An Offseason to Remember

As we slowly inch closer to kickoff of the 2022 USL Championship season, rosters are filling up and schedules are being released. The Indy Eleven offseason has been one full of news since their last game on October 30th, and even more since Orange County defeated Tampa Bay to become the 2021 USL champions. Here’s a recap of everything that has happened for the Indy Eleven since October 30th.

Before we get to the news for the USL Championship team, we have to start with the Academy team. The Indy Eleven Academy team made it to the USL A playoffs and played very well, winning every game (2-1, 3-1, and 2-0) they had including winning the USL A league championship game 3-0 against Queensboro FC to claim the title of USL Academy league champions. The academy team came home to Indy to fans awaiting them in the airport to send them into a time of celebrations for the young lads.

To the news from the Championship league team. At the end of the season fans knew that there were going to be many changes coming both to the coaching staff and the roster for the Indy Eleven for their 2022 campaign. The first of this news came on November 16, the Indy Eleven found their replacement for Martin Rennie in former El Paso Locomotive head coach Mark Lowry, who in his three years took El Paso to the playoffs every year and left with a 42-19-29 record with the Locomotive. A day later, coach Lowry and the front office announced the first signees for the 2022 campaign. News broke on the seventeenth that five players would be returning for the new year. Defender Jared Timmer, midfielder Nicky Law, forward Manuel Arteaga all returned for their second season in the Circle City while defender Neveal Hackshaw returns for his third year and co-captain defender Karl Ouimette becomes only the third member of the boys in blue to return for a fifth season. News continued to break into the end of the week as on the nineteenth, captain and defender Ayoze was announced to be returning for his fifth season as well. And that was all the player news for November.

December started off with a bang for the Indy Eleven with three more players signing on the third. Goalkeeper Bobby Edwards would return for his second season in blue, well in gold or gray since he is a goalie, while midfielder Bryan Rebellón and defender Mechack Jérôme followed coach Lowry from El Paso. Later on that day the Indy Eleven announced the players not returning for the 2022 campaign, for the moment. The list included; Carl Haworth, Aboubacar Sissoko, Nick Moon, Gordon Wild, Gershon Koffie, Aidan Liu, Rece Buckmaster, Patrick Seagrist, Peter-Lee Vassell, Liam Doyle, Tobi Adewolle, Emmanuel Ledesma, Kevin Partida, Jeremiah Gutjhar, and fan favorite Jordan Farr. The social media team then took a break to support the academy team and came back again with more player news on December tenth. Defender A.J Coachran reached an agreement with the club to return for a second season with the boys in blue, while defender Alex Mequeen and midfielder Aris Briggs would be making their Indy debut this season. The next bit of news was the announcement that Matt Williams would become an assistant coach for the boys this year while on Soccer Saturday, Lowry hinted that coach Andy Swift would also be returning to the boys in blue. Then on the twenty-first, Lowry signed another former Real Monarchs player, midfielder Sam Brown to the squad. That signing would end the announcements in 2021 with more to come in 2022.

2022 kicked off with news on January sixth, with the announcements of the first home game and the first month of the 2022 season. The Indy Eleven start their 2022 home campaign on April second battling LA Galaxy II at Michael A Carroll stadium. While the first two away games were announced. The boys in blue would start their season against Loudoun on March twelve to follow it up in Tampa on March nineteenth. The next day, news shifted back to roster/coaching announcements. Kiki Wallace would be returning to coach the academy level team, Phil Presser returns for another season in Indy, and Gabe Zapponi would make his debut with the team this year. On January twelfth the full 2022 schedule was debuted. Along with Loudoun and Tampa Bay, the Indy Eleven would pay a visit to LIPAFC rival Louisville City on March twenty-sixth before coming home to start April. The month of April sees LA Galaxy II, Atlanta United II, USL champions Orange County, and Hartford coming to the Mike and the Eleven going out to Rio Grande Valley. May starts with a road trip to Memphis before returning to Carroll Stadium for New York Red Bulls II and New Mexico United. June starts with another road trip, this time to Charleston and Miami before returning to Indy for the second LIPAFC battle and Louisville City. Indy then finishes June with a trip to Colorado and then pays a visit to Nick Moon and his new team in San Diego. July has Miami coming to Indy before the boys in blue take a trip to Pittsburgh then returning to play a brand new team to the USL, Detroit City FC. A road trip to New York Red Bulls II and back to back home games with Memphis and Tampa coming to town to finish July. Pittsburg then starts the month of August here in Indy before the boys in blue take trips to Hartford and Tulsa before coming back home to see San Antonio at the Mike. Carroll stadium will host both Birmingham and Loudoun in September while the team travels to Detroit, Monterey Bay, and Altana United II. The final month of play has two games in Indy and one out of state. The boys in blue will see Tulda before having the last home game of the 2022 regular season against Charleston before heading to Birmingham for the regular season finale.

The Indy Eleven made two more signings in midfielder Raul Aguilera and defender Noah Powder, the third signee from Real Monarchs. So the current roster for the 2022 season sits as so, forwards Aris Briggs and Manuel Arteaga, Midfielders Raul Aguilera, Sam Brown, Bryan Rebellón, Nicky Law, Ayoze, and Neveal Hackshaw, Defenders Mechack Jérôme, Alex Mcqueen, Noah Powder, A.J Cochran, Jared Timmer, and Karl Ouimette, and goalkeeper Bobby Edwards.

The academy and USL Championship teams weren’t the only teams to get news released about them. On September 24, The Indy Eleven announced that they would be part of the USL W league. Then on November nineteenth, the team announced their first signee, forward Elise Holcey And we wouldn’t hear any news for the W league team until December fourteenth, when it was announced the first two coaches for the team. Grace Barr would be assuming the role of assistant coach while Paul Dolinksy would take the head coaching role for the team. Two days later three players were signed to the team. Forward out of Butler Katie Soderstrom, forward out of Florida State Kristina Lynch, and midfielder out of Xavier Molly Mclaughlin. Since then we have only gotten one more bit of news for the women's team. Coach Phil Presser would not only be helping with the mens and academy team, but he would also be helping out the w league team.

And just like that we are all caught up on the offseason so far. As we come closer to the start of the 2022 season, we should expect to see more player signings, maybe Jordan Farr, as we only have two forwards and one goalie. If the team is changing uniform designs, which fans seem to think the team is hinting at as during this offseason a lot of the announcements have had a checkered theme on the graphics created, would be happening soon. You should also expect some more news for the W league team including roster moves, schedules, location of games, uniforms and more as their season is set to start sometime in May of 2022. To stay up to date make sure you follow Indy Eleven on twitter and instagram @IndyEleven, and we here at Cue the Smoke will keep you updated on any Indy Eleven news coming in the near or far future

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