Balls out Indy: Indy Eleven are ready to win! 

Slideshow
Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow)
Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow) Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow) Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow) Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow) Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow) Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow) Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow) Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow)

Indy Eleven Midfielder Kléberson (Slideshow)

Newly acquired Brazilian midfielder Kléberson shows off his skills against Marquette.

By Rebecca Townsend

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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.



click to enlarge Team owner Ersal Ozdemir, at the announcement the announcement that Indiana Pro Soccer would join NASL, with Brickyard Battalion members standing behind him. Brickers President Derek Richey with the scarf next to Ozdemir. - STEPH GRIGGZ
  • Team owner Ersal Ozdemir, at the announcement the announcement that Indiana Pro Soccer would join NASL, with Brickyard Battalion members standing behind him. Brickers President Derek Richey with the scarf next to Ozdemir.
  • Steph Griggz


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).

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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.



click to enlarge Head Coach Juergen Sommer following a March 14 practice at Carroll Stadium. - REBECCA TOWNSEND
  • Head Coach Juergen Sommer following a March 14 practice at Carroll Stadium.
  • Rebecca Townsend


"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."

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Rebecca Townsend

Rebecca Townsend

Bio:
Rebecca Townsend served as NUVO news editor from May 2011 to August 2014. During a 20-plus year career, her bylines have appeared in publications ranging from Indiana AgriNews to the Wall Street Journal. Her undergraduate degree is in sociology and anthropology from Earlham College, and her master's is in journalism... more

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