Slideshow: Indy Eleven Tryouts 

Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One
Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One

Indy Eleven Tryouts - Round One

On July 16 and 17, with the Heat Index near 100, the Indy Eleven hosted its first round of player tryouts.

By Rebecca Townsend

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This week in Indianapolis, Indy Eleven took the field for the first time - not the full team, but a few players ... or maybe one.

Chances are, that out of the first round of player tryouts held on July 16 and 17, at least of a handful of players will squeeze through.

After all, the field was stocked with players who have demonstrated success in college, club and even semi-pro environments. Still, demonstrating a career's worth of versatility into just a few hours is not the easiest thing in the world - especially when one is surrounded by others who are equally desperate to be noticed.

"That's one of the tougher things about tryouts, you want to try to stand out individually, but soccer is a team sport, so sometimes it doesn't look as pretty as it should," said Billy Weaver, a former Indiana University player who was watching the action from the stands. "There's a lot of dribbling (instead of quick and deadly passing) and risk taking. In all tryouts of all ages, they all do that."

Indy Eleven Head Coach Juergen Sommer congratulated the 36 players who finished the two-day experience, but made no promises for what the future holds. The team will host another group of around 30 players next week and continue to evaluate from there.

The Indy Eleven is set to play its inaugural season in the North American Soccer League in the spring of 2014. [Thousands of people have already made $25 deposits as a commitment to a season ticket package. An additional $75 is due when seat selections are made later this summer and the remaining balance due in February 2014. The 15-game packages range from range from $135 to $390.] The team has stoked additional excitement around the game as the local marketing arm for the upcoming Guinness International Champions Cup Chelsea/Inter Milan game scheduled for Aug. 1 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Indy Eleven staff has helped make the Indy match - so far - the best-selling game in the seven-city series. Other cities hosting include Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix.

But back to the team-building:

The news desk compiled a few video snippets capturing various aspects of the players' experience, highlighting how people with a diversity of approaches and backgrounds find themselves bound together through the love of their sport - and how they want to demonstrate that love for Indiana.

NUVO also spoke with Rosen Kaptiev, who recently moved to Indiana from Bulgaria for the opportunity to tryout for the Indy Eleven. Kaptiev and his girlfriend, Silviya, discuss an American dream and a soccer heart. As a side note: Kaptiev scored a sweet goal off a free kick during the July 17 scrimmage. Only the future can tell what that means in terms of his future with the team.

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Rebecca Townsend

Rebecca Townsend

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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