Are Indy Eleven planning for the future?

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As the end of the 2015 North American Soccer League campaign and teams in the playoff race begin to see their fate unfold a teams at the bottom of the table have to eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel and begin to understand that this year might not be their year. While Indy Eleven, who are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for the Soccer Bowl sitting seven points outside of the fourth place spot (obviously with a number of results needing to fall their way) it’s clear that the dream of a year two playoff birth may have just fallen out of the eye sight of the Boys in Blue this season.

This leaves a lot of questions though. A number of them deep into the future (like the future of Stadium for Indy) and some of them a lot nearer, like the future of the roster. Whatever the questions may be two actions by the club have been executed that have failed to secure anything in the near future.

 Are Indy Eleven planning for the future?

Last week on my twitter account I shot out a few tweets about Indy Eleven’s newest signing, Daniel Cuevas. The winger is a former U-20 product and has spent considerable amount of time in Mexico and brings an explosive speed and youth off the wings. In his first game for Indy Eleven in which the Eleven fell to FC Edmonton 2-0 in Indianapolis, Tim Regan commented on the performance of Cuevas by saying, “I thought he’d get at their right back and create chances, and I thought he made a couple of good runs in the first half.  He did a good job at finding some open spaces, but he didn’t always get the ball. That’s something to maybe where he hasn’t played with us a lot and the guys weren’t used to where he would find those spaces. He was always going to be limited in the number of minutes he’d be available, but he kept fighting and trying to be dynamic throughout his 60 minutes.” Cuevas played around 60 minutes and showed some promise creating space and getting forward on counters.

The issues with the deal that my tweets were about had to do with the length. Cuevas is only signed for the last six games and beyond that much is unknown. Similar deals were struck with Marvin Ceballos and loan deals with Houston Dynamo Zach Steinberger and New York Redbulls Dane Richards sees a lot of short term solutions used for a potential long term problem.

Obviously realistic things need to be seen. NASL teams don’t have budgets that most Major League Soccer teams run with and so things like short term deals and loans in the middle of the season are often the most appropriate solution for things like injuries which the injury bug struck the forward and midfield position for Indy Eleven early in the season.

The tweets that I sent out had little to do with that part of it and more with how late the move came, and with the report before the Indy Eleven took on Tampa Bay Rowdies of Cueva’s season ending injury made the reply by Indy Eleven to the initial tweets even more painful.

Clearly, Daniel Cuevas is an obvious talent. Between his youth national team experience and time in Mexico it makes sense why you would bring him in, but for six games runs risk of exactly what happened. Whether or not that is bitter to mention will be up for fans to decide. According to the Indy Eleven Daniel Cuevas is out for the rest of the season with a fractured right tibia which he had surgery for last Wednesday.

The other part of the tweet brings up a real question. Is Indy Eleven allowed to think ahead?

To answer simply, of course. Bringing in guys on trial, bring in talent from different leagues. Loans, transfers, all things are easily admissible for actions to take. Obviously time needs to be given for those actions so things like team chemistry don’t fall to the side but regardless, teams are at any point in time allowed to think of the future.

But, for Indy Eleven, when the question of thinking of the future comes up a bigger question revolves around the club than the performance on the field.

Tim Regan, who took over for Juergen Sommer Indy’s first coach for the club, still hangs with the “interim” tag around his neck. The title of interim head coach has been around Tim since being named and nothing has been altered or mentioned about his future. After reaching out to Indy Eleven for a comment on the future of Regan in the head coaching position, the team responded by saying his permanent status will be “evaluated at the end of the season” with “no timetable” set for a decision.

One issue this team has had all season has been team chemistry. A factor often left out of the thought process for teams, you can take a squad of middle level players and get better, higher, quality and more consistent performances when the same team plays with each other. While the club fell victim to the injury bug there was really no reason why chemistry should have been pushed aside as much as it has.

While a move is helpful, stability is what’s needed for a team only just about to end their second year as a professional club. Tim Regan has shown he is able to lead the team, gain results, and otherwise raise the profile of the club that the keys should almost surely be given to him.

If Indy is infact, thinking of the future on the field with players like Marvin Ceballos and Daniel Cuevas the first thing to be marked off the “to do list of the future” should be deciding on a permanent head coach and short of any other names on the list, a coach who has lifted the spirits of the team, lifted better results as a team, and has had experience with the players all season deserves that head coaching tag before the season ends.