LANSING, Mich. – Lansing Ignite FC announced on Thursday evening it had acquired goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland and defender Grant Lillard on loan from Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire for the remainder of the 2019 USL League One season.
A former standout at Indiana University, Lillard signed as a Homegrown Player with the Fire prior to the 2018 MLS season and made eight appearances for the club in his rookie campaign. In his senior season with the Hoosiers, Lillard was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy and was named a United Soccer Coaches All-America First Team selection and the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“Grant is a phenomenal addition to our squad,” said Lansing Head Coach Nate Miller. “He is a true defender who wins his duals and is excellent in both boxes. We are excited to implement him into our system and start a winning run.”
Cleveland was selected by the Fire as the No. 26 overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. He has made five MLS appearances for the Fire and has also spent time on loan previously in the USL Championship. Cleveland made three appearances for Tulsa Roughnecks FC during the 2017 and 2018 season, during which time he posted a 77.8 save percentage.
“Stef is a timely addition to our team," said Miller. “He is a top young goalkeeper with tons of potential. He has the personality and leadership to help our team achieve our goals right away.”
Both Lillard and Cleveland will be available for selection when Ignite FC hosts current USL League One leader North Texas SC this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at Cooley Law School Stadium.