FC Wichita Men: Getting to know the keepers
When you play goal keeper at FC Wichita, you're playing up to a standard that was set years before the current crop of talented players arrive at Stryker. The legacy was set with a strong work ethic and a toughness that comes with being one of the top keepers in the league.
From the beginning, Mauricio Vargas helped set the stage for the future. He helped FC Wichita win a conference championship, signed with the USL side Pittsburgh Riverhounds and earned 12 caps before being moved to Alajuelense in Costa Rica, where he's also represented his country in the national team. Then, Mark Weir, who spent five years at FC Wichita and is now playing for Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic FC in Scotland followed up Vargas time in the net, Followed by Paulo Pita, who was drafted by Los Angeles FC with the 24th pick of the 2020 MLS Draft, there's a lot to live up to.
From Steven Hamersky to the academy players who've stepped up when the club needed them at the senior level, many feel these keepers can hold their own from the standard that has bene set.
With your 2022 keepers coming into training, the feeling is we could be seeing the next line in succession of keepers who done the red, white and blue for FC Wichita.
Here are your 2022 keepers for the upcoming USL2 season.
All players are listed alphabetically.
Luke Dixon has played for FC Wichita since he was 7 years old. He's rose through the ranks, where he spent many years helping the academy teams compete at a high level across the country.
While he was home schooled in high school, that didn't stop Dixon from excelling on the pitch, he was named as a two-time all-WAHAA for the Wichita Warriors.
Dixon is currently a freshman at the Friends University, a top NAIA program. He's considered one of the top keepers in the USL Academy U-20 team.
Local keeper, Davis Joseph will suit up for FC Wichita this summer. He's spent his last couple of seasons at Missouri Science & Technology, a Division II school about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis.
You may recognize Joseph's keeping skills as he helped Andover Central reach the Class 4A state title game in 2017 as a junior for the Jaguars and was named to the United Soccer Coaches Boys Scholar All-America team as a senior.
While at Missouri S&T, Joseph has started 14 matches for the Miners, where he has collected four clean sheets and saved more than 60 shots during his two years at Missouri S&T. Joseph is expected to the No. 1 keeper heading into fall training for the Miners.
Florida Gulf Coast
Wyatt Kistner enters his first season with FC Wichita. For the last two seasons, he's been a keeper at Florida Gulf Coast University. Yeah, the same school that was dunking on teams in the NCAA basketball tournament... except he's stopping goals and helping his team to wins instead of dunking.
During his sophomore season this past fall at Florida Gulf Coast, Kistner made 15 saves for the Eagles and with a graduating Atlantic Sun Conference keeper graduating, Kistner is expected to be the full-time starter for FCGU come the fall.
A product of Cosby High school in Midlothian, Virginia, Kistner helped his high school club when a state championship and cementing himself as one of the best keepers in the Old Dominion State.
Candler, North Carolina
Originally committed and played for UNC-Asheville, about 2½ hours from his new school, UNC-Greensboro, Payne made 12 starts for UNC-Asheville is a true freshman in 2019, where he made more than 80 saves, to go along with his two clean sheets. While at Asheville, Payne was named honorable mention goal keeper as a freshman.
Payne then transferred to Greensboro in 2020 to play for the Spartans. There, Payne helped Greensboro win the SoCon regular season title this past collegiate season. He appeared in He recently graduated from Greensboro with a degree in Economics.
Payne is an alumni of Enka High School.