The National Premier Soccer League is proud to announce that FC Wichita (Wichita, KS) has joined the league for the 2015 season.
“NPSL is excited to bring NPSL soccer to Wichita in 2015,” NPSL Commissioner Michael Hitchcock remarked. “Wichita has a good history of supporting soccer on all levels and is quickly becoming a great soccer market. We’re confident that Wichita will be a great NPSL market and look forward to growing the game together.”
The team is led by Managing Partner Blake Shumaker and Director of Soccer Operations Cliff Brown.
Shumaker is a well-known businessman in the Greater Wichita area. He has been involved with the game of soccer since the age of six and has been a part of seven businesses in the local area within the last seven years.
Brown has coached soccer for over 45 years, and has built Newman University men’s soccer into one of the most respected programs in the country. He himself was an All-Conference and All-American NCAA D-I goalkeeper at the University of Washington and a member of the U.S. Youth National Team. He would go on to play for eight professional soccer teams during his career.
FC Wichita plans on being an active and contributing member of the community, participating in local events and providing camps and clinics for aspiring youth players. The club will also be visible in the local soccer leagues, helping with training sessions and community outreach projects.
“It feels great to finally get a deal done to bring Wichita an outdoor soccer team,” Shumaker added. “With the growth of the game throughout the United States and going into a World Cup year, we knew it was important to make the move now. Opportunities for local players to be identified outside of Kansas has always been a driving force for us and we have taken a tremendous step towards that today.”
Information about the team’s coaching staff, home venue, and tryouts will be released at a later date.
The NPSL is a national league that operates in the 4th Division of the U.S. Soccer pyramid. NPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup through their affiliation with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). The NPSL is the fastest-growing national soccer league in North America, operating in 80+ markets across the country. Two Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs (D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls) and four North American Soccer League (NASL) clubs (Minnesota United, Carolina RailHawks, Atlanta Silverbacks, Oklahoma City FC) operate teams in the NPSL. Mitre USA recently signed a multi-year agreement to become the league’s Official Match Ball Sponsor.