter group section in the “Airdock” for 90 minutes of drums, singing and heckling the opponent.”

The team will kick off action at 7:00 P.M. from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School against Michigan Rangers FC.

“I’m expecting the lads to be fired up and provide the home crowd with an exciting game and a positive response for last weekend's game,” said Hoggarth.