Indy Eleven

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Indy Eleven
Indy Eleven Logo
Full nameIndy Eleven
Nickname(s)The Boys in Blue[1]
Founded2013; 8 years ago (2013)
StadiumMichael A. Carroll Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
Capacity10,524 (expanded to 12,111)
Owners
List
  • Ersal Ozdemir
    Brian Bauer
    Don Gottwald
    Shane Hageman
    Jeffrey A. Laborsky
    Fred Merritt
    Quinn Ricker
    Chris Traylor[2]
PresidentGreg Stremlaw
Head coachMax Rogers (interim)
LeagueUSL Championship
20209th, Eastern Conference
Playoffs: DNQ
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Indy Eleven is an American professional soccer team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 2013, the team made its debut in the North American Soccer League in 2014, before moving to the United Soccer League in 2018.[3][4] The franchise plays its home games at IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium, with plans for a new stadium in the city's downtown district.[5]

History[edit]

Indy Eleven players during a 2014 fall season league game

Thanks in part to efforts from a grassroots soccer organization, better known as the supporters group Brickyard Battalion, on January 16, 2013, the NASL announced that an Indianapolis expansion team owned by Ersal Ozdemir, CEO of Keystone Group LLC, would join the league in 2014. Ozdemir named Peter Wilt as the team's first President and General Manager, this after the veteran American soccer executive had served in a consulting role to explore the viability of professional soccer in Indianapolis in the three months leading up to the January 2013 announcement.

The name and club colors were officially revealed to the public on April 25, 2013 during a ceremony held at Indianapolis' Soldiers and Sailors Monument.[6] The team was named after the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, an infantry regiment that served with notoriety in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Colonel Lew Wallace commanded the regiment, which was mustered on April 25, 1861. The team name reflects both the culture of the game and pays homage to the history of the state.[7] The number also is an obvious reference to the number of players on the field when at full strength. The number eleven is also important to the world-renowned Indianapolis 500, with the race traditionally featuring eleven rows of cars and drivers and the first race being held in 1911.

Indy Eleven named former Indiana University standout, U.S. international and English Premier League and Major League Soccer veteran Juergen Sommer as its first Head Coach/Director of Soccer Operations on June 11, 2013.

On October 1, 2013 the team announced Kristian Nicht as their first signing.[8]

Even though the team did not begin play until the spring 2014 season, the team announced in November 2013 that it had already sold over 7,000 season tickets, and in capping season ticket sales, became the first team in NASL history to have a wait list for season tickets.[9][10]

The team made its NASL regular-season debut on April 12, 2014, in a 1–1 draw against the Carolina Railhawks at home in front of 11,048 fans at Carroll Stadium.[11]

On June 2, 2015, Juergen Sommer was fired as manager, with Tim Regan taking over in an interim capacity.[12] Regan's interim role ended on December 2 with Tim Hankinson being appointed as the club's manager.[13]

Indy Eleven won the 2016 Spring Championship after an undefeated season. The team, in a game called "The Miracle at the Mike," overturned a three-goal tiebreaker deficit to secure its first title.[14]

On January 31, 2017, the Eleven announced that they would seek to join Major League Soccer during the league's expansion efforts for teams to join by 2020.[15] The Eleven were passed over in the initial 2017 bidding.

On November 28, 2017, the Eleven announced that Tim Hankinson would not be returning as manager for the 2018 season.[16]

On January 10, 2018, the Eleven announced they had left the NASL and joined the United Soccer League for the 2018 season.[17] Martin Rennie was then named as the Eleven's new head coach on January 16.[18]

On March 27, 2020, The Shop Indy teamed up with Indy Eleven to start selling t-shirts with "Indy Eleven Cares" on it. The t-shirts are being sold in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds from the t-shirt sells will go to the Community Health Network Foundation's Lisa Borinstein Caregiver Assistance Fund to help employees and caregivers pay for medical expenses, transportation, food, and more.[19][20]

On June 16, 2021, Indy Eleven and head coach Martin Rennie agreed to mutually part ways after four seasons. Rennie managed 99 matches and was the longest tenured coach in Indy Eleven history.[21]

MLS[edit]

Indianapolis became the 12th team to apply for one of four available expansion spots in the MLS, submitting their application just before the January 31, 2017 deadline.[22] However, on November 29, 2017, MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced the four finalist cities for the round of expansion and Indianapolis was not among them. Subsequently, Indy Eleven released a statement claiming, "We are planning on being a finalist for the next round of MLS expansion opportunities."[23] Despite Indy Eleven's persistence to establish a stadium deal with the city and a location for the venue, other cities surpassed their efforts and were awarded franchises. This included Cincinnati, Nashville, Sacramento, St. Louis, and Charlotte, along with a new team in Austin.[24]

Greg Stremlaw reiterated after Charlotte was accepted to the MLS in December, 2019, as the league's 30th team, that Indy Eleven is still committed to their bid and believes further expansion will occur. Stremlaw stated, "I think we have a very strong application" and claimed that the ownership group and the bid will stick to the process that they have followed throughout the expansion talks.[25]

Record[edit]

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by Indy. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Indy Eleven seasons.

Season League Position Playoffs USOC Continental Average attendance Top goalscorer(s)
Div League Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall Name Goals
2016 2 NASL 32 15 7 10 51 33 +18 55 1.72 N/A 2nd RU R4 DNQ 8,396 Libya Éamon Zayed 15
2017 NASL 32 7 13 12 39 56 –17 33 1.03 6th DNQ R2 8,395 Libya Éamon Zayed 11
2018 USL 34 13 11 10 45 42 +3 49 1.44 7th 16th R1 R2 10,163 United States Jack McInerney 10
2019 USLC 34 19 9 6 48 29 +19 63 1.85 3rd 4th SF R3 10,734 Canada Tyler Pasher 11
2020 USLC 16 7 7 2 21 19 +2 23 1.44 9th 18th DNQ NH 5,167 Canada Tyler Pasher 10

^ 1. Avg. Attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top Goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in league, league playoffs, U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.

Colors and crest[edit]

The name "Eleven" references the eleven men who take to the field representing Indiana and also pays homage to Indiana's 11th Regiment Indiana Infantry in the American Civil War, while the navy colored checkered background is a nod to both Indianapolis' auto-racing culture and the Brickyard Battalion supporters group. Lady Victory from the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument is the focal point of the crest. The color scheme is the same as that of the civic flag of Indianapolis.[26]

Kits[edit]

Predominantly red, white and blue, the jerseys unveiled on October 1, 2013,[27] also featured a sublimated checker board pattern paying homage to Indianapolis' rich auto racing heritage centered around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The jerseys were manufactured by Diadora[28] and Honda was the primary sponsor.

The jerseys used since the 2017 season are manufactured by Adidas with Honda remaining the sponsor.

Sponsorship[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2014–2016 Italy Diadora Honda
2017–2020 Germany Adidas
2021–present Germany Puma

Supporters[edit]

Brickyard Battalion[edit]

Brickyard Battalion

The primary supporters group for the Indy Eleven is the Brickyard Battalion and were established on August 3, 2011.[29] The supporters group has its origins in a grassroots campaign to elicit local support for bringing professional soccer to Indianapolis. Membership consists of more than 2,000 supporters, with over 4,000 officially registered supporters throughout the state of Indiana;[30] affiliate chapters in the greater Indianapolis area and beyond include, but are not limited to: Slaughterhouse-19 BYB, Battery 37 BYB and Cologne – Germany BYB (an affiliate chapter based in Cologne, Germany).[31]

Rivalries[edit]

LIPAFC[edit]

Indy Eleven first played against Louisville City FC in the third round of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup, a game Louisville City won, 2–0. The two clubs would meet again in a series of friendlies the following two seasons, as well as the third round of the 2016 U.S. Open Cup, where Indy would defeat Louisville by a score of 2–1. The arrival of the Eleven to the United Soccer League in 2018 resulted in the two becoming divisional rivals, and was given the unusual title of "Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest", or "LIPAFC" during the season by both clubs on social media.

Stadium[edit]

Indy Eleven play their home matches at IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium, in Downtown Indianapolis. The Eleven returned to Carroll Stadium in 2021 after playing their home matches at the nearby Lucas Oil Stadium from 2018 to 2020. From their inaugural season in 2014 to 2017, the Eleven played their home matches at Carroll Stadium.

In early 2014, Indy Eleven sought to build a new $87 million stadium with a capacity of 18,500 seats, but were not able to build the political support to finance their plan.[10] On January 13, 2015, House Bill 1273 was submitted to the Indiana General Assembly, proposing to pay for the stadium by expanding ticket taxes through 2045 instead of ending in 2023 at a projected $5 million per year[32][better source needed]

In 2018, the club announced that they will play their home matches at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium will continue to be used as a secondary venue for if the home matches may need to be moved due to potential scheduling conflicts with Lucas Oil Stadium.[33]

In 2019, the club announced a plan to build Eleven Park, a new $550 million mixed-use development, with a new stadium with a capacity of 20,000 as the centerpiece. This site is planned to include 600 apartments, 150,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail space, and a 200-room hotel. Ersal Ozdemir stated that is "the opportunity to create a vibrant community that will attract individuals and families from near and far to live, work and play." The club is proposing to fund $400 million for the project, with the remaining $150 million being financed through a public-private partnership.[34] In February, 2019, the Indy Eleven ownership asked lawmakers to fund $150 million of a soccer-specific stadium in the city.[35]

On April 8, 2019, the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee unanimously voted to allow Indy Eleven to negotiate a stadium regardless of whether the team is accepted into the MLS or not.[36] This subsequently passed through the senate and Governor Eric Holcomb approved plans to build the stadium.[37]

On January 31, 2020, it was reported that the stadium originally planned to seat 20,000 fans, may be adjusted down to a much smaller crowd of 12,000. Greg Stremlaw noted that the stadium will not be smaller than 12,000 seats and “will be built to ensure we can properly accommodate the fan base associated with leading the USL Championship league, but also be able to expand to all MLS specifications if and as needed."[38]

On February 3, 2021, it was announced by the Eleven that the club would be returning to Carroll Stadium starting with the 2021 season while the new stadium is constructed.[5]

Players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of September 22, 2021[39]
No. Pos. Player Nation
1 GK Jordan Farr  United States
2 DF Patrick Seagrist (on loan from Inter Miami)  United States
3 DF A. J. Cochran  United States
4 DF Liam Doyle  Isle of Man
5 DF Jared Timmer  United States
6 MF Jeremiah Gutjahr  United States
7 DF Ayoze  Spain
9 DF Carl Haworth  Canada
10 FW Gordon Wild  Germany
13 GK Eric Dick (on loan from Columbus Crew)  United States
15 DF Neveal Hackshaw  Trinidad and Tobago
16 DF Aidan Liu (on loan from Vejle BK)  United States
17 FW Nick Moon  United States
19 DF Rece Buckmaster  United States
20 DF Karl Ouimette  Canada
24 GK Alex Svetanoff ([A])  United States
26 GK Bobby Edwards  United States
27 MF Nicky Law  England
28 MF Gershon Koffie  Ghana
29 FW Manuel Arteaga  Venezuela
34 MF Alann Torres ([A])  United States
35 MF Diego Sanchez ([A])  United States
36 MF Aiden Benitez ([A])  United States
37 DF Ecris Revolorio ([A])  United States
85 MF Aboubacar Sissoko  Mali
98 MF Peter-Lee Vassell  Jamaica
MF Emmanuel Ledesma  Argentina
  1. ^
    USL Academy Contract

Team management[edit]

Indy Eleven management
Front office
Owners Brian Bauer
Don Gottwald
Shane Hageman
Jeffrey Laborsky
Fred Merritt
Ersal Ozdemir
Quinn Ricker
Chris Traylor
President and CEO Greg Stremlaw
Coaching staff
Interim head coach Max Rogers[40]
Assistant coach Phil Presser
Goalkeeping coach Andy Swift

Honors[edit]

Indy Eleven honors
National
Competitions Titles Seasons
NASL Spring championship 1 2016[41]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allison, Autumn (September 10, 2014). "Chants, smoke and SpongeBob: Welcome to an Indy fan experience unlike any other". The Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "BREAKING NEWS | INDY ELEVEN ANNOUNCES OWNERSHIP GROUP". www.indyeleven.com.
  3. ^ "NASL Awards Team To Indianapolis". North American Soccer League. January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  4. ^ "Indy Eleven Joins USL for the 2018 Season". United Soccer League (USL). January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Indy Eleven returning to Carroll Stadium for 2021 season". WISH TV. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  6. ^ "Indy Eleven Taking Soccer to the Next Level | North American Soccer League". Nasl.com. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  7. ^ "About Indy Eleven".
  8. ^ "Indy Eleven's First Player Is A 'Keeper – Indy Eleven". Indyeleven.com. May 3, 1970. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  9. ^ "Indy Eleven ticket sales far exceeding projections", Indianapolis Business Journal, November 11, 2013
  10. ^ a b "Indy Eleven soccer stadium proposal shelved", Indy Star, March 6, 2014.
  11. ^ NASL match center. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  12. ^ "REGAN IN AS INTERIM HEAD COACH". indyeleven.com. Indy Eleven. June 2, 2015. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "Tim Hankinson Takes Over Indy Eleven Head Coaching Position". nasl.com. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  14. ^ "Championship Comes to the Circle City!". indyeleven.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  15. ^ Bennett, Taylor (January 31, 2017). "Indy Soccer Team Applies For MLS Expansion". WFYI.
  16. ^ Kennedy, Paul. "Tim Hankinson won't return as Indy Eleven's head coach". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  17. ^ Tricia Whitaker (January 10, 2018). "Indy Eleven announces it will join USL for 2018 season". WXIN.
  18. ^ "RENNIE TO LEAD INDY ELEVEN AS HEAD COACH". indyeleven.com. Indy Eleven. January 16, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  19. ^ "Working Together: Indy Eleven, The Shop Indy raising funds for healthcare workers". WRTV. March 30, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  20. ^ "Indy Eleven selling new t-shirt, proceeds to go to local medical workers". WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic. March 31, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  21. ^ "INDY ELEVEN AND HEAD COACH MARTIN RENNIE MUTUALLY AGREE TO PART WAYS". Indy Eleven. June 16, 2021. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  22. ^ "Indianapolis announces MLS expansion bid for NASL side Indy Eleven". MLS Multiplex. January 31, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  23. ^ "Indy misses cut on latest MLS expansion". WRTV. November 29, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  24. ^ "Indy Eleven not on MLS expansion short list at the moment". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  25. ^ "Despite MLS doubts, Indy Eleven focuses to springboard off 2019 — 'our best year to date'". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  26. ^ "Indy Eleven Identity". Indy Eleven. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  27. ^ "Twitter / IndyEleven: Here's a pic of today's special". Twitter.com. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  28. ^ Townsend, Rebecca. "Indy Eleven's new goalie, new jerseys | Sports + Recreation | NUVO News | Indianapolis, IN". Nuvo.net. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  29. ^ "The Brickyard Battalion - About Us". BrickyardBattalion.com. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  30. ^ "The Brickyard Battalion". Indy Eleven. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  31. ^ "The Brickyard Battalion - Affiliate Chapters". BrickyardBattalion.com. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  32. ^ Indiana General Assembly. "House Bill 1273". Indiana General Assembly. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  33. ^ "INDY ELEVEN TO PLAY SOCCER AT LUCAS OIL STADIUM IN 2018". www.indyeleven.com.
  34. ^ "Indy Eleven makes pitch to build 'Eleven Park' with stadium, apartments and more". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  35. ^ "In possible long-shot bid, Indy Eleven owner takes soccer stadium idea to Indiana lawmakers". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  36. ^ "New Indy Eleven stadium prospects improve as lawmakers scrap Major League Soccer franchise requirement". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  37. ^ "Governor Eric Holcomb's Signing Of Senate Enrolled Act 7 Marks Latest Progress For Eleven Park Project". indyeleven.com. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  38. ^ Shuey, Mickey. "Indy Eleven considers smaller, expandable stadium as search for site continues". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  39. ^ "Indy Eleven roster". IndyEleven.com. Indy Eleven. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  40. ^ "Matchday Preview: Sporting Kansas City II vs. Indy Eleven". USLChampionship.com. USL Championship. June 19, 2021.
  41. ^ "CHAMPIONSHIP COMES TO THE CIRCLE CITY!". indyeleven.com. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2016.

External links[edit]