Indy Eleven kicked off a week full of roster news today by announcing captain and midfielder Matt Watson has re-signed with the club for the 2020 season. Per club policy, terms of the contract that brings Watson back for his third season with the Boys in Blue – and his 15th season in professional soccer – will not be released.
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to play another season for Indy Eleven,” said Watson. “Indy is starting to feel like home and having roots somewhere and some familiarity is comforting – and also somewhat of a luxury in this job.
“After this last season it definitely feels like we have some unfinished business, and I cannot wait to make another run at the USL Championship,” continued Watson. “We made a big leap forward last year and we are chiseling out something special. It’s a good feeling to be surrounded by such excellent footballers every day and playing an exciting brand of football, so I’m really excited for 2020!”
Watson adapted to a “super-sub” role for Indiana’s Team in 2019, starting eight of his 32 appearances across USL Championship regular season and postseason action. The versatile veteran spent most of his time last season at different spots across the midfield, but he also contributed minutes at forward en route to scoring one goal on the season. During his first season in Indy in 2018, Waston contributed a goal and five assists in his 31 games (25 starts).
“Matt Watson’s professionalism, skill, and leadership are qualities that you simply cannot have enough of around your squad,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Martin Rennie. “Matt provides us a steady and calming influence both on the field and in our locker room, and we are thrilled to have him lead for another season in 2020.”
The native of Redditch, England, was one of the first pieces added to the Eleven roster upon the appointment of Rennie as the club’s head coach and general manager in early 2018, with Indy marking the third stop where the player and coach have connected across their careers in North American soccer. Prior to playing in Indianapolis, Watson suited up for numerous clubs during 12 seasons spent across Major League Soccer (Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Chicago Fire SC), the United Soccer League (Phoenix Rising, Richmond Kickers and North Carolina FC) and the North American Soccer League (Carolina RailHawks).
Watson joins the newly re-signed Rennie and a core of seven fellow veterans as confirmed returnees for the 2020 season. Indy Eleven plans to announce another piece of roster news each day throughout the rest of this week, including its first new signing of the offseason.
Indy Eleven fans can guarantee their return for every game at Lucas Oil Stadium next year as well by securing a 2020 Season Ticket Membership, available now at IndyEleven.com/season-tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.
Goalkeeper: Evan Newton
Defender: Paddy Barrett, Neveal Hackshaw, Karl Ouimette
Midfielder: Tyler Gibson, Kenney Walker, Matt Watson
Forward: Ilija Ilic