After a loss in the heart of Texas as Indy Eleven fell to 2014 North American Soccer League champions San Antonio Scorpions 2-0, Indy Eleven find themselves in an all to familiar place. Inconsistent performances, weak energy, and inability to control the pace of a game has lead Indy Eleven and their fans on a roller coaster of emotions since the season began. While the lingering hope is that Indy Eleven will still qualify for their first NASL playoff appearance in just under two years as a professional club the acceptance that this might not happen is starting to creep into the mind of fans.
Indy Eleven struggle to find results
Indy Eleven struggle to find results amid the amount of high quality players that have entered the team since Tim Regan took over the reigns of the team on an interim basis. Marvin Ceballos, Dane Richards, Zach Steinberger, and most recently Daniel Cuevas have come aboard in the club’s pursuit of their first playoff appearance.
The issue doesn’t seem the be the lack of talent. Dane Richards and Zach Steinberger both come over on loan from their respective MLS clubs. Marvin Ceballos is an international and was rumored to be signing with MLS New England Revolution. Daniel Cuevas was a star for the U-20 US Men’s National Team. There is no reason these players weren’t signed, but the issue comes from the massive amount of signings that occurred over the season.
Team chemistry is a vital part to success for any team in or out of the North American Soccer League. Whether it be minor or not you play better when your players have cohesion and play fluidly. With as many signings that occurred, most of which happened as a result of the injuries of Jose Kleberson, Sergio Pena, and NASL Young Player of the Year nominee Dylan Mares. Regardless, the massive amount of signings threw off the chemistry and knowledge players had as they played games.
Acceptance is the first step to admitting you have a problem. While Tim Regan obviously didn’t have the full reigns until after Juergen Sommer, Indy Eleven’s first head coach, the team that was built at the beginning of the season was clearly not fit to do what was being asked of them tactically. The constant additions, while providing great goal scorers and jolting the life into the attack that had struggled up to that point didn’t provide chances for the team to really learn to play together.
Now, that isn’t to say the additions made this season weren’t warranted. The team’s bipolar quality of play demanded that change be made in order to continue to produce the results Tim Regan has brought (nine wins or draws since taking the position from Sommer in June) but what seems to be the issue as is the issue with any sort of change is not enough time to learn how people play and the additions of players like Marvin Ceballos or Zach Steinberger, who started the first work they joined the team, hurt even more.
The hope is still alive. Fans still look at the table and believe this team is the one to put Indy Eleven in the playoffs for the first time. Seven games remain in the NASL season and each one of those sit in the ‘must win’ category for Indy Eleven. Positive results starting with the match up at home against FC Edmonton have to start occurring more frequently.
This team should be in the playoffs. With international talent like Marvin Ceballos and the likes of MLS’ Dane Richards, Zach Steinberger and players like Sergio Pena as well as a backline that could easily slot into a MLS team and hold their own. This team should be comfortably on the upper half of the table in a closer place to a playoff spot. But they aren’t. And whether that’s because this isn’t their season or not isn’t something we can argue. It’s for them to decide. Indy Eleven host FC Edmonton at Michael A. Carroll Stadium September 19th at 7:30 PM LIVE on WISH-TV or ESPN 3.