Wichita Wings Assign Farm System Territory Rights
The Wichita Wings announced today that assignment of their lower division indoor soccer territory rights will be split between two local operators. FC Wichita, a Wichita based outdoor soccer club, will operate in the men’s MASL 3 (“M3”), while another group, who is yet to be named, will eventually deliver Wichita it’s first professional Women’s indoor soccer team.
The announcement comes just before the start of the 2022 MASL 3 (“M3”) season. M3 is recognized as the third division of a four tier indoor soccer pyramid where teams operate as semi-professional. Previously the “Wichita Wings II” served as the in-house development team for the Wichita Wings.
By selling it's M3 rights the Wings have offloaded a heavy responsibility of maintaining daily programming for those reserve players who need more resources for their continued improvement.
“Development of the local soccer player is a top priority for us,” says Wings President Blake Shumaker. “This decision will allow young players an acclimation period to indoor soccer without having to force them into the first team training sessions. Forcing the issue can bring the level down drastically for the top players, and frankly the young guys simply weren’t getting enough repetitions.”
Under the new platform field players age 16-19 will be targeted by FC Wichita with the expectations of learning the nuances of the indoor game and getting plenty of playing time in the process. Backup goalkeepers from the Wings first team roster will be used in the M3.
“We recently signed 8 young rookies to our roster that are not from FC Wichita,” said Wings Head Coach Roger Downing. “For the most part we currently target developmental players who are just getting out of their last year of college, whereas the M3 team will target even younger players who are ready to go into college. We plan to carry 25 players on the first team roster so we won't have much need to call M3 players up. Doing this allows these young guys time to develop at their own pace.”
FC Wichita currently operates at various levels of outdoor soccer including the United Soccer League 2 (“USL2”) a breeding ground for top Major League Soccer ("MLS") prospects and league where nearly 80% of the players drafted to the MLS each year come from. In addition, the club houses a youth academy that offers players opportunities in 3 youth National League platforms including the USL Academy, the ECNL, and the EA.
The FC Wichita Academy is overseen by former Wichita Wings midfielder, Bryan Perez. His Directors of Coaching include current Wings assistant coach Kyle Eno, and Wings all-time great LeBaron Hollimon.
“The Wings originally brought me here from Kansas City over 12 years ago," says Perez. "Although this new pipeline of FC Wichita to Wings players precedes my involvement, I'm always excited to watch the likes of David Lucio, Ethan Doud, James Togbah, Leo Catarina, Jared Robbins, Juan Zamora, Kieran Laking, Leo Sosa, Steven Hamersky and the list goes on. They all played for FC Wichita before they played for the Wings. We're glad to keep pushing players in our community by providing this path and early education opportunity to local players. They don't necessarily have to be FC Wichita players, if they are good enough at this age then they are the ones we want to have a look at.”
The Wichita Wings return to action Sunday January 2nd at Hartman Arena. Single game tickets are on sale now. BUY NOW