WICHITA — Whether it’s pouring down rain, FC Wichita is still training for their first match of the season. Stryker Soccer Complex is a $22 million facility the City of Wichita built and FC Wichita calls home. It houses a full sized indoor soccer pitch and it may be the only one in the NPSL.

That allows FC Wichita to continuously train for their upcoming matches. For the start of the season, it’s not any other week either. FC Wichita has to travel to the party in the park and play their rivals, the Tulsa Athletic.

“You train like any other week,” Goalkeeper Mark Weir said. “But I do have a special relationship with the Tulsa fans.

FC Wichita is the defending Heartland Conference champions after rolling through an 7-2-1 slate last season. They’ll look to continue their back-to-back championships.

There are new arrivals for FC Wichita, such as goalie Paulo Pita from the University of Marshall. Returning players from seasons past like Leo Catarina and Adam James provide FC Wichita with some depth and experience. Those returnees know FC Wichita isn’t just going to hand their spots back to them. They have to be earned.

A large core of the roster is back. Including Thomas Wells and Franck Tayou, two of the best scorers in the NPSL last season. Both will be with FC Wichita for the entirety of the 2019 season. Wells, fresh off his sophomore season at the University of Tulsa, where he’s a two-year letter winner and started seven of his 10 matches as a sophomore. Tayou signed with Fresno FC of the USL Championship last season and helped the Foxes finished with 12 starts and a goal.

FC Wichita begins their 2019 regular season schedule on May 11 in Tulsa, Oklahoma against their rivals, Tulsa Athletic. Match is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. at Veteran’s Park.

FC Wichita is the reigning regular season Heartland Champions. They’ve won four straight matches against the Athletic, two in Wichita and two in Tulsa.

The Boys in Red return for their home opener at Stryker Stadium on May 25, also against Tulsa Athletic. That is a scheduled 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Tickets can be purchased here for only $10. Buy your tickets and join in as FC Wichita looks to get their first home win at Stryker.

You can follow FC Wichita on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. All FC Wichita broadcasted by the club will be on MyCujoo. Follow FC Wichita’s page for all live streams.

About Charles Chaney

Charles Chaney is a social media professional for both the FC Wichita men's and women's clubs.