Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Indy Eleven should (need) to make the playoffs in 2016

On the cusp of the 2016 season for the North American Soccer League, Indy Eleven fans are growing with expectations as the club has found it's first real direction under the tutelage of "the Tims" Tim Hankinson and Tim Regan.

Credit for Photo: Twitter: @TreyHigdon
Instagram: @NuclearSpaceman Blog:
And as Peter Wilt fades north to help create another soccer club in Chicago NASL, we begin to see Indy Eleven's public perception honeymoon period begin to dissolve. It's time that expectations get real for a club who has had the capability and opportunity to capture magic to not let anything slip by.

It's pretty clear with the roster building that went on after season two ended that the checkbook was opened a little deeper with the singings of players like Lovel Palmer from MLS Chicago Fire, Gorka Larrea from MLS Montreal Impact, and other players. It's clear from how the roster has been brought together that the expectations are (and should be)

Playoffs or bust

That's not to say that anything short would be a failure. A success in the US Open Cup could equal the same results but Indy Eleven needs the results to come in to help pus them both on and off the field.

On the Field 

From the on the field perspective, things need to unfold with positive results to continue to build the club. No, dire hard supporters aren't on the cusp of running off to the Columbuses, Minnesotas, or the like but what on the field results can bring is higher eyes on the club, players interest and oh yeah...

The playoffs.

While Indy hasn't lit the world up with quality of play the playoffs for NASL have been really the biggest thing that has escaped their grasps in the previous two years. With a projected lineup like:

The shape on the field should create both goals and victories. The key early on will be what plagued the boys in blue all season and that's building team chemistry early. I feel as if that as the largest issue the entirety of season two due to the injuries but the injection of quality but midseason loans of Dane Richards, Zach Steinberger, and other signings.

Credit for Photo: Twitter: @TreyHigdon
Instagram: @NuclearSpaceman Blog:

Indy Eleven had no issue putting quality on the field but one of the most underrated portions of any club seems to be team chemistry. A lot of the misses in terms of passes and play buildup were players just not knowing where someone was heading towards. Part of that is the communication aspect but you also can get a keen sense of how teams are looking based on the chemistry between players.

It seems like that shouldn't be an issue with a team built and built early but it's something that on the field Indy Eleven will need to maintain in order to negate silly mistakes coming about.

Off the Field

Unless you don't live in Indiana(opolis) or you might live under a rock, the news of a stadium/medical facility going in at the location of the old Indianapolis International Airport broke a few weeks ago. A link to the story is here but one quote comes out from that story that is key.

Mario Rodriguez, airport executive director, said the medical complex would be privately financed and no subsidies were being sought.
-Indy Star 


Stadium For Indiana has been a long term for Indy Eleven even before the team had their first touch at Michael A. Carroll stadium on the campus of IUPUI.  The key portion of their plan for the stadium though seems to be the "use it pay for it" model that would also be packaged with a hotel located near by the stadium that would be built by Erzal Ozdemir's construction company.

Renderings of prospective stadium going in at old airport
Source: Indy Star 

The issues with this come both on and off the field that conflict with the building of the stadium. Up a bit north of Indiana is a team joining MLS. Minnesota United.

While it's still being discussed in terms of location and other legal aspects the funding will be what every member of state government likes to hear. Privately. And that is glowingly becoming the method that clubs are having to fund stadium and stadium renovations is by private funds.

In the Indianapolis market it's all to clear that private funding is the trend when you have a large NFL stadium that was build almost completely with public taxes and has been a headache in terms of financing.

Having followed Indy Eleven as well as the state governments movements in terms of finding funding for the stadium, it's becoming more and more clear Indy Eleven's goals are to not put a dollar into the stadium, have the state as well as the city help finance it and run it, but Indy Eleven collect the profits.


Look, I want the stadium. Indiana is gaining the edge in terms of a growing as a soccer market and being smack in the middle of Columbus and Chicago, it's a perfect geographical rival for the two MLS teams located off those interstates but a funding for a soccer specific stadium or any stadium for that matter is something that has to be at least moderately privately funded.

While it didn't make it through the process, signs showed that public funding was available in forms of grants for the club to get work done to their current location on the IUPUI campus. It wasn't a lot, but it is the beginning relationship between the state and the club in building a new sport in the land of basketball and football.

But what will help make the case for public money being used to help build a stadium? Wins. Wins. Wins. A lot of the state legistatures looks at the North American Soccer League with a twinkle of disgust in their voice. "Second division" and "minor league" got tossed by a lot of state legislatures who really had no understanding of the sport let alone the landscape of the current US Soccer pyramid. Regardless, the most transparent part of any sports teams and how success should be drawn is by wins.

This season should be a very intense and interesting year for Indy Eleven both on and off the field. While this isn't a budget year for Indiana, the club is still making efforts as well as holding meetings with people to keep the dream of a soccer specific stadium alive. No matter what though, the expectations for this season are clear:

No comments:

Post a Comment