WINGS TAKE THE FIELD FOR HOME OPENER
WICHITA AND COLORADO READY TO RUMBLE
Wichita. Are you ready?
Welcome back to the field, your Wichita Wings! The 2-0 team is ready for its home opener at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 28 at Hartman Arena versus the Colorado Rumble. Tickets are still available.
Captain Brent Hobson is counting down the time until he can suit up in orange and hit the pitch. The brand-new Wichita Wing, like his team mates, is ready to go.
“I’m looking forward to game days, just having that buzz around the arena when you walk in the door. And I think Hartman Arena is a perfect set-up for indoor soccer,” Hobson said. He should know. Hobson has played professional indoor soccer at Hartman with some pretty impressive stats. A player for the Wichita B-52’s back in 2013 - 2015, he played 27 games and had 16 goals with 14 assists, and once had a hat trick with all three goals coming on the penalty kill unit.
Hobson isn't the only player ready to wear the orange for the 40th anniversary season. Several players are local, went to college in Wichita, or played for the former Wichita Wings. Many grew up going to Wichita Wings games at the Kansas Coliseum and are just as anxious as fans for the first home game.
Local talent and former Wing, Kevin Ten Eyck, is anxious to take to the pitch for the Wichita Wings' 40th anniversary comeback season.
“We had season tickets growing up,” said Ten Eyck. “I remember as a kid that my parents telling me that I reminded them of Kim Roentved.”
Originally founded in 1979 in the Major Indoor Soccer League, the Wings enjoyed massive popularity and consistent successes during the 1980s and 1990s. When the MISL (which had since been renamed the Major Soccer League) folded in 1992, the Wings moved their play to the National Professional Soccer League. At the time the Wings took the field for the last time in the final game of the 2000–2001 season, they were the oldest professional soccer franchise in the United States. A short revival in 2011-2013 followed.
Despite having some of the best records and most loyal fans in US indoor soccer, the Wings never won a league championship or reached the league finals.
The new Wings plan to change that and bring a championship home to Wichita.
Roger Downing, head coach, said hard work defines this new group, who began the 40th anniversary season with two solid victories in Texas earlier this month against the Austin Power.
"We have a tremendous group of good quality guys on the roster. They are just good people who want to see the Wings do well. It’s an extremely coachable group of guys," said Downing. "Work rate defines our guys. They work hard for each other and hold each other accountable."
Past teams also reflected the strong work ethic and former players are watching to see if the new Wings take flight. Some are watching from the other side of the globe.
"Everyone is really excited about the return of the Wings," said former player David Byrne from his new home in Cape Town, South Africa. "It seems like the whole town can't wait for the games so everyone can catch up. I would like to wish the owners staff, coaches and all of the players the best of luck, hard work, discipline - and the main one is to give the Orange Army lots to cheer about."
He continued, "Love what you do and cherish every moment of time that you have as a member of the Wings. Its a special town and an honor to be a part of the Wings so make the most awesome memories for yourselves as a team and especially for the Orange Army."
Ready for more than just a tee and want to join the Orange Army? The new Orange Army comes with some very cool benefits this inaugural season. OA memberships are only purchased online https://www.wichitawingssoccer.com/orange-army.
Orange Army members can enter the arena at 5 p.m.
Entrance until 5:55 p.m. is the northeast corner of Hartman Arena.
Upon arrival, a staff member will check members off the list by asking for proof of ID and scanning the game day tickets (you cannot enter without a game day ticket).
Once checked in, an Orange Army wrist band will be issued allowing OA members to stay in the arena late for the post game party.
Doors will open for all other ticket holders at 6 p.m. including the entrance for the VIP Lounge entrance, lcoated on the southeast corner.
Orange Army members and Wings fans are gearing up with retro Wings shirts, Orange Army shirts, baby gear, sweatshirts and more. Merchandise is now available at the office location and online at https://www.wichitawingssoccer.com/fan-store.
Love the old school Wings look? We have you covered.
"We focused on the past for our first order of merchandise," said Blake Shumaker, owner. "The biggest request for our return and the 40th anniversary season was for retro tees and we have a ton of them."
The Wings will have a booth set up at Hartman Arena for those last-minute purchases. Merchandise will be on-hand for all games and Shumaker wants Wing fans to note that Hartman sales are credit card only. The team is not able to take cash for Wings' merchandise inside the arena.
Still need tickets? Visit the Hartman Arena box office.
Bryan Perez - Midfielder
Jared Robbins - Forward
Nico Andre - Forward
Preston Mboob - Forward
Taylor Henry - Midfielder
GAME DAY ROSTER
#1 Aaron Parrott
#2 Kieran Laking
#3 Alex Moseley
#4 Matt Sherrod
#6 Leonardo Catarina
#12 Wilmer Canales
#14 Brent Hobson
#15 Alex Rizzo
#16 Kevin Ten Eyck
#17 David Lucio
#18 Daniel Sack
#23 Leo Sosa
#26 Alec Hinojos
#27 Ethan Doud
#58 Steven Hamersky
#82 Collin Lawter