Club’s U-19 Boys Side Aims for Third USL Academy Trophy in 12 Months’ Time Beginning Thursday Morning
Indy Eleven’s U-19 Boys squad will defend its USL Academy League Finals title this weekend during play in the event’s featured Playoffs Bracket. The competition kicks off Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Tournament SportsPlex of Tampa Bay in Central Florida and will culminate with the top team in each side of the bracket facing off in the USL Academy League Championship on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET, to be held at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Playoff Bracket consists of the eight teams that won their divisions over the course of the USL Academy League season, a group Indy Eleven qualified for after capturing the East-Central Division crown with an 8W-1L-3D record and 27 points, placing Indiana’s Team one point ahead of Louisville City FC. The Eleven’s +37 goal differential (52 goals for/15 goals allowed) was the third highest mark amongst the 65 teams competing in the nationwide Academy League’s second season of play across the summer and fall.
“Our players are excited for the opportunity to return to the USL Academy League Playoffs and represent Indy Eleven,” stated Kiki Wallace, Indy Eleven Academy Director & Academy League Head Coach. “This event provides a great platform to showcase the up-and-coming talent within the club’s Academy system. The players realize, but embrace, the challenge that lies ahead in trying to repeat as National Champions.”
Indy Eleven has been drawn into Group A and will play round-robin matches within their group Thursday through Saturday:
Playoff Group A: Indy Eleven, AC Connecticut, Tampa Bay United, New Mexico United
Playoff Group B: Queensboro FC, North Carolina FC, San Antonio FC, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Thursday, Nov. 17: Indy Eleven vs. Tampa Bay United – 9:00 a.m. ET
Friday, Nov. 18: Indy Eleven vs. AC Connecticut – 9:00 a.m. ET
Saturday, Nov. 19: Indy Eleven vs. New Mexico United – 9:00 a.m. ET
Sunday Nov. 20: Placement Game – TBD (Championship at 2:00 p.m. ET)
This year’s 23-man roster for the USL Academy League Finals features 21 players from the Hoosier State and six returnees from last year’s championship squad. In addition, the roster includes a pair of current USL Academy Contract signings for the Eleven’s First Team in midfielder Diego Sanchez and goalkeeper Hayden Vostal, as well as midfielder Alann Torres, who in January became the first player in club history to sign a professional contract straight from his time as an Academy Contract player and spent the 2022 season on loan with USL League One outfit Forward Madison FC. Below is the full player and coaching roster that will represent Indiana’s Team this weekend:
Marlon Amaya – Elkhart, Ind
Grant Bailey – Carmel, Ind
Grey Berglund – Carmel, Ind
^ Benji Chavarria – Elkhart, Ind.
Jai Dindiyal – Mooresville, Ind.
Grayson Elmquist – Lake City, Mich.
^ Amari Fowlkes – Carmel, Ind.
Luke Kegerreis – Indianapolis, Ind.
Marcus Kennedy – Carmel, Ind.
Aiden Krumpelt – Carmel, Ind.
^ Giovanni Leon – Indianapolis, Ind.
Alexis Moro – Goshen, Ind.
Keiji Nakamae – Fishers, Ind.
Logan Neidlinger – Indianapolis, Ind.
^ Denis Paz – Elkhart, Ind.
Jhefferson Pina – Indianapolis, Ind.
Andrew Rudesill – Pataskala, Ohio
* ^ Diego Sanchez – Indianapolis, Ind.
Drew Thompson – Avon, Ind.
^ Alann Torres – Elkhart, Ind.
* Hayden Vostal – Geneva, Ill.
Henry Yoder – Westfield, Ind.
Ben Zec – Westfield, Ind.
Head Coach/Academy Director: Kiki Wallace
Assistant Coach: Peter Baah
Assistant Coach: Ernie Yarborough
Goalkeeper Coach: Bobby Edwards
Athletic Trainer: Sierra Garber, MS, LAT, ATC
Sporting Director, Academy Operations & W League: Phil Presser
* = signed to Indy Eleven First Team USL Academy Contract
^ = on roster for 2021 USL Academy League Finals
“This is a great opportunity for our players to compete for another Championship,” said Phil Presser, Indy Eleven Sporting Director, Academy Operations and W League. “These games give our staff an opportunity to see the character of our players and which ones can perform under a bit more pressure. The overall talent in this event has increased significantly, even since last year, and we are excited to see how our boys compete.”
All matches of the 2022 Academy League Finals will be available to stream on MuscoVision. To view the matches, visit MuscoVision.com or download the MuscoVision app, create an account, and search for the match you’d like to watch. A subscription to the site is needed to watch the games, starting at $6.99 a day.
The third-place match and championship match of the Playoff Bracket will be streamed live on the USL YouTube channel. You can find the schedule of matches and current standings on the Academy League Finals home page, while additional content can be found throughout the week on the USL Academy’s Twitter and Instagram feeds.
Indy Eleven has set the standard in USL Academy play at the Boys U-19 level over the past two years, its dominance beginning last year with an East-Central Division title following the Academy League’s inaugural regular season and last December’s Academy League Final title-winning run. The Boys in Blue outscored their four premier opponents by a 10-2 margin en route to racking up four consecutive wins, culminating in a 3-0 triumph in the Championship over Queensboro FC at Al Lang Stadium. The U-19’s followed that up with another trophy-lifting performance this past April in the USL Academy Cup in Tampa, capturing the tournament title over Tampa Bay United via a penalty shootout win that followed a 2-2 draw after regulation and added extra time.
Established in 2019, the USL Academy program provides an elite youth platform to offer United Soccer League member clubs in the Championship, League One, and League Two. The setup comprises three key components – the Academy Cup, the Academy League, and USL Academy contracts – that allow clubs to develop a more clearly defined path for top youth prospects in their area to reach the professional level and sign directly with their senior team.