Indy Eleven Adds Three

Players Baba Omosegbon and Nathan Sprenkel and coach Tim Regan join Juergen Sommer’s squad
by Doug Starnes   |   Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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

In front of an appreciative crowd of newly minted season ticket holders Monday night, Indy Eleven announced the signings of homegrown players Nathan Sprenkel and Baba Omosegbon.

Sprenkel, a former DePauw University goalkeeper, and Omosegbon, a former Harvard University defender, were among the initial trialists who impressed this summer in Indy Eleven’s first open tryouts.

Sprenkel picked up just about every NCAC honor he could at his time with the DePauw Tigers and had stints with the USL PRO’s Antigua Barracuda FC (is there a cooler club name than that?) and Chicago Soul of the MISL.

In the summer trials, Sprenkel impressed with his unhurried and confident goalkeeping. His distribution was consistently competent, but what struck me most was his attention to detail and athleticism in the speed and agility components of the summer trials. When most goalkeepers lag a step or three behind, Sprenkel quietly held his own with the field players in the grueling heat of a baking Carroll Stadium and maintained poise that belied his 23 years. He seems to have the mental disposition and physical gifts to further develop his game under the tutelage of Head Coach and former goalkeeper Juergen Sommer and veteran first ever club signing Kristian Nicht.

Baba Omosegbon, also just 23 years of age, has the academic palmares, to suggest he’s whip smart. There’s not a better quality in a defensive prospect. A neurobiology graduate of Harvard University, Omosegbon played a titular role in Harvard’s 2009 final 16 appearance in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament. And he’s not just smart. I played against Omosegbon in an indoor match just this past weekend, and I don’t think he ever got beyond half speed. Smooth, poised and unhurried on the ball, Omosegbon has the vision to pick a pass and the physical gifts to run with and physically challenge elite athletes.

With no disrespect intended to either Sprenkel or Omosegbon – they’re both developmental prospects at this level – the real coup of the Indy Eleven’s announcement is the signing of Tim Regan to Juergen Sommer’s coaching staff. MLS supporters will remember Regan as a MetroStars, Chivas USA, Red Bull New York and Toronto FC defender. The 32-year-old’s professional playing experience combined with his scouting and coaching days with the US National Team’s youth set up, Toronto FC and Scott Gallagher Club of St. Louis will have provided him with the insight and seasoned eye to compliment Sommer in his quest to form and develop a competitive NASL side.

I sometimes question whether or not I’m just writing a series of fluff pieces that serve only to inflate the image and approach of Indy Eleven, but after a lot of thought, I have to say I’m not. This club is going about things the right way. Local developmental talent. Fan friendly and appreciative. Vetted and experienced professional staff.

‘Mon the Eleven!                

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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