FC Wichita Falls is kicking it into high gear.
The first round of tryouts for the men’s professional arena soccer team is coming up Feb. 2.
Finalizing the coach, assembling the team roster and peddling season tickets as low as $25 are just a few things on owner Stephanie Tucker’s to-do list before the first game May 4 at Kay Yeager Coliseum.
She said professional arena soccer is a fast-paced sport with five-player lineups on a much smaller field. Members can draft the wall to bounce the ball off and keep right on going. There is no out-of-bounds.
So it’s a given that Tucker, owner and commissioner of the newly formed US Arena Pro Soccer League, wants high-energy team members for the inaugural season beginning in April.
With a goal for games to be community-oriented events in mind, she is also on the lookout for “people person” players with spirit.
“You have to be not only an athlete but an entertainer,” Tucker said at a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce tryouts. “So when you’re scoring, you’re going to be excited.”
The Feb. 2 tryout begins with an 8 a.m. check-in at the KYC, followed by 9 a.m. tryouts open to men 18 and over who aren’t in high school anymore.
Tucker said the talent pool at the high school and MSU Texas level, as well as in the Dallas and Oklahoma City areas, was one reason the league picked Wichita Falls.
League representatives will help players find scholarships to achieve their goals – whatever path they’re on – although they can’t guarantee or provide the financial help, she said.
As for how high over 18 might go: “I have people who have tried out that are very talented at the age of 34. So it just depends on your talent level,” Tucker said.
The next round of tryouts will be March 9. FC Wichita Falls will bring 20 players into training camp, but carry 14 on the paid roster, she said.
“We want to have the local talent. We also want to make sure that Wichita Falls has the best team that we can put on the field,” Tucker said.
Some of the Wichita Falls prospects attended a launch party in December, she said.
Tucker said she is in negotiations for a coach and unveiled the tryout dates to make sure hopefuls had a month or so to prepare.
Tucker said she will release the game schedule in the next couple of weeks, but that FC Wichita Falls would have five home games.
For Tucker and her staff, it’s everything times four. That means ramping up professional arena soccer here, in Amarillo, Midland-Odessa and Lubbock, which is hosting a traveling team.
“Now it’s the time for Wichita Falls to show what you have, whether you’re a player, whether you’re a fan,” she said. “We’re super excited.”
Tucker noted that fans could nab season tickets for as low as $25.
“So there’s no reason for the community not to come out and be a part of this,” she said. “We pray that y’all are excited to be a part of it.”