METUCHEN, NJ - The newly-established Central Conference of United Women's Soccer (UWS) has added its fifth addition for the 2021 season. FC Wichita will round out the conference lineup alongside the previously announced quartet of teams including the Nebraska-based Gretna Elite Academy, KC Courage and two teams from Missouri in St. Louis Scott Gallagher and Springfield Demize. The club is the second UWS team based in Kansas alongside the Courage (Overland Park, KS) and Wichita's premier soccer facility - Stryker Soccer Complex - will serve as their home facility.
“We are excited to add FC Wichita to United Women’s Soccer,” said UWS Commissioner Joe Ferrara Jr. “The organization has a proven track record of operating a successful soccer franchise. One of the key factors in joining UWS was the desire for FC Wichita to provide its players a pathway to professional soccer, which the league has shown its ability to accomplish both domestically and internationally.”
"We are grateful for the ability to offer these women the UWS platform as an extension of our pathway in Wichita," said FC Wichita CEO Blake Shumaker. "The goals and belief of the league align well with our own and we believe this decision will prove to be a significant opportunity for all female players, coaches and officials."
Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and has become a hotbed for player development, forged over the last eight years by FC Wichita. In 2020, the FC Wichita Girls Academy became a member of the ECNL Regional League and was designed as a collegiate and professional pathway spanning the U13-U19 age groups. The addition of the UWS team fills out the ideals of the Academy and continues the club's mission to expand a full youth to professional pathway for all players.
In addition to competing in the 1st division, the expansion also grants the clubs rights for the UWS League 2. FC Wichita plans to use the 2nd division option to bridge the gap between the girls youth academy and the women’s 1st team by allowing 16-20 year old's an opportunity to join the day-to-day league 2 roster.
Founded in 2013, FC Wichita's success with both their youth and National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) men's soccer teams inspired the newest soccer development in the Midwest. After its most recent expansion that was completed in 2019, Stryker Soccer Complex is not only Wichita's premier sports facility but a state-of-the-art model for the region. The 5,000 seat stadium where all home games will be contested headlines a complex that has 11 turfed & lighted fields and a full-size indoor field.
Tryouts are tentatively scheduled for Spring Break (March 15-21). Specific dates and times will be announced later this month. Stay tuned as the FC Wichita coaching staff will be announced next week.