Indy Eleven aims for the top in first season

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — After a year of buildup, Indy Eleven has just over a week before its inaugural season in the NASL begins. The goals — even in year one — are lofty.

“I know what (team owner) Ersal (Ozdemir) would say: win championships,” said Indy Eleven head coach Juergen Sommer. “That’s kind of our mission statement. We’re going out to be as competitive as we can in every game.”

Friday’s exhibition match against the IU men’s soccer team gives the squad one last tune-up before next Saturday’s season opener against the Carolina Railhawks.

“We really want to start to nail down the final puzzle pieces here,” added Sommer. “We really want to come out with an energy level and a focus for our opening game on the 12th.”

“I think that [preseason] process is going very well,” said Peter Wilt, Indy Eleven president. “Bringing in new players toward the end of preseason stirs things up a little bit, so it’s going to take some time for them to become a collective on the field, but I’m confident as the season goes on, this team will compete with the top teams in the league.”

The Indy Eleven signing of Jose Kleberson earlier in the week gives the club its biggest boost to date. Not only are his credentials impressive, but Indy Eleven staff believe his experience on the world stage will help influence the younger players around him.

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