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. The franchise plays its home games at Lucas Oil Stadium, with plans for a new stadium in the city's downtown district.
|Full name||Indy Eleven|
|Nickname(s)||The Boys in Blue|
|Stadium||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|Head Coach||Martin Rennie|
|2019||3rd, Eastern Conference|
Playoffs: Conference Final
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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
On June 2, 2015, Juergen Sommer was fired as manager, with Tim Regan taking over in an interim capacity. Regan's interim role ended on December 2 with Tim Hankinson being appointed as the club's manager.
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. The Eleven were passed over in the initial 2017 bidding.
At a still yet to be determined time, the Eleven will become an affiliate team of the Chicago Fire. This affiliation was discussed by Chicago's club president and General Manager Nelson Rodriguez on the ExtraTime Radio Podcast.
League and cup history
|Season||League||Overall||Playoffs||U.S. Open Cup||Top goalscorer||Manager(s)||Avg. Attendance|
|2014||NASL Spring||10th||9||0||4||5||14||20||4||9th||—||Fourth Round||8||10,465|
|2015||NASL Spring||5th||10||3||4||3||13||12||13||9th||—||Third Round||5||9,809|
|2016||NASL Spring||1st||10||4||6||0||15||8||18||2nd||Final||Fourth Round||15||8,396|
|2017||NASL Spring||6th||16||4||8||4||21||22||20||6th||—||Second Round||11||8,395|
|2018||USL||7th, Eastern||34||13||10||11||45||42||49||16th||Conference Quarterfinals||Second Round||10||10,163|
|2019||USL||3rd, Eastern||34||19||6||9||48||29||63||4th||Conference Final||Third Round||11||10,734|
Colors and crest
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 (more information below). 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.
Predominantly red, white and blue, the jerseys unveiled on October 1, 2013, 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 and Honda was the primary sponsor.
The jerseys used since the 2017 season are manufactured by Adidas with Honda remaining the sponsor.
The primary supporters group for the Indy Eleven is the Brickyard Battalion and were established on August 3, 2011. 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; 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).
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.
Indy Eleven play their home matches at Lucas Oil Stadium, in Downtown Indianapolis. From their inaugural season in 2014 to 2017, the Eleven played their home matches at IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer 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. 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
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.
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. The club is proposing to fund $400 million for the project, with the remaining $150 million being financed through a public-private partnership. In April, after passing the Indiana House and Senate, Governor Eric Holcomb approved plans to build the stadium.
- USL Academy Contract
Out on loan
|—||Midfielder||Ben Speas (on loan to North Carolina FC)|
|President and CEO||Greg Stremlaw|
|Head coach||Martin Rennie|
|Assistant coaches||Juan Guerra|
|Goalkeeper coach||Andy Swift|
- "NASL Awards Team To Indianapolis". North American Soccer League. January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- "Indy Eleven Joins USL for the 2018 Season". United Soccer League (USL). January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- "Indy officially lands 12th North American Soccer League Franchise". Indianapolis Star. January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- "Indy Eleven Taking Soccer to the Next Level | North American Soccer League". Nasl.com. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- "About Indy Eleven".
- "Indy Eleven's First Player Is A 'Keeper – Indy Eleven". Indyeleven.com. May 3, 1970. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "Indy Eleven ticket sales far exceeding projections", Indianapolis Business Journal, November 11, 2013
- "Indy Eleven soccer stadium proposal shelved", Indy Star, March 6, 2014.
- NASL match center. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- "REGAN IN AS INTERIM HEAD COACH". indyeleven.com. Indy Eleven. June 2, 2015. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
- "Tim Hankinson Takes Over Indy Eleven Head Coaching Position". nasl.com. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- "Championship Comes to the Circle City!". www.indyeleven.com. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- Bennett, Taylor (January 31, 2017). "Indy Soccer Team Applies For MLS Expansion". WFYI.
- Kennedy, Paul. "Tim Hankinson won't return as Indy Eleven's head coach". SoccerAmerica. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- Tricia Whitaker (January 10, 2018). "Indy Eleven announces it will join USL for 2018 season". WXIN.
- "RENNIE TO LEAD INDY ELEVEN AS HEAD COACH". indyeleven.com. Indy Eleven. January 16, 2018. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- Apostol, Ruel Gutierrez (January 16, 2019). "A Look At The Fire's New Affiliate Teams". Hot Time In Old Town. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- "Indy Eleven Identity". Indy Eleven. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Twitter / IndyEleven: Here's a pic of today's special". Twitter.com. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Townsend, Rebecca. "Indy Eleven's new goalie, new jerseys | Sports + Recreation | NUVO News | Indianapolis, IN". Nuvo.net. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "The Brickyard Battalion - About Us". BrickyardBattalion.com. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "The Brickyard Battalion". Indy Eleven. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- "The Brickyard Battalion - Affiliate Chapters". BrickyardBattalion.com. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Indiana General Assembly. "House Bill 1273". Indiana General Assembly. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- "Indy Eleven makes pitch to build 'Eleven Park' with stadium, apartments and more". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
- "Governor Eric Holcomb's Signing Of Senate Enrolled Act 7 Marks Latest Progress For Eleven Park Project". indyeleven.com. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
- "Indy Eleven roster". IndyEleven.com. Indy Eleven. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- "CHAMPIONSHIP COMES TO THE CIRCLE CITY!". indyeleven.com. Retrieved June 13, 2016.