Indy Eleven Continues to Build

Player selections, season tickets and future plans are hurtling the club forward
by Doug Starnes   |   Friday, September 13, 2013

Checkered Flags – column on Indy NASL (Indy FC) & the Indianapolis soccer scene.

Indy Eleven may have yet to play a match, but the rising tide that is the club keeps progressing apace. The final open tryout session was held last week and a number of familiar faces took to the field for one last chance to claim a roster spot on the inaugural incarnation of the Eleven.

Trialists getting a 2nd or 3rd look included:

GK: Nathan Sprenkel

DEF: Robbie Lynch,Neil Shaffer, Chris Wey, Perry Pantazapolous, Andres Acosta, Baba Omosegbon, Aaron Henkle

MID: Cesar Castanon

FWD: Jochen Graf, Bradford Callahan, Rosen Kaptiev

It’s interesting to note that a number of the returning trialists, Wey and Lynch in particular, were deployed as more attack-minded players, or at least farther up the pitch in their collegiate careers and are now listed in the Indy Eleven press releases as dedicated defensive players. This is not to say that should they make the final roster they will be filling spots in the back, but it speaks to the level of play the club is aspiring to that versatility, athleticism, and tactical awareness are qualities that are sought after in all areas of the pitch.

The club did have another open tryout scheduled for the end of this week, but that session has since been canceled and one gets the feeling the local talent pool has been thoroughly picked over and remaining signings, likely the bulk of the starting 11, will come from players with previous experience in USL PRO, NASL and even MLS.

To wit, a source with intimate knowledge of the club’s dealings has revealed to me that Indy Eleven is in the final stages of negotiation with a veteran goalkeeper with an impressive professional resume. This would jive with my previous statements that manager Juergen Sommer will likely sign the best goalkeeper he can find. You coach what you know.

In addition to the final round of tryouts and the pending player signings, Indy Eleven has continued its impressive campaign to sell season tickets, which has thus far secured nearly 6,000 season ticket deposits with an ambitious drive to reach the 7,000 mark soon. This places the club at the very top of the NASL in the number of season tickets sold and bodes well for attendance in the inaugural season.

And the club is planning to play its 1st few seasons in a retrofitted college stadium on the campus of IUPUI with coaches offices to be installed at Kuntz Stadium, a City of Indianapolis soccer stadium originally built for the Pan Am Games in 1987, or Grand Park, a sweeping, nearly completed facility run by the City of Westfield on the north side of the Indianapolis metro area. The eventual goal is to construct a soccer specific stadium, complete with practice facilities and offices, somewhere in or near downtown Indianapolis.

These are ambitious plans, but Indianapolis is in the throes of soccer fever and it’s a fever that shows no signs of breaking.     

Doug STARNES

Nationality:
USA
College:
Baylor Univ.
Club Domestic:
Indy Eleven
Club Foreign:
Fulham
A reformed goalkeeper, cheese enthusiast, beer aficionado, and all around unrequited lover of The Beautiful Game, Doug currently resides in Indianapolis and is chomping at the bit to cover Indy Pro Soccer in all of its soon to be glory.
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