Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow)
Newly acquired Brazilian midfielder Kléberson shows off his skills against Marquette.
In the beginning there were the fans. And the fans loved soccer. And the fans loved Indiana.
The fans created a virtual team through which they explored their Indiana pro soccer fantasies. Word spread of their fanaticism. Soon, some capitalists (who also happen to be soccer nuts) took notice. They performed some tests of Central Indiana's appetite for a professional soccer product — taking heed that previous versions of Indy pro soccer proved unsustainable. Initial interest seemed promising, so they took a risk.
On Jan. 16, 2013, the North American Soccer League announced it was adding Indy Pro Soccer to its ranks. Among the NASL foes Indy will face: a second incarnation of the celebrated New York Cosmos (a club that back in its late '70s heyday had World Cup stars Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer on its roster) and the infamous Tampa Bay Rowdies (noteworthy for using booze and babes to lure the Cosmos stars into an evening that may have helped lead to their defeat in Tampa the following day).BR>
Three months following the NASL announcement, the city learned the team's name: Indy Eleven. Now, just over a year after committing to the league, Indy Eleven has absorbed the talent, strength and experience it takes to move from amorphous concept to concrete reality: On April 12, 2014, 11 men wearing their official Victory-emblazoned patches will take to the field as the first official Indy Eleven starting line-up.
"We really haven't had our full team together yet," Head Coach Juergen Sommer said following practice on March 14, the day before the team's first Indiana preseason exhibition match against the Tourbeau Soccer Club.
Once the full team arrives, begins to coalesce and the players "feed off the energy and excitement in the city of Indianapolis for the team," Sommer added, "we're going to see a real neat personality of this team come out that we haven't been able to see yet.
"As you can see, this is very diverse group of players: We have players from England, Honduras, Brazil, a player who has played in Norway, as well as local players, players from Indiana, players from the Midwest and as far out as L.A. and New York. We took our time to find the right types of players, and, more importantly, the kind of personalities that come along with each one of the players, how they compliment or have ties with the other players on the team."