Wings Sign USAPSL 2019 Defender of the Year

by Lisa Sillaway

Wings Sign Nathan Clark - The 2019 US Arena Professional Soccer league Defender of the Year

It was love at first sight when Nathan Clark saw his first soccer ball as a small child.

"I first discovered my love for the game right when I was able to touch a ball, you couldn’t separate me from it," said Clark, the newest addition to the Wichita Wings.

And it might not have been the same kind of love at first sight, but it didn't take long for Wichita Wings Coach Roger Downing to decide that Clark was the right fit for his 2020-21 team.

"When I saw him on film his physicality, as well as his technical ability, instantly drew my attention," said Downing. Clark is going to add depth for the Wings on the back line and allow the coaching staff to move the likes of (Alex) Moseley and (Brent) Hobson forward a bit more, Downing added.

"Nathan has been in training and is still learning what we do as far as our system goes, but fits in with the guys great," said Downing. "Our team as a whole is solid. We have a blue-collar work ethic that is going to allow us to compete with anyone in the country. We are biting at the bit for games to start."

Clark is equally eager to don the Orange and get on the field with his new team.

"Ultimately, the Wings drew me in because of the opportunity to play against some of MASL’s top teams," said Clark, who was raised in Dallas, Texas the home base of the MASL Sidekicks. "Also to be surrounded by top quality indoor players and I can learn from their experience."

Clark, who will help anchor the defense for the Orange, hit the pitch at thee age of five and played club soccer through grade school as a striker. His tenure as a defender began in high school and helped him land a spot on the roster at the University of Texas - Permian Basin and his work ethic earned Clark the "newcomer of the year" award his freshman season.

Immediately after his sophomore season, he made the transfer to Midwestern State University, where ankle injuries led to a red-shirt season. He hit his stride on the field, however, during his senior year when Clark started and played in 12 of the 18 games including the NCAA tournament. Clark, now 24, was graduated from MSU with a bachelor degree in business marketing. Clark credits his family, especially his competitive brother, with some of his soccer successes. His parents have provided invaluable support. "My dad played a big part with my growth in the game, whether it was him coaching me and my team from five-years-old until I was 13, or being a critic towards me after every game," Clark said. "My mom is my number one fan and she always will be, she’s been to every single one of my games growing up."

When he isn't kicking around a soccer ball, Clark enjoys time with friends, hanging out with his cat (a gift from his sister) and his favorite person on the planet - his Chrysler 300 SRT8, that he considers "my baby."

Clark won't be the only new Wing taking flight this December. Downing said tryouts are right around the corner and the team is looking forward to checking out new talent.

"We have kept training sessions small with our core guys, and told any/everyone that wants to come out that they HAVE to go through tryouts to keep it fair to everyone," said Downing.

Clark and the Wichita Wings will get back on the indoor field Dec. 12th in the Central Cup. The Wings will play Clark's hometown team, the Dallas Sidekicks, at home on Dec. 18 and longtime rivals, the Kansas City Comets on Dec. 20 at Hartman Arena. 

central cup TICKET UPDATE

A decision on whether or not the the Sedgwick County Health Department will allow fans inside Hartman Arena will come by December 14th.