Saturday, July 12, 2014

Indy Eleven - Roster moves

The Indy Eleven start their fall season tonight against the Carolina Railhawks, who were the Eleven's inaugural opponent for the Spring Season.  I believe that the first game against Carolina is the last time that the Indy Eleven were leading in a game (other than the U.S. Open Cup game against the Dutch Lions).  So an entire Spring Season and the Eleven have held a lead for a total of 7 minutes.  That's not a stat that they want to duplicate during the Fall Season.
Earlier this week, the team announced that four players were released from the team ahead of the Fall Season; defenders Baba Omosegbon and Chris Wey and midfielders Walter Ramirez and Kevin Rozo.  While I understand that the desire is to win games, it is also a business and so players will undoubtedly come and go for this team.  Some of the players on the roster are on loan from other clubs so the length of their time in Indy will be dependent on those loans.  Throughout the Spring Season and U.S. Open Cup, the Indy Eleven played a total of 11 games.  In those 11 games, Omosegbon, Wey and Rozo totaled 44 minutes of playing time, all of them by Omosegbon in the U.S. Open Cup game against Dayton.  What's surprising about the releases for me is that Omosegbon was one of the first three players signed to the roster, a lot of press was made about Wey being a local teacher who was giving his soccer career one last chance, Rozo was just added to the roster in mid-May after he "officially gained his spot on the squad today after training with Indy Eleven since the waning weeks of the NASL side’s preseason," and Ramirez started the first five games, seeing time in seven for a total of 440 minutes, the last being the game against Dayton.  So three of the four clearly haven't been major contributors to the team and the fourth hasn't played in three games.  Just makes me wonder why they were added to the team.  What did the team see in them early that didn't translate into playing time as the rosters filled?  Or were Baba and Wey added to simply show a local connection to Indy?

So one of the inaugural season starters won't be playing tonight against Carolina, but the team does now have an advantage that they have seen every team play now.  Of course, that also means that the Indy Eleven are no longer an unknown to the opposition, but the team that will play Carolina tonight is a much different team that played them Week 1.  Guess we'll see if the Eleven can get and keep a lead this time around and whether the World Cup break gave them some time to get more in tune with each other, as I had hoped it would do.

The game is the ESPN3 Match of the Week so hopefully I'm able to catch it and provide some valuable insight in my recap and not just what I read through the Twitter feed.

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