In advance of the 2021-2022 season, FC Wichita has signed eight players to the Academy, permitting them to represent the first team in the USL League 2 roster. All USL League 2 players preserve amateur status and NCAA eligibility.
Joining the boys in Red for the upcoming season, pending league approval are forwards Ivan Quezada, Lalo Derath and Uriel Aguilera; midfielder Cade Martin and Seth Lewis; defenders Caden Miller and Carlos Vidrio; as well as goalkeeper Luke Dixon.
“These academy signings are another step for our club in creating a true pathway for our elite youth players to reach their potential,” said head coach and technical director, Bryan Perez. “We have already had several others in training with us during this preseason. We will continue to integrate them with the first team and look forward to seeing them develop as both players and people.”
In addition to any first team duties, all eight players are expected to see time for the ECNL Academy League U19 side (03/04) launching later this year. The Academy League bridges clubs’ youth programs and their professional clubs, creating a clearer trajectory to pro careers.
The academy schedule is still to be released. FC Wichita will plan meanwhile to compete players in supplemental programs through the clubs current youth National League set up including the ECNL and the EA, among others.
“This is an exciting time for our city, the academy and in particular these players,” said FC Wichita CEO Blake Shumaker. “Each of these young men have performed at a high level in training and in games, which has earned them the opportunity to continue along our pathway toward one day hopefully playing professional soccer.”
FC Wichita's youth academy, along with the program for girls, ranges in age up to the U-19 level. Players compete at various local, regional, and national levels throughout the pathway.
Here’s more on those signings...
Ivan Quezada (U18), is a forward from Wichita, Ks. The Wichita East High School senior has three times lead the city league in goals. He is the son of Juan and Maria.
Lalo Derath (U18), from Juarez, Mexico, is the current 6A Player of the Year out of Wichita East High School. The senior, son of mom Maria and dad Ramon, plays forward.
Uriel Aguilera (U18) is a junior at Wichita North High School. The forward has become one of the toughest players to defend in the academy. He is the son of Lucia and Shon Aguilera.
Cade Martin (U17), is a junior at Valley Center High School. The midfielder has recently been recognized as 5A Player of the Year. He is the son of Kacie and Todd Martin.
Seth Lewis (U18), a midfielder, is the son of and his Lillian and Bobby Lewis. Seth was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and now attends Andover High School. The Senior has been in the academy for 6 years.
Caden Miller (U18), the son of Lisa Wiederien and Chris Miller, is a senior defender at Derby High School. Caden has been with FC Wichita since the age of 5 years old.
Carlos Vidrio (U18), a winger, is the son of Sandra and Rafael Vidrio, born in 2003, in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has honed his skills for the last 6 years at FC Wichita, earning his way as a standout and captain for the Academy’s U-19 team.
Luke Dixon (U18), is a senior goalkeeper from Wichita, KS. Dixon has been with FC Wichita since 7 years old and has already successfully capped with the 1st team in last years Heartland Super Cup. He is the son of Robin and Brandon Dixon.