Michigan Milk Cup Expands to Include Men's, Women's and Youth Tournaments

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The 2019 Michigan Milk Cup will see some drastic changes as the cup has now expanded to include a Men’s, Women’s and Youth tournament.

“We want everyone to be sure to get their three servings of milk or dairy a day and having a broader competition for the Milk Cup just emphasizes the importance of milk to men and women of all ages. Our Michigan Dairy Farmers are proud of the high quality product they produce and enjoy telling their story at the Milk Cup games,” said Sharon Toth, United Dairy Industry of Michigan CEO.

The Men’s cup returns for its third year with a slightly revised format and includes teams from NPSL, USL 2, UPSL and MPSL. The field will include a total of twelve teams: four quarter finalists and eight first round participants. The teams advancing the quarters earned their draw based on previous cup results and/or participation, previous season league results and availability to host a home match. Those teams include AFC Ann Arbor (2017 Milk Cup Champion & 2018 Milk Cup Finalist), Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC and the Flint City Bucks who will be joining the competition for the first time.

First round matches can begin as early as April, with the 2019 winner being crowned sometime in July. The winner of the 2019 Men’s cup will take home $7,500 in milk money, with $2,500 going to the runner-up. Matchups for the first round will be determined by a random draw to be held on February 20, 2019 (to be streamed live on Michigan Milk Cup’s Facebook page). The complete men’s bracket and dates can be found here.

The inaugural Women’s Michigan Milk Cup includes a field of nine teams. North Oakland and Livonia City FC will participate in a first round play-in to see who will join the other 7 quarterfinalists representing United Women’s Soccer and the Women’s Premier Soccer League. Those teams are AFC Ann Arbor, Detroit Sun, Grand Rapids FC, Lansing United, Michigan Legends, Motor City FC and AAFC Lumberjills. Like the men’s tournament, matchups will be determined at the live drawing on February 20th.

The winner secures $5,000 in milk money, with the runner-up taking home $1,500 for the inaugural year of the competition.

Also new for 2019 will be the introduction of the Youth Michigan Milk Cup which will take place from April 26-28th in the Greater Ann Arbor area. Boys and girls ages 7 to 17, from all over the state and the midwest, will gather to compete for their respective age group Milk Cup crown.

Along with the Michigan Milk Cup, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan and 2x US Olympian Lindsay Tarpley, have teamed up to expand their Community Kicks initiative around the state of Michigan helping introduce soccer and nutrition into communities that didn’t previously have access.

“Good nutrition is vital for success of all individuals, whether they are athletes or fans” added Toth. “Being able to present nutrition information to a growing  number of fans, with the support of the players who the kids look up to makes this a perfect partnership.”

Lansing United Crowned 2018 Michigan Milk Cup Champions

By Fletcher Sharpe

By Fletcher Sharpe

A chippy and wild game at Mason High School came down to the final minutes as nine man Lansing United edged out AFC Ann Arbor 3-2 in a match that featured five yellow cards, two red cards, and three penalty kicks.

Play started early in the 7th minute, Lansing United’s DeJuan Jones forced the first corner of the match as his cross from the left side of the box was knocked out by a Jack Cawley slide. 14 minutes later, Jones had a corner forced by AFCAA’s Stephen Turnbull.

Lansing’s first goal came by way of this as Kosti Moni’s corner found the head of Jones and it was steered into the back of the net in the 22nd minute.

Lansing would soon add another as a turnover on the right side of the field led to Leroy Enzugusi threading a ball forward to TJ Ifaturoti who crossed the ball to Jones who tapped the ball in for his second in three minutes.

Lansing would drop down a player though as Enzugusi would be shown a straight red card in the 38th for studs up slide on Sercan Cihan. A quick scuffle would break out and yellows would be issued to AFCAA’s Cawley and Lansing’s Steeve Pouna.

Ann Arbor’s first real chance on goal came just as the half was ending when Yuri Farkas sent in a free kick that was headed on frame by Jordan Montoya. It was saved by Anthony Mwembia.

After halftime, Ann Arbor turned up the offensive pressure. In the 70th minute, Cawley let loose a curving free kick that was pushed wide of net by a diving Mwembia.

Lansing has a chance to put the game away in the 83rd as DeJuan Jones broke into open space in front of the Lansing net. He deked right and sent low shot past Ann Arbor’s Nick Barry, only to hit the post and have it trickle out.

Four minutes later, Ann Arbor would strike as Azaad Liadi would earn a penalty in the 87th minute. Yuri Farkas stepped up and slotted his penalty home to make it 2-1 Lansing.

But the scoreline would soon change as Jones received a ball in Ann Arbor’s box. Rather than force a shot, he found a wide open Pouna who was taken down right after for another penalty, this time to Lansing. His shot was saved by Barry, but the deflection fell right back to Pouna who stroked it home and went to celebrate with the fans. He, however, forgot that he already had a yellow card and was issued a second one and sent off, leaving Lansing with nine players, but a 3-1 lead.

Scary moment in the 4th minute of extra time as a ball was sent in to Lansing’s penalty area and the keeper Mwembia went for the punch. He caught Jack Cawley’s head instead and was shown a yellow. Cawley got up after a few minutes down on the pitch. Farkas would send the ensuing penalty into the back of the net to make it 3-2.

Ann Arbor had one last chance to score with Mwembia being caught out of his net, but the side judge ruled that the pass to a waiting Jake Rosen was deemed offsides. Soon after the ref blew his whistle and Lansing United was crowned the 2018 Milk Cup champions.

Michigan Milk Cup Final Preview: Lansing United vs AFC Ann Arbor

By Fletcher Sharpe

By Fletcher Sharpe

This Wednesday at 3pm, the second annual Michigan Milk Cup with conclude with a titanic clash between the two best teams (record wise) in the state of Michigan when AFC Ann Arbor of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) face off against Lansing United of the Premier Development League (PDL).

This game pairs off one of the state’s best defensive sides against one of the state’s most balanced offenses. In 14 games, Ann Arbor has allowed only five goals, while scoring 27 for an impressive +22 goal difference. On the other side, Lansing’s defense hasn’t been as dominate (13 goals in 14 games), but their offense has been just as impressive with 26 goals scored.

Both teams boast tremendous scoring power up top as well in different ways. Lansing prefers to play direct style through the pacy and smart Michigan State forward DeJuan Jones. An almost weekly candidate for “PDL Goal of the Week”, Jones combines perfect positioning with pacy runs and strength to hold off defenders before collecting himself to slot home shots past opposing goal keepers.

Ann Arbor’s Yuri Farkas carries the scoring load for The Mighty Oak in a different style than Jones. The Madonna University product usually starts his runs from deeper on the field using precise movements and tricky footwork to find himself free to from the top of the box before usually scoring in wide open defenses.

The best thing about these teams are while they have focal offensive talents, they don’t have just one person who carries the scoring load for them. Ann Arbor’s Eric Rudland can employ a multitude of scorers from all over the field. Whether it’s the forwards (Farkas, Jordan Montoya, Chris Odhiambo, Azaad Liadi), the midfielders (Serge Ganwanya, Marc Ybarra, Michael Shaikly) or even the defense (Martieon Watson), Ann Arbor can usually find a goal in their roster.

Likewise for Lansing, with a very balanced front line, with the likes of Jones, TJ Ifaturori, Leroy Enzugusi, and Farai Mutatu, flanked by a midfield that includes studs like Kosti Moni, Lewis Jones, and Kyle Carr, Lansing will push the ball up the field and smoother teams offensively.

Defensively, both teams are built to be flexible and to limit shots to their excellent goalkeepers. Lansing United dipped into the well of talent from local college powerhouse Michigan State, borrowing Michael Pimlott, Connor Corrigan, Michael Wetungu and John Freitag for the summer for backline that’s very familiar with each other’s shifts and calls. Add in former Kalamazoo FC player Alex Ruddock and fan favorite Sammy Conti and the ever solid Nick Strack and The Hoops have a backline ready to deal with any attack that comes their way.

AFCAA’s backline posts a decent amount of professional pedigree. At least three players have played professionally at one point or another in Stanley Okumu (Free State Stars, South Africa), Jack Cawley (Haybridge Swifts, England), and Sergio Campbell (Columbus Crew SC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rochester Rhinos). Usual AFCAA captain Matthieu Bream also returns to help solidify one of the most complete backlines in the entire country. Also in the mix are the aforementioned Watson, as well as Jake Rosen and Breno Stapcinakas.

Both teams boast a tandem of capable netminders with Lansing’s Anthony Mwembia and Joe White, and Ann Arbor’s Nick Barry and Mike Novotny. Joe White played hero as he helped LanU qualify in their last match from the penalty spot. The burly London native made a diving save on Grand Rapid’s Dáire O’Riordan before stepping up and burying the game winning PK.

Both teams breezed through their first round match ups. Lansing United cruises by Livonia City FC of the MiPSL 9-1 on aggregate, while AFC Ann Arbor defeated Oakland County FC of the UPSL 4-1 in aggregate. Both Lansing and Ann Arbor needed the full extent of the semifinal match to advance to the finals, with Lansing advancing on penalties 1-1 (4-3), while AFCAA needed a late Brandon Katona goal to beat Kalamazoo FC 1-0.

Kick off will be at 3 p.m. at Mason High School, in Mason, Michigan on July 4th.  Tickets can be pre ordered at $5 for a youth (4-12) and adult at $10. Prices go up to $12 at the gate.

Milk Cup Final Set for Wednesday, 3PM at Mason High School


The 2018 Michigan Milk Cup Final will be held at Mason High School, this Wednesday, July 4th at 3PM. The tournament featured a new format this year and included eight teams across the state which began competing in the cup in May. The final will feature Lansing United of the Premier Development League and AFC Ann Arbor of the National Premier Soccer League. 

The winner will be crowned the top team in the state and awarded $5,000 in milk money. 

Tickets purchased online will be $10 for adults and $5 for youth (ages 4-12). Prices will go up at the gate ($12 for adults and $7 for youth). 

Milk Cup Semifinals Draw Set for Thursday, May 31st

After expanding the format for the 2018 Michigan Milk Cup, four teams have emerged as semifinalists for the second annual competition. AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC and Lansing United will all be fighting for the silverware and milk money.

The semifinal matchups will be drawn at random at 1PM on Thursday, live from The Horning Family Farm in Manchester, MI. The Hornings, along with United Dairy Industry of Michigan Representatives, will draw to determine who will host and what the matchups will be.

The first two teams drawn will both host home matches, against the remaining two teams. Draw 1 will host Draw 3 and Draw 2 will host Draw 4. After the matchups are determined, teams will work to schedule the matches around their league sometime during the month of June.

To watch the draw live on Thursday, be sure to tune into the Michigan Milk Cup’s Facebook page as we’ll go live at 1PM from The Horning Family Farm.

West Side Clubs Set For Two-Leg Classic


The 2018 Michigan Milk Cup’s new format welcomed four new clubs to the competition Force FC of Bloomfield, Livonia City FC, Oakland County FC and Muskegon Risers. Clubs were paired for 2-leg matches with a two pot system. Interestingly enough, returning participant Grand Rapids FC was paired with newcomer, Muskegon Risers. As both clubs reside on the Western Part of the state, this matchup is perhaps the most anticipated first round pairing of the competition.

Grand Rapids FC, NPSL Great Lakes Conference Champion in 2016, enters its fourth season in club history. Though a relatively young club, GRFC has quickly become a staple in the national amateur soccer landscape as their home matches draw more than 2,000 fans on average. GRFC is a club with one US Open Cup appearance under their belt and continuously retains one of the nations most competitive rosters often populated with local talent from the Grand Rapids area.

Though Muskegon Risers participate in what some view as a weaker Amatuer Leage in the UPSL summer season, the Risers perhaps have the Milk Cup’s largest soccer footprint as they are the only club that competes year-round. Founded in 2014, Muskegon Risers made a name for themselves in the indoor soccer world. After campaigning as an independent, they have now joined the MASL’s second division. Today, Muskegon competes year-round (indoor/outdoor) and have a roster of players that have played together for multiple seasons.

“We are excited to play Muskegon in a competitive match for the first time.  We have played friendlies to prepare for other competitions but this will be a great showcase for west Michigan soccer,” said Matt Roberts, GRFC President.

“I truly think we have some of the best teams in the country at the division four level here in Michigan and to give those teams the ability to prove who is the best each season will be a lot of fun for all involved.”

Grand Rapids FC are set to host Muskegon Risers Saturday, May 19th at Houseman Field. It will then be a quick turnaround as the clubs are set to play the second leg in Muskegon Friday, May 25.

Only 40 miles separate these very established clubs. On paper, the difference in this matchup will likely come down to the depth of GRFC. Muskegon’s only matches during this 2-Leg stretch are against GRFC. Grand Rapids, however plays an NPSL match against Indiana FC on May 18th (one day prior to the first leg match) as well as an NPSL match on May 27th (two days after the second leg match). Grand Rapids FC Head Coach, Lewis Robinson, has a lot to manage and his roster decisions for these matches are very important considering the matchup against a much fresher Muskegon Risers side.

Michigan Milk Cup Introduces Revised Format and 2018 Participants


The Michigan Milk Cup returns for 2018 with a revised format and expanded field. The 2018 participants total eight clubs including teams from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), Premier Development League (PDL), United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) and Michigan Premier Soccer League (MiPSL).

The revised format for the Cup has teams divided into two separate pots of four to determine matchups via a random draw. Pot 1, comprised of clubs returning to the competition, will consist of AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC and Lansing United while Pot 2 holds four new clubs participating in the cup including Force FC, Livonia City FC, Muskegon Risers and Oakland County FC.

A drawing will be held later this week where teams from Pot 1 will be paired up with opponents from Pot 2 for a 2-leg home/home matchup. Winners will be determined based on aggregate score of those two matches, which teams will be scheduling between late April and the end of May.

The winning teams will advance to the semifinals. Semifinalists will enter a new drawing to determine host sites and matchups but will only play one match to determine the winner. These matches will take place in June with fixture dates to be determined.    

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The two teams advancing to the 2018 Michigan Milk Cup Final will meet at Hope Sports Complex’s Championship Field (Lansing, Michigan) on Wednesday, July 4th. Game time to be determined.

Returning as the naming rights sponsor, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan is thrilled to see the competition expanded and optimistic about continuing to educate soccer fans across the state about their local farmers and the benefits of milk.  

““The United Dairy Industry of Michigan is invested in the health of athletes, and the Milk Cup is a great opportunity to promote the benefits dairy has on a healthy diet. Essential nutrients and protein make dairy products ideal, especially to those whose strength, speed, and endurance are important. The Milk Cup is a chance to spotlight the local dairy farmers, top tier athletes and to inspire healthy choices.  We are beyond excited to be a part of this for the second year,” added Melissa Gerharter (MS, RD, CSSD) from UDIM. 

The inaugural cup won by AFC Ann Arbor included a prize of $2,500, which has increased to a $5,000 prize for the 2018 champion.

Follow the Michigan Milk Cup on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the latest news and info about the competition.


Ann Arbor Crowned Michigan Milk Cup Champs

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) is proud to announce the winner of the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup. Frontrunner throughout the competition, Association Football Club Ann Arbor have been named the 2017 Milk Cup Champions.

Melissa Gerharter, Manager of Sport Nutrition Marketing for UDIM said, “The Michigan Dairy Farmers were so excited to be able to partner with Michigan teams in the National Premier Soccer League with the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup. We see it as a great way to bring awareness to the hardworking, local farm families bringing Michigan milk to tables across the state. It’s also a chance to make athletes aware of how a healthy diet can support their performance on the field. Congratulations to AFC Ann Arbor for working hard and earning the Michigan Milk Cup!”

In not only the Milk Cup, AFC Ann Arbor and rival club Lansing United both jumped out to fast starts climbing neck and neck in the early stages of the NPSL season. The clubs split 6 points evenly on two meetings in the 2017 season.

Lansing United solidified its bid as a NPSL contender with a decisive 2-0 victory over table leading AFC Ann Arbor on May 26th awarding 3 points to the capital city’s side.

In a rematch played on July 1st, Lansing United had an opportunity to change the outlook of the NPSL season with a road result. This time AFC used its home pitch advantage to secure a narrow 1-0 victory over Lansing. In what was a stellar 3/4ths of a 2017 campaign for Lansing United many point to July 1st as he turning point for late season slide.

The Horning Family was honored as the "Featured Farmer" at the Michigan Milk Cup kickoff on May 14th

The Horning Family was honored as the "Featured Farmer" at the Michigan Milk Cup kickoff on May 14th

The first meeting between Lansing United and Milk Cup Champion, AFC Ann Arbor is the only 2017 loss for “The Mighty Oak” to date. Ann Arbor have taken 3 points from every other Milk Cup fixture in what has proved to be a dominate 2017 campaign. A perceived upset and documented heartbreaker on July 7th saw Milk Cup competitor, Michigan Stars answer a stoppage time equalizer by Lansing (1-1) with a 90+ minute winner following a physical play in Berkley, MI awarding the 2-1 victory for Stars.

Though AFC Ann Arbor sat idle over the weekend, the 3 points earned by Michigan Stars nailed the possible Milk Cup points remaining for Lansing United under the current mark of 15 points earned by AFC Ann Arbor. Late season runs by Kalamazoo FC and Grand Rapids FC could end in second place finishes, but possible points remaining for all clubs cannot exceed Ann Arbor’s current standing.

With 3 total Michigan Milk Cup fixtures remaining, 2 dates involve The Mighty Oak of AFC Ann Arbor which proves just how amazing the performance by AFC Ann Arbor has been in 2017. Having clinched the Cup, AFC AA was given the option to receive the award in Grand Rapids on July 14th but declined and instead opted to receive the award at home on Monday evening, July 17th for the final Ann Arbor home match of the season.

GM Bilal Saeed added, “As our club is excited for the opportunity to raise the first ever Milk Cup, Coach Rudland and his group have another accomplishment on the line with the match this Friday. Our guys are focused on Grand Rapids and points on the line.”

With a result in Ann Arbor’s match vs. Milk Cup competitor GRFC, AFC can secure their first ever Great Lakes Division crown and improve their potential seeding in the NPSL playoff. Saeed also added, “We’re excited to share this award with our home fans on Monday but we still have a lot to play for, so our focus is on finishing the season strong and securing the No.1 seed for the Midwest Region Playoffs. Congrats to our staff and the 30 plus men that have represented our club in 2017 for this recognition.”

“This partnership has been gratifying because it’s given us the chance to reach a big group of young athletes, and hopefully inspire them to think about how they’re choosing to fuel their bodies.”

“This partnership has been gratifying because it’s given us the chance to reach a big group of young athletes, and hopefully inspire them to think about how they’re choosing to fuel their bodies.”

Grand Rapids FC, among many other highlights to their match experience, will be honoring their two of their community’s Featured Farmers at the Houseman Field on Friday Night. AFC Ann Arbor will accept and raise the first ever Michigan Milk Cup on Monday, July 17th for their final home match of the season vs Michigan Stars FC.

In a point system decided among the 5 participating clubs, AFC Ann Arbor will be the Milk Cup Champions regardless of upcoming results in the fixtures remaining. Whether or not AFC Ann Arbor is the best club in the state of Michigan is something to be discussed by those who followed the Michigan Milk cup and NPSL Great Lakes Division in 2017. With that said, this competition was created to add to the growing love for the game of soccer in this state, recognize some of dairy industries amazing producers, identify chocolate milk as nature’s most effective sports drink and most importantly provide a credential to clubs in pursuit of boasting the title as Michigan’s top team.

When asked about success of the cup in its first year, Gerharter added, “This partnership has been gratifying because it’s given us the chance to reach a big group of young athletes, and hopefully inspire them to think about how they’re choosing to fuel their bodies.”

Michigan Milk Cup Featured Farmer: Windemuller Family

Paul and Brittany Windemuller have 4 children: Paxton, Judah, Irelyn, and Prudence, ranging from 5 years to 3 months.

Paul has always dreamed about becoming a dairy farmer and worked on several dairy farms since he was young. He currently works part time for Seneca Dairy Systems helping farmers design new barns and furnish them with the most efficient and effective equipment to help keep their cows comfortable.

He is involved in a Hay business with his Dad and Uncles and they currently farm about 220 acres of hay.

Paul is involved with their milk cooperative, DFA, as a delegate and as a participant in the Emerging Leaders Program. He is also on the board of Ottawa County Farm Bureau.  

The family purchased their farm 4 years ago and started to turn it into a dairy farm. Today they care for about 200 cows. This past February they installed 3 robotic milkers that allow the cows to be milked when they want.

The family credits their success with the wonderful team of people helping them. They feel blessed that they can do what they love every day.

Michigan Milk Cup Featured Farmer: Lindberg Dairy Farm

Lindberg Dairy farm was started by Marv and Rose Lindberg in 1980. Today it is a partnership also includes their sons and daughters-in-law Calvin and Cindy, and Wade and Jenny. Calvin and Cindy have two children, Bryson is 4 and Reid is 1.5. Wade and Jenny have a daughter, Melena who is 3.

Cindy is very involved with 4-H and the Berlin Fair where she is on the livestock committee. Calvin is a member of the Polkton township planning commission. Calvin and Cindy are also both involved with the Coopersville FFA chapter where Calvin is a steering committee member for the Coopersville FFA Land Lab. They are both involved with our church, St. Michael's Catholic Church in Coopersville.

The family cares for 200 Holstein cows and farms 500 acres where they grow corn, hay, soybeans, and wheat that is fed to their cows. 


Ann Arbor and Lansing Lead the Pack in Milk Cup Race

Rafa Mentzingen celebrates one of his early goals

Rafa Mentzingen celebrates one of his early goals

At the midway point of the season, AFC Ann Arbor leads all Milk Cup standings with Lansing United only three points back with one game in hand. In the chase for the Milk Cup, AFCAA and LanU have a commanding lead over the other clubs in this year’s competition.

Ann Arbor has shown depth with 8 different goal scorers pitching in during Milk Cup action. However, LanU is right behind The Mighty Oak, with NPSL National Player of the Week, Rafa Mentzingen leading their charge and waiting for an opportunity to sneak in and take home the inaugural cup. Dropping points at Kalamazoo Sunday didn’t help that cause however.

GRFC earned a 1-0 result at home against the Stars back on May 26th at Houseman Field

GRFC earned a 1-0 result at home against the Stars back on May 26th at Houseman Field

Grand Rapids FC is sitting in the middle of the table, four games in with four points. With the leadership, and stellar goal scoring abilities of Jalen Rodriguez and Anthony Bowie, they should not be counted out just yet. Following the recent 4-2 home loss to LanU, they have a chance for redemption coming up on June 24th to take home a win on Lansing’s home pitch.  

Kalamazoo FC is tied with Grand Rapids FC with four points. With four games remaining for KZFC in the Milk Cup, they still have the time and opportunities they need to make a late surge and sneak into contention. Kalamazoo seems to finally be finding their stride and have momentum heading into the final half of Milk Cup play.  

Michigan Stars FC have played five games with only two points to show for it in the Milk Cup Table. Being ten points back from the first place AFCAA with only three games left in their Milk Cup journey, unless this club wins out and gets major help, they will be re-grouping on their efforts and planning for their 2018 campaign. Stars skipper, and well-known Coach, Morris Lupenec, will look to make some key coaching adjustments in Stars’ game plan to finish off with a strong push in the second half of the season.

The action is just heating up so stay tuned as we can expect a competitive finish as the quest for the coveted Milk Cup, and bragging rights that come with it, comes to a close.

Michigan Milk Cup Featured Farmer: JEM-LOT Dairy

JEM-LOT Dairy is a 6th generation dairy farm in Westphalia, MI. The name is the first letter of each of the owners. J-john, E-Eugene, M-micheal, L- Leroy, O-Oscer, and T- Theodore.

The family currently milk 280 cows. They provide quality milk that was recognized by their cooperative MMPA in 2016.

Leroy and Stephanie have three children.  Allison is 19 and studying Ag Business at MSU, Kyle is 18 and a junior in high school, and Keith is 17 and a sophomore in high school.

The family is active in 4-H.  Leroy serves as a board member to Indiana Dairy Assoc. and Steph is a board of director for Michigan Farm Bureau.

"The farm is a great place to raise kids and we take pride in providing a quality product for our consumers."

AFC Ann Arbor vs Kalamazoo FC [Featured Match]

With the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup set to officially begin with Sunday's match between AFC Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo FC, the Michigan Milk Cup will be on hand to commemorate the special occasion. 

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Throughout the season, the Michigan Milk Cup team will be selecting certain contests as "Featured Matches." The first of which will be the Mother's Day match in Ann Arbor. The Milk Cup will be giving away cowbells, posters and chocolate milk while supplies last. Gates open at 2pm for a 3pm start. 

The Horning Family, the first of three Featured Farmer families will be honored right before kickoff. 

Purchase tickets online for Sunday's match for only $8 (adult tickets; youth are $6). 

Michigan Milk Cup

The Michigan Milk Cup is a competition that was created in partnership between five Michigan based National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) clubs. The goal in mind of this competition is to crown Michigan's top semi-pro soccer team. Through the support of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the competition as a whole is looking to highlight the growth of the beautiful game, while also educating Michigan soccer fans about the nutritional benefits of milk. Competing clubs include AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC, Lansing United and Michigan Stars. The team with the most Great Lakes Conference points in matches against other Milk Cup participants will be awarded the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup. 

Michigan Milk Cup Featured Farmer: The Horning Family

The Hornings are proud to be part of Michigan’s strong dairy industry, providing jobs for the community and their state.

The Hornings are proud to be part of Michigan’s strong dairy industry, providing jobs for the community and their state.

The Horning family, now in its sixth generations as Michigan dairy farmers, care for 450 cows and raise crops on 750 acres. The farm is a partnership between Jeff and his father Earl.

Jeff manages the daily operations of the dairy, and he is committed to creating a good working environment for employees. He currently serves on the board of directors of NorthStar Cooperative, which has led to his involvement in the Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the Universal Lab Services board, which provide milk testing and laboratory facilities for farmers. Jeff is active as a county 4-H dairy judging and 4-H dairy quiz bowl coach, as well as serving on various committees of Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA). He has also worked as a township trustee and planning commission member. Jeff’s wife, Lynda, manages the books and information for the farm, takes care of calves, and serves as the county Farm Bureau Rural Education Days co-chair the County Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Chair and a MMPA Dairy Communicator.

Earl is a past member of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan board of directors, and his wife, Diane, is a past Michigan Farm Bureau Promotion and Education committee member. Jeff and Lynda have three children who are the third generation to attend Michigan State University.  All four of their grandparents, and both parents are MSU graduates. Katelyn graduated from MSU in 2014 and is working full time on the farm.

Katelyn’s husband, Joe works for MMPA as a member representative along with helping on the farm on weekends. Natalie will graduate from MSU this week, majoring in Agriculture Education and Mason just completed his first year at MSU.

Horning farms is located across the road from a large lake where the family and community members enjoy recreational activities. The Hornings are proud to be part of Michigan’s strong dairy industry, providing jobs for the community and their state.

Michigan Milk Cup

The Michigan Milk Cup is a competition that was created in partnership between five Michigan based National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) clubs. The goal in mind of this competition is to crown Michigan's top semi-pro soccer team. Through the support of the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, the competition as a whole is looking to highlight the growth of the beautiful game, while also educating Michigan soccer fans about the nutritional benefits of milk. Competing clubs include AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC, Lansing United and Michigan Stars. The team with the most Great Lakes Conference points in matches against other Milk Cup participants will be awarded the inaugural Michigan Milk Cup. 

Five Clubs to Compete in Michigan Milk Cup

Five Michigan NPSL clubs including AFC Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids FC, Kalamazoo FC Lansing United and the Michigan Stars, will be participating in the newly formed Michigan Milk Cup. The goal of the competition is to crown Michigan’s top participating club, annually, through a point system including all regular season matches between said clubs. At the end of the NPSL regular season, the club with the most points will be crowned Michigan’s top club, securing the Milk Cup and milk money (prize money).

The 2017 Michigan Milk Cup will include 20 fixtures (within NPSL Great Lakes Conference play). With home and homes for every side, each club will have 4 home matches and 4 away trips to secure their title as Michigan’s top club. The NPSL Midwest Region is set to announce their schedule in February. As all 5 organizations belong to the Great Lakes Conference, fans will have a great map for their team’s path to the top very soon.

Lansing United owner, Jeremy Sampson is thrilled about the new regional partnership and Michigan Milk Cup.

He added, "Lansing United is excited to partner with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan in 2017.  We have always used chocolate milk as a recovery drink for our players, they love drinking it.  We are also thrilled to be participating in the Milk Means More Cup this season, battling it out to see who the best team in Michigan is."


About NPSL

The National Premier Soccer League is a 4th tier semi-pro national soccer league with four regions spread across the country. The Midwest Region hosts 3 conferences including the Great Lakes, which includes six Michigan clubs. Last season, newcomers Grand Rapids FC and AFC Ann Arbor advanced to the Midwest Region playoffs where both teams were eliminated by soon to be national champions, AFC Cleveland. The 2017 season will run from early May until late July with the NPSL playoffs taking place at the end of the season (late July/early August). For more information on the league visit NPSL.com.


About UDIM

The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) is the umbrella organization for the Dairy Council of Michigan and the American Dairy Association of Michigan.

We believe milk is a natural beverage that delivers nutrition, health, and true local flavor. We are dedicated to being your credible source for information about dairy foods and Michigan dairy farming by providing science-based nutrition information to foster a healthier society.

Our dairy farm families proudly produce milk in their communities using state-of-the-art practices to ensure it is wholesome and fresh. We are committed to raising awareness of the benefits of consuming dairy products among generations of Michigan residents. We accomplish this by working with health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and the media. For more information visit the Milk Means More website here.