Wichita

Cameroon-born soccer player seeking championship in Wichita to honor late friend – Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas 2021-06-11 23:32:41 –

Park City, Kansas (KSNW) – When Frank Tayo first met Abel Severe, known as Shadow, he knew he had made lifelong friends.

“We quickly formed a bond. We were from Africa, came from a similar background and shared our childhood stories,” Tayou said. “Shadow had a contagious smile. He was a very affectionate and incredible player.”

Severe was Tayo’s host on a recruitment trip at West Virginia University. There, Cameroonian natives promised to play college football.

“There is nothing better than playing with friends,” Tayou said. “I think it’s a very undervalued thing, especially if everyone comes from different locations to teams with the same goals.”

When they no longer belong to the same college soccer team, they kept in touch and wanted to play again on the same team someday. With the launch of FC Wichita, a minor league football club in the city, in 2014, that dream has never been closer.

“There was a core group at my university,” Tayou said. “We all answered the phone and said,’Hey everyone, wouldn’t it be great if we could play together again?’ FC Wichita gave us the opportunity. “

Tayou initially planned to join Wichita’s former teammate, but eventually withdrew. He knew very little. Playing with Severe, who died in a car accident in 2016, is his last chance. He was only 26 years old.

“I’ve regretted it for quite some time, but as I grow older, I understand that everything happens for a reason,” Tayo said.

Currently, the four-time Major Arena Soccer League MVP is in Wichita to honor his late friends and teammates.

“He loved the club and loved the city,” Tayo said. “He would have given something to win the championship here, and if I could do that, it would be an honor.”

As the team seeks the first title in franchise history, Tayo gets one step closer to that goal in each of the Wichita Wings games.

“I have a great opportunity to win the Wings trophy, and I’m happy to be part of it,” Tayo said. “Looking down at us and seeing me grant that wish, he will smile at me and be happy.”

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