Indy Eleven was launched by Keystone Group CEO Ersal Ozdemir on January 16, 2013, to play in the North American Soccer League, beginning with the 2014 season. Originally born under the Indy Pro Soccer moniker, the club officially adopted its Indy Eleven identity on April 25, 2013, during a ceremony held at the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument - 152 years to the day of the initial enlistment of the 11th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War. On January 10, 2018, Indy Eleven announced joining the United Soccer League.
The unique Indy Eleven identity reflects the club’s fans’ desire to have a name tied both to the culture of “the beautiful game” and the State of Indiana, with the name referencing the 11 players giving their all on the field of play in addition to paying homage to the 11th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, which fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. The inspiration for the name came from Donna Schmink, the Collection Manager at the Indiana War Museum, who, when asked by team officials for ideas on a team name connected to Indiana history, suggested "the Eleventh" in honor of the regiment that valiantly fought under the initial direction of Colonel Lew Wallace.
Indy Eleven’s aim is to create a team that is representative of Indiana and creates strong emotional connections with its fans. Those connections – embodied in the team’s symbolic name, crest, and colors – will be made with Indiana’s youth and adult soccer community and the active young adult urban and ethnic populations.
After selling out all 14 home games of its 2014 Inaugural Season, while leading the NASL in attendance during its first two seasons with nearly 10,500 fans per game, "Indiana's Team" is again pacing the growing league in the stands in 2016. The mission of Indy Eleven – “To win championships with and for the community” – stays true to its aim of fielding a team that will represent Indiana proudly on and off the field.
A day after a thrilling 4-1 home victory over Carolina vaulted Indy Eleven to the top of the North American Soccer League’s Spring Season standings, “Indiana’s Team” can now officially celebrate the first title in club history thanks to today’s FC Edmonton win over Fort Lauderdale.
“The incredible effort that every player and staff member has put in over the last three years culminated with a display last night worthy of a championship,” said Indy Eleven owner Ersal Ozdemir. “Everyone associated with Indy Eleven – players, coaches, staff, partners and especially the best fans – helped us achieve this Spring Season title. We're honored to win this for the City of Indianapolis and the wonderful soccer community of Indiana.”
Ahead of the 2017 season, Indy Eleven took another historic step towards building professional soccer in Indiana, formally announcing its bid to bring a Major League Soccer expansion franchise to the Hoosier State. Indy Eleven Founder & Owner Ersal Ozdemir delivered the club's official application book to MLS President Mark Abbott at the league's headquarters in New York City on January 31, 2017, which marked the deadline day for prospective ownership groups to submit their expansion bids.
Indy Eleven’s expansion bid is built upon four strengths the club has exhibited since its founding in January 2013: