Towering Cuban Center Back Finished Standout 2022 in USL Championship’s Top 10 in Numerous Defensive Categories
Indy Eleven began March by adding another important piece to its 2023 roster via the transfer acquisition of Cuban defender Adrián Diz Pe from FC Tulsa. Per club policy, terms of the deal that brings the five-year USL Championship veteran to Indiana’s Team will not be released, and the transfer will be finalized pending league and federation approval.
“I’m very happy to get the opportunity to be with a great club in Indy Eleven,” said Diz Pe, who has reported to the team’s Grand Park training center to begin practicing with his new squad. “I believe I’m in the right place and can add to a great team that can compete for a championship this season.”
Diz Pe (pronounced “deez pay”) joins the Boys in Blue after establishing himself as one of the Championship’s most dependable center backs while with FC Tulsa during the 2022 campaign. While notching career highs in games played (30), starts (28), and minutes (2,497), the towering 6’3” defender ranked among the league’s top 10 players in numerous defensive statistics last season including 144 possessions won in the defensive third (3rd), 129 clearances (5th), 83 aerial duels won (6th), 205 duels won (7th) and 71 tackles (10th).
“I’ve coached against Adrián for four seasons now, and each year his growth not only as a defender, but just as an overall footballer, has been evident,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Mark Lowry. “He brings a size and physicality that can hardly be matched in this league and will provide a different dynamic on the backline and as an attacker on set pieces. We’re thrilled to get to work with Adrián to help him grow even more as he enters the prime years of his career.”
During his five USL Championships seasons, Diz Pe has started 91 of his 102 appearances (including one start in three playoff matches) and notched three goals and five assists while suiting up for Portland Timbers 2 (2018-19), Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (2020), Rio Grande Valley Toros FC (2021), and FC Tulsa (2022). Prior to his run in the USL Championship, the Havana-born Diz Pe began his professional career playing for hometown side Ciudad de la Habana in 2012.
Diz Pe rose through the ranks of the Cuban National Team early in his career before defecting to the United States. He registered 13 senior caps for los leones del Caribe between 2012 and 2015, including appearances in the squad’s title run in the 2012 Caribbean Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying cycle, the 2015 Concacaf Gold Cup, and international friendlies. Diz Pe also made five appearances with Cuba’s U-17 team and eight caps for their U-20 side between 2011-13.
Below is the current roster of players currently under contact as Lowry’s squad heads into the final week of its 2023 preseason camp:
Goalkeepers: Yannik Oettl, Tim Trilk
Defenders: Younes Boudadi, Robby Dambrot, Adrián Diz Pe, Mechack Jerome, Gustavo Rissi, Jesus Vazquez
Midfielders: Jack Blake, Cam Lindley, Aodhan Quinn, Bryam Rebellon, Harrison Robledo, Diego Sanchez, Alann Torres
Forwards: Solomon Asante, Jonas Fjeldberg, Sebastian Guenzatti, Juan Tejada
The Eleven’s preseason will officially conclude this Friday, March 3, with an exhibition match against USL League One side Forward Madison FC before preparations begin in earnest for the side’s 2023 USL Championship season opener next Saturday, March 11, at the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Following another away affair at Detroit City FC on March 25, Indy Eleven will open its USL Championship home slate on Saturday, April 1, when it welcomes Las Vegas Lights FC to IUPUI Carroll Stadium for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff.
Tickets for all 17 home regular season contests as well as the Eleven’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Second Round clash against Michigan Stars FC on Wednesday, April 5, are on sale at indyeleven.com/tickets, where details on Season Ticket Memberships, specially-priced tickets and experiences for groups of 10 or more, and an expanded range of Hospitality options can be found. Fans can also learn more and order their seats by calling 317-685-1100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.