Holiday Gift Packages!

Thinking about Christmas shopping? We’ve got you covered. We’re happy to announce two exclusive Sons of Ransom holiday gift packages on sale for a limited time only. These packages are available to order between now and December 9 only.

Each holiday package comes with a Sons of Ransom pint glass and mini soccer ball, and you can choose between an ugly sweater t-shirt or crew-neck sweatshirt.

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Holiday packages can be purchased below. Once you place your order, we’ll be in touch regarding shipping and shirt/sweatshirt size.

Holiday Package 1 – pint glass, mini soccer ball, ugly sweater t-shirt

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Holiday Package 2 – pint glass, mini soccer ball, ugly sweater crew-neck sweatshirt

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Also, if you haven’t had a chance to buy one of the 2016 Sons of Ransom scarves, they’re still available for order on our home page.

Time for Some Thank Yous

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It’s been just over 2 weeks in Lansing United’s season ended with a loss in the National Semi-Finals to the New York Red Bull’s U-23 team. It was heartbreaking to see the season come to an end, but it really was a dream season, something that everyone involved should be proud of.

Thinking back to before the season, it’s incredible how far we’ve come together. I’m not sure any of us could have imagined that this team would be this successful in its first season, both on and off the field. To make the NPSL Semi-Finals was great, but the fact that the team had an average attendance of over 1,000 per game, and the fact that the Sons of Ransom section grew more full with every game are even more impressive, and probably more important for the team moving forward. Success on the field is great and does gain attention and fans, but success off the field is what ensures that the team will be around for future seasons.

Much of United’s success this year must be credited to owner Jeremy Sampson, so to him we’d like to say THANK YOU. Thank you for bringing us a team we could fall in love with. Jeremy’s passion for the team and this community is evident in the effort he puts into making sure that Lansing United is run like a top-level professional soccer team, something not seen in much of NPSL.

Along with Jeremy, countless others contributed so much to United’s success off the field, including the intern team. Every game when we’d show up to hang flags, tifo, banners, etc, there they were before, during, and after the game. Whether getting the field ready, making sure everything was set for a professional game environment, or anything else that needed to be done, this team of interns contributed so much.

Jeremy brings the NPSL Midwest Region trophy to Sons of Ransom
Jeremy brings the NPSL Midwest Region trophy to Sons of Ransom

Our next THANK YOU goes to Head Coach and GM Eric Rudland, who built something special on the field. Coach Rudland put together a hard-working, passionate, and talented team, and got them to buy into his system and play as one on the pitch. Coach Rudland truly made us proud to sing “We’re all part of Rudland’s Army.”

SoR founders Stefan, Eric, and Richard with Lansing United coach Eric Rudland and Owner Jeremy Sampson
SoR founders Stefan, Eric, and Richard with Lansing United coach Eric Rudland and Owner Jeremy Sampson

Each and every player who stepped on the field for Lansing United this year, whether in a game or in practice, deserves a THANK YOU as well. Our boys battled 90 minutes every single game, playing out the words PRIDE, PASSION, UNITY that came to define this team. Not only were they a joy to watch on the field, they made it fun to support them, and impossible not to love them.

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It’s moments like these that cement the connection between players fan fans.

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Last, but certainly not least, each and every one of you who came to a game this year gets a THANK YOU. Whether you stood and sang with the Sons of Ransom or sat and cheered more calmly, you showed up and supported our team.

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An Article By A Random Teenager

By: Tim D. Howard

In The Beginning:

Coming into the Sons of Ransom supporter group I had no idea what to expect. Were they going to be rowdy, cursing, rude and crude supporters like some or a more mild, and respectful supporter group like my family in Chattanooga, TN, the Chattahooligans. Luckily, it was the latter. Actually it took the things that I liked about NGS and the things I like about the ‘hooligans and kinda MASHED them together.

No one knew who we (my father and I) were when we showed up at the first game, but we brought two drums and an arsenal of chants from having done this for a few years before. On the way home from the first game my dad said to me, “Dude,” he thinks that makes him sound younger, “We created history tonight.” Another lady rolled down her window and said “Thanks for making the game fun!” While I knew that what they both said were true I tried to remember what my unintentional namesake, Tim Howard, would have said “Stay humble.”

The first game was frickin’ awesome and even though we were like 15-20 strong at the time I knew we could grow bigger.

The Mad Median:

Although, due to timing and other factors, the old man and I couldn’t make it to quite a few of the games, I did what the blog said and supported from afar. Every goal Lansing scored, every game they played I was on twitter getting updates from them. Then we got to the AFC Cleveland Royals game. That was fun! No one likes Oh*o so everyone was on the same page with that. I introduced the new chant “LANSING FANS!” *Loud cheers from SoR* “Cleveland Fans!” *Nada*. That was the same game that someone from our church was at the game and when we went to church the next day the kid was like “You’re part of Sons of Ransom?” and it was pretty cool to say “YES SIR!” Lansing tied Cleveland 2-2.

Then we went to the Indiana Fire game. My really good friend plays soccer and she knew I was a soccer supporter but she didn’t know what that meant. She also had never been to a pro or semi-pro soccer game. So, my mission, create a new member of Sons of Ransom. I texted her and asked her if she wanted to go. Luckily she said yes! This feeling was probably the best feeling I had all season! My best friend and I got to share the awesomeness of being a soccer supporter. We beat Indiana 2-1. On the way home I asked her if this is something she would like to see at our school’s soccer games, she said yes.

When we dropped her off with her dad she promptly had some headache medicine. AKA: Mission Accomplished!

The Final Game Against Detroit:

I didn’t think I would get to go. I was so upset! I felt like I was letting my team down! But through the kindness of my parents they made it a reality for me to get to DeMartin Stadium. That game was special because not only did we get a chance to face a rival we also got a chance to play on a really awesome field! The grass is good at ELSC but it’s excellent at DeMartin. The seating at DeMartin was grand but we could have smoke at ELSC. The other reason it was a huge game was because it was “Almost more Supporter Group v. Supporter Group.” as Eric put it.

In my opinion we won. They may have had more numbers and they screamed more profanities at us at pre-game but we accomplished our goal of being a SG that the people of Lansing enjoyed being around. Along with that goal was having a SG that parents wouldn’t mind letting their kids run off into our section and not have them worrying about them picking up new vocabulary.

We got the tie even though we wanted the win. We did BEAT CITY even though NGS said we didn’t, we got more points over the season and finished number one. We won.

United We Stand:

This was expressed by the Sons of Ransom when I said I wasn’t going to be able to go to the playoff games. They reached out and made it a reality, yet again, for me, just a random teenage guy. So, they made it a reality for me to get to the games. At this point in the article I want to say how awesome my mom and dad are. They knew that soccer means a lot to me and did more than they needed to do to get me to the games. I kept on telling my mom that what they were doing was so awesome. Anyway, I got to the game and I had a weekend pass. I watched Quad City and Fort Pitt and thought to myself…well out loud too, we could beat both of these guys.

Game two of the Midwest semi-finals was the game we had all been waiting for. Minnesota FC Reserves v. Lansing United. What came out of this game? An awesome experience and a spot in the Midwest Region championship match. We beat Minnesota 4-1. the “Rundland’s Army” chant was premiered here as well as “Lansing Boys We Are Here.”

Remember That Time That We Sang a Chant For 10 Minutes:

The Fort Pitt game. NPSL Midwest Region Championship.

Woooooah oh oh oh!

Woooooah oh oh oh!

Woooooah oh oh oh!

Woooooah oh oh oh!

HERE WE GO!

La la la la la la laaa!

La la la la la la laaa!

La la la la la la laaa!

La la la la la la laaa!

Yeah. We did that for ten minutes.

We scored our first goal in the first half and the Sons of Ransom struggled to not fall over dead from exhaustion and a sleepless night because of nerves. Luckily we learned that one chant before the game and it saved our butts! I remember Eric and I looked at each other and we gave each other that “Look at what we’re doing!” look. He gave me a high five and we continued to do what we do. We were at least 75 strong at our final home match. That is a pretty good size for a first year supporter group. We beat Fort Pitt 2-1 in overtime (extratime) but we didn’t gloat about it. We weren’t in their face about it. They played hard and they were determined like we were. They deserved it as much as we did but in the end we had more goals.

Post-Post Season:

I love what we accomplished as a supporter group and I can’t wait to bring it next year in Lansing 2k15. We will have two more clubs in Michigan (Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids), next year and we have already created a good reputation with them. We have gained their respect and we respect them. Other supporter groups in our conference can’t say that they have a teams that they really truly want to succeed. We did well guys! So happy with our first season! UNITED WE STAND!

 

Our City, Our Club

When embarking on a new endeavor, no matter which facet it may be related to, there is always a great sense of uncertainty. The Sons of Ransom was indeed started with that sense. The tweets pictured in yesterday’s post certainly demonstrate that. Where do we start? How do we broadcast? What will our image be? These were all questions we faced.

The world of futbol has the most passionate fans on the planet without a shadow of a doubt. We wanted to tap into that passion in any way we knew how. This was going to be a maiden voyage for both this franchise and our group. Throughout this season Lansing United and the Sons of Ransom have fed off each other in ways that have both helped us grow into what we are right now. Granted this has been a very successful Year One, but now the question goes from “how do we start” to “how can we harness this and forge on?”

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SoR founding members at Game #1 vs. Indiana Fire

We may not be as big as DCFC, but sheer numbers aren’t what make a team and its supporters great. It is the passion of the organization to continue to improve and innovate its brand into something that all can embrace. It is up to us to make the Sons the Ransom of group of unbridled passion and support, but at the same time we want to give the fans of all ages something to rally around and be proud to call their own.

The Sons of Ransom’s beginning was anything but easy. The early season scrambling to create a logo that tied us with our city and our club, the late nights creating our tifo to signal that SoR was here to stay, and the money that we spent to create it all everything was nothing short of exhausting.

There is a pride in one’s city, and one’s club that is a driving force behind the birth of loyal following.

There have been many trials and tribulations that have been experienced by the Sons of Ransom to get to where we are now. But, with the help of fans, the unwavering support from the club and the players, this has been possible through sharing articles, these blog posts, pictures, and scores on social media. You have helped the Lansing United and the Sons of Ransom become a visible entity today in the soccer community. You have stood united with us since our inception, and we all stand united for this club.

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Building Something Special

Who would have thought that in just over 2 months we would go from this:

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to this:

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Sunday’s game against Detroit City FC was one of the most exciting atmosphere’s I’ve ever been a part of at a sporting event, and I probably only saw half of the actual game. The atmosphere was electric, the passion from both teams players and fans was unbelievable.

Going into this season I could not have imagined that there would be over 2,000 fans at any Lansing United game this year. Nor could I have imagined that the Sons of Ransom would be as big and as loud as we were on Sunday.

I’ve had an absolute blast this season, and I have all of you to thank for that. See, I may be the loud crazy guy with the megaphone, but yelling into a megaphone is no fun if you do it alone. All of you who have joined us in the Sons of Ransom, and even those of you who don’t sit with us, but are singing from your seats, you are such a huge part of what has made this season fun, and I know many of the players share that feeling.

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When Gabe Mateo scored the 2nd goal on Sunday and jumped up to celebrate with us, you could see how badly they wanted that result, and how much having such great support means. Moments like that are the moments that bond players and fans.

You as fans have fallen in love with this team as you’ve watched them battle for results each and every game this year. You’ve cheered and supported them all season long no matter the score. They’ve responded with a season that I’m sure nobody predicted. Our first year Lansing United has risen to the top, winning the Great Lakes West.

So thank you. Thank you for your passion, for your support, and for joining us in showing this team that Lansing loves them, now and forever.

Now it’s time to take the next step. Let’s show our team that we can take it to another level. I personally can’t wait for Saturday night. I can’t wait to see Archer Stadium more packed than ever before, louder than ever before.

One of my favorite moments from the DCFC game was when about 1/3 of the non-Sons of Ransom fans were standing and joining in some of the chanting. Saturday night, I want to see EVERYBODY join in.

This is OUR CITY. This is OUR CLUB.

We often use #UnitedWeStand on Facebook and Twitter. Saturday night, I let’s see that statement lived out.

Defining Moments

Every team has moments that define it. They are moments that embody the traits that make the team what they are. They are moments that one can point to when asked to explain the results on the field.

The game on Sunday between Lansing United and Michigan Stars featured one such moment. It may not be a moment remembered by many, since there were so few people at Star International Academy on Sunday night to see a game that kicked off at 10pm, but it’s one of those moments that can define a season.

With the game in stoppage time a Stars cross came into the United box from the wing. United GK Ian McDonald-Wilkins came off his line in an attempt to win the ball in the air, and missed. Instead the ball was met by the head of a Stars player who sent it on a looping arc towards the now open United goal. Lansing’s 1-0 lead was about to be erased. Then, just before the ball crossed the line for a goal, United defender Cody Archibald rose to meet the flight of the ball, heading it back off the line and preserving both the lead and the win.

Not only did Archibald’s header preserve the win and keep United in control of its own destiny in the race for the Great Lakes West Conference Championship, it demonstrated one of the things that has made United successful, and a joy to watch, this season. For me, Archilbald’s effort in that moment showed desire, commitment, and an awareness of what the team needed.

When the game was on the line and his GK was beaten, this defender stepped up and made the play. It would have been easy to forgive if he hadn’t made the play. The game was in stoppage time and United had been on the back foot for most of the 2nd half, defending, sometimes desperately. To win that ball, in that moment, required an effort that some players don’t have the gas for at the end of 90 minutes. To be in position to even make that play required knowing exactly where he needed to be on the field. Had Archibald not been aware of the play McDonald-Wilkins was attempting to make, he probably wouldn’t have been near the line to clear the ball.

We’ve seen these attributes from United all season long. It’s one of the things that makes them so easy to love. When you see the effort they put in for 90+ minutes every game, how can you not stand and sing for them, letting them you know you’ve got their back?

Playing with different lineups almost every game can’t be easy. Yet the guys show an awareness of knowing where to be on the field, and how they fit into the system the team is playing. When one guy goes down with an injury another steps in and knows exactly what his team needs from him.

There have been other defining moments this season, but in my mind this one will stand out. By securing the win United ensured that with 2 games to play in the NPSL regular season, the team controls its own destiny. If United beats Indiana on Friday and Detroit on Sunday, both home games, we win the Great Lakes West. If Archibald hadn’t made that play, United would have to rely on other teams results. Thanks to that header, we’re still in control.

Unsung Heroes Vol. 2: Leigh Rumbold

This is part 2 of our “Unsung Heroes” series, with my (Eric Walcott) thoughts on United midfielder/defender Leigh Rumbold. For part 1 of our series focused on midfielder Greg Timmer and can be found here.

If you look at the Lansing United stat sheet for this season, his name won’t jump out at you, but make no mistake, Leigh Rumbold has been instrumental in United’s success this season. In the 5 games Rumbold has played United has only 1 loss, on the road to division leaders DCFC. His importance doesn’t shine through with goals or assists but if you pay attention during games you notice that he’s like a coach on the field. This was especially evident and important early in the season as United sought to develop it’s identity and playing style. When you have a young team that’s never played together chemistry is always going to be a challenge,  and having a player like Leigh on the field who’s always talking can help a team hold strong in high pressure moments or break out when the opportunity presents itself.

In addition to being a leader with his voice, Rumbold has shown a willingness to do whatever  is needed for the team to succeed, and the ability to do it well. After excelling in the midfield early in the year, he was asked to fill in at CB this past weekend as injuries left the backline depleted. Rumbold filled in admirably, consistently breaking up the opposing attack and turning defense into offense with quick transition play. He was his usual vocal self, constantly organizing the defense and pushing the line to pressure the opposition midfield.

As United finishes the season with 4 must-win games, I hope to see Leigh back in the midfield, partnered with the focus of our previous post, Greg Timmer. The two seemed to have developed a strong partnership early in the year, smartly balancing when to press the attack and when to sit in more of a holding role between the two of them. Their discipline, solid defensive work and quality transitional play will be vital if United are going to end up in a playoff spot at the end of the season.