Soccer In Our Area

Soccer In Our Area: Indy Eleven

Club Background

Indy Eleven was founded in the early winter of 2013. The club played its first few seasons in the North American Soccer League where it won its only trophy to date with the 2016 NASL Spring Championship. In January of 2018, the club announced it was leaving the NASL for the USL. A year later, Indy Eleven hit its USL high watermark by finishing third place on the table and getting a semifinal appearance.

The club is owned by Ersal Ozdemir, CEO of Keystone Group LLC. In 2019, Ozdemir made international headlines with an ambitious announcement to build a state-of-the-art soccer-specific stadium in the Indianapolis downtown area. This 20,000-seat stadium was aptly named Eleven Park and construction broke ground in the spring of 2023 with plans to be completed by spring of 2025. For now, Indy Eleven plays its home games at Carroll Stadium on the campus of Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

The Eleven are led by first-year skipper Sean McAuley who was an assistant/interim head coach at Minnesota United under Adrian Heath. Players of note on the roster include two of USL’s all-time top regular season goal scorers in Sebastian Guenzatti (7th, 70 goals) and Augi Williams (9th, 67 goals). Filling out the remaining roster are a pair of 2023 All-USL Championship selections in center back Adrian Diaz and center midfielder Cam Lindley. Indy has started the 2024 campaign with a 1-1-1 record at the time of kickoff and is seventh on the USL Championship Eastern Conference table.

The Atmosphere

Carroll Stadium sits at the edge of IUPUI’s campus and provides a wonderful venue for fans to attend. The parking for Carroll Stadium is super convenient for fans entering and exiting the match. Carroll Stadium is a multiple-purpose stadium that hosts many Jaguar varsity sports. On matchdays, food trucks and a fan zone are erected to create a wonderfully festive soccer experience. After grabbing a beer and some grub, fans can check out the team stores located on either end of the inner stadium grounds. The only drawback to the venue in my experience was the location of the restrooms, but this is only observable for small children or your less-than-casual beverage drinker. At the western end of the pitch, you will find the supporter section Brickyard Battalion. The name is a play on the two hallmarks of Indy Eleven with the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Civil War Indiana’s 11th Regiment Indiana Infantry. The stadium gets surprisingly loud when Indy free kick attempts beckon the stomping on the metal bleachers.


Match Recap

Indy Eleven hosted a red-hot Detroit City FC club vying to take the top spot in the USLC Eastern Conference table. After a warm beautiful day in Indianapolis turned into a chilly windy night, the Motor City visitors stole three road points with a 2-1 victory.

The match began with a typical slower-paced tempo as both sides were learning tendencies and testing weaknesses. In the 18th minute, Indy had the first opportunity of the match when a careless tackle from DCFC’s Devon Amoo-Mensah on Sebastian Guenzatti led to an Indy free kick from the edge of the box. The attempt was poor and failed to clear the DCFC wall. Moments later, in the 22nd minute, a Jack Blake foul led to a similarly dangerous free kick attempt for DCFC. The cross was punched out by Indy goalkeeper Yannik Oetti before it fell directly at the feet of Maxi Rodriguez, whose shot was blocked in the scramble.

The first scoring breakthrough came in the 24th minute when Younes Boudadi of the Indy Eleven navigated his way into the box before finding Guenzatti. Guenzatti left no doubt with his shot and gave the home side the early lead.

The first half ended with a pair of penalty appeals from both clubs, but neither club was able to get the call they wanted from the referee. 

The second half was a story of chances created but foiled by Indy Eleven. In the 52nd minute, Tega Ikokba got free after a missed tackle by Amoo-Mensah. The three-on-two break’s timing was disrupted when Ikokba’s pass into the central area of DCFC’s box was poorly attempted. The fumbled ball resulted in a routine save by Nathan Steinwascher.

In the 55th minute, DCFC made Indy pay for its missed chance when Ali Coote made a run into the box and beat Oetti to the far post.

After the tying goal from DCFC, the match opened up. In the 63rd minute, a dangerous free-run cross from the right side required Indy’s Tyler Gibson to make a near-perfect clearance. In the 65th minute, Indy’s Williams got free in the box, but the ball got caught between his legs and he was unable to get a clean shot off. Moments later, DCFC had two consecutive shots blocked and it led to an Indy counterattack resulting in a corner.

Play cooled off with a ten-minute period of exchanging substitutions. But only DCFC was able to bounce back and rachet up the press again.

In the 83rd minute, Indy’s Aedan Stanley had nothing left to do but throw his body into the ball to prevent a beautiful cross from finding DCFC’s Rhys Williams. The thin rope Indy was balancing on finally broke in the 88th minute when a poor foul by Adrian Diz led to a freekick at the edge of Indy’s box. The ball fell to Rodriguez, but unlike the first half, Rodriguez buried his attempt into the back of the net.

The 2-1 advantage for Detroit City held through stoppage and on to the final whistle.


Indy- Guenzatti 24th

DCFC- Coote 55th, Rodriguez 88th

Next Match:

at Louisville City FC – Saturday, April 6th – 4:00 p.m. EST – CBS

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