International Prep alum Ezana Kahsay, FC Buffalo defender Brian Paredes and former Buffalo State goalkeeper Will Banahene have been selected to represent the National Premier Soccer League's Midwest Region in front of professional scouts at the annual NPSL Player Showcase.
The fourth annual event runs from Jan. 13 to 15 in Kissimmee, Fla., where 17 players from each of the four NPSL regions will compete in training sessions and two matches. Seven of the league's former players who participated in the showcase have earned professional contracts.
A native of Eritrea and product of International Prep in Buffalo, Kahsay just completed his redshirt-junior year at the University of Akron, finishing with two goals, three assists and seven points in 22 matches. The Zip assisted on the overtime game-winner in the Mid-American Conference final, and his collegiate side advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual champion Stanford.
Perhaps more impressive were Kahsay's summer feats with the Erie Commodores under head coach John Melody; Kahsay deposited seven goals - including a stretch of six in five games - earning a place in BN Soccer's Midwest Region East midseason Best XI.
Although Paredes barely factored into FC Buffalo's 2017 campaign due to a nagging injury, the Long Island University-Brooklyn defender was fantastic for the Wolves the prior summer, performing admirably at several spots along the back line.
The Blackbirds' senior captain appeared in 12 games - starting 10 - and kept two clean sheets along the way. Although he's an atypical center back in size, this Brooklyn Daily article explains his conversion from midfielder. Paredes is the eighth FC Buffalo player to be selected for the NPSL Player Showcase.
Originally signed to Niagara University, Banahene played his final two college seasons for Mark Howlett's Buffalo State Bengals, parlaying his toughness, communication and shot-stopping into a chance at the starting role for the NPSL's Rochester Lancers last summer.
While nothing was guaranteed, the 6'0 keeper seized the role and flourished, cementing spots on the mid-season and post-season Best XIs; Banahene kept the Lancers in playoff contention until the final day of the regular season.
See the rosters for all four NPSL regions here.