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Mission Statement & History


Midwest United FC's mission is to develop successful soccer players by teaching them lessons for life, while providing a positive Club environment for the kids who want to compete at the highest level.


The Club was created in 1983 when a group of AYSO players used the TKO name in a Lansing tournament. The acronym stood for The Kalamazoo Outfit and was originally used by players in area 6v6 tournaments.

The WMYSA was later formed to support TKO and allow for tournament play under state regulations. There were 26 teams, with Select teams competing at the state level.

The first team won the Lansing tournament in 1983 and 1984. Under the direction of Neil Ridgway, they brought home the first State Cup championship for a West Michigan club in 1987.

In 2007, TKO purchased franchise rights to the Kalamazoo Outrage, a senior-level amateur franchise with teams on both the men's and women's sides. In 2008, the Outrage teams began play in the Professional Development Leagues (PDL) for the men and the W-League for the women, and teams were comprised of college-aged players from across the country. During 3 years of operation, TKO formed a player exchange program with Sheffield Wednesday of the English Premier League. The men's Outrage were division champions and reached the quarterfinals of the PDL national tournament. Local youth players like Eric Alexander used their Outrage experience to prepare for professional opportunities in the MLS.

In 2012, TKO became affiliated with MLS franchise Columbus Crew and played under the moniker TKO Crew Juniors.

In June 2015, TKO took the next step in the evolution of the club by moving away from the Columbus Crew affiliation and became an affiliate of Midwest United FC. This decision allows the Club to better-position itself for its long-term goals while freeing up funds that were used for the MLS affiliation to place a larger emphasis on coaching education, increase player opportunities, expand Club programming, and improve communication and customer service.

Midwest United Kalamazoo will continue to work diligently to make each player as successful as possible, provide great opportunities and experiences for its players, develop and build player confidence, employ the best coaches to implement the Club's established teaching philosophies, provide the best year-round curriculum and training facilities, and achieve success for its teams and players.