FC Wichita is set to open 2017 with a preseason road game against Oral Roberts University. The match will take place at Case Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on March 24th, at 7:00 p.m. CST. The match will be live streamed by MJ Productions.
Larry Inlow, Director of Operations for FC Wichita, says the club will approach this match as an opportunity for potential players to earn roster spots for the upcoming 2017 season. “We want to mix 6 of our signed players, with about 8 players who we need to see in a competitive match,” said Inlow. “It’s also very exciting to announce the call up of players from our youth academy to the senior team. On Friday we will allow two or three local high school juniors to see match time. Both have stood out to us so this is a strong next step for their young soccer careers.”
The high school players Inlow speaks of are Trinidad Tackett (Campus HS Jr.), Will Thompson (Maize HS Jr.) & Blake Arndt (Northwest HS Jr.)
Tackett, at 16 years old has shown well through academy competitions to earn him time as an attacking midfielder this weekend. Tackett is officially the first academy player to be called into action for the senior team in club history. “It’s great for Trinidad to be seen on the D1 stage at such a young age,” said CEO Blake Shumaker. “We are committed to looking into our youth system and giving our players this kind of opportunity. You see it all over the world for 16 years old, so why not here.”
Arndt, just a year older then Tackett at 17, is a stand out forward for coach Bobby B at Northwest HS. “Blake has been on our radar for along time,” said Shumaker. “He’s played for his father growing up and we feel he understands the game as a coach would. He hasn’t missed many FC Wichita home games over the last few years either, so he knows what to expect on Friday. I think our fans will enjoy watching him play.”
Will Thompson, is another 16 year old academy player for FC Wichita’s youth side. While Thompson’s status for Friday’s match is still unconfirmed with prior commitments, the club is excited to see him have an opportunity at some point this season. “We see loads of potential in Will,” said Shumaker. ” He’s been a huge part of the ’00 academy team for some time now and should be given the opportunity to showcase himself amongst our senior team players. He’s a great kid and finds a way to be on the end of a lot of our scoring.”
FC Wichita plans to roster 5 returning players from 2016. Steven Hamersky, James Togbah, Leo Sosa, Frank Barry and Alex Morgan will all see action on Friday night.
Newly signed is Victor Olorunfemi, a Nigeria native, who went to Wichita Southeast HS before attending the University of Missouri Kansas City. Victor has signed for the 2017 season and will see his first action for the club on Friday.
The club will also return 2015 FC Wichita players David Lucio and Gefte Blanc.
Tryout spots are still available for Saturday March 25th. TRYOUT INFO
Full Match Roster:
GK – Steven Hamersky M – Victor Olorunfemi (UMKC)
D – Jamie Barkway M – Leo Sosa
D – Leo Caterina M – Teylor Cubero
D – James Togbah M – Trinidad Tackett
D – Evan Craig M – Radley Arnold
D – Gefte Blanc F – Frank Barry
M – Teylor Cubero F – Blake Arndt
M – David Lucio F – Mitch Moncada
M – Kota Endo F/M – Will Thompson