Thursday, January 30, 2014

Adding Indy Eleven to Crew, Dayton Coverage

Expect more Indy Eleven coverage along with the Columbus Crew and Dayton Dutch Lions this year on Helltown.

MLS is has really gotten tangled in their own web of rules, regulations and restrictions. Commissioner Don Garber recently went as far as to state on national television that they (MLS) are making it up as they go. This was infuriating and completely unacceptable to any fan that was there with the league when it took shape back in the mid-nineties and bought in to the spunky, can-do league hellbent on soccer survival in the US.

I'll keep pondering, analyzing and picking apart the Crew but Indy will be getting some coverage in this space. Not only because they are a pro team in my local region but because I like what the NASL is doing.

I watched a number of NASL games last year (Railhawks still my first love) and the level of play is very good, the fans are passionate and they are a breath of fresh air to these increasingly clogged MLS lungs.

The league also trusts ownership and spend wisely and does not put a cap on wages.

Ersal Ozdemir CEO of the Keystone Construction Company is putting this thing together. The official announcement came last April and the team starts play this year in NASL play.

There is a lot to get excited about with this team. They've got a ownership group that is well rooted in the state if Indiana (their logo reflects this) and an experienced team of people running operations.

Indy is thinking big having already taken deposits on 7000+ season tickets (putting them at Columbus Crew levels), so they have some right to shoot for the moon. Hopefully without massive taxpayer help, however.

Indy Eleven is still working on a roster but they do have a good group signed up right now. One of which includes former Crew draft pick and Cleveland, Ohio native Kyle Hyland.

Kristian Nicht (Bundesliga, USL Pro)
Nathan Sprenkel
Kyle Hyland (Columbus Crew)
Erick Norales (Los Catrachos)
Baba Omosegbon
Chris Wey
Walter Ramírez (San Antonio Scorpions)
Brad Ring (San Jose Earthquakes)
Mike Ambersley (all over, USL, NASL, MLS)
Pedro Ferreira-Mendes (on notorious Cal FC team)
Don Smart

Things are moving fast before the club's first opener on April 12th.

Which reminds me... even though Indy has a small budget, they will be competing for players 20-30 on the MLS rosters in the region. Namely the Chicago Fire and the Columbus Crew.

With Dayton affiliating with the Crew this should get real interesting, real fast. Stay tuned.


For an excellent primer on the league head on over HERE. Dcn. Joseph Suaiden just wrote an excellent two part piece on the NASL and where it is within the landscape of US Soccer.

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