- Rebecca Townsend
- Indy Eleven coaching staff met prospective team members with a variety of fitness, technical and creative challenges. Goalkeeper Nathan Sprenkel of Dyer, Ind., runs a sprinting drill.
Step by step, Head Coach Juergen Sommer moves closer to selecting the players who will take the field for Indy Eleven in its inaugural season, which kicks off next spring.
On the first day of the second round of player tryouts, Sommer took a few minutes to speak with NUVO about the team-building process.
Out of the 36-player pool that participated in last week's first-round tryouts, 10 players returned this week at the team's request for further evaluation. NUVO featured four of those players - Andres Acosta, Rosen Kaptiev, Robbie Lynch and Nathan Sprenkel - in a July 18 report.
Another player returning this week - Perry Pantazopoulos - comes to Indy from Greece via Chicago and Mount Prospect, Ill.
Among the new players in the 37-man group that congregated at IUPUI's Carroll Stadium (where the team will play its home games next season), Francesco Giusti added a distinctly Italian flavor to the mix.
Marc-Herold Gracien, who traveled to Indy for tryouts from Paris, has soccer experience that spans at least three continents.
Finally, Anyelo Avila, who is originally from Panama but now lives in Indy, served as a reminder that even some of Indiana's existing talent pool has foreign roots; a meditation that dovetails nicely with the Indy Eleven mantra - "The World's Game, Indiana's Team."
To add to all the excitement surrounding Indy Eleven's team-building efforts, two of the world's best-known clubs - England's Chelsea and Milan's Inter - will face off Aug. 1 at Lucas Oil Stadium for an internationally televised match in the Guinness International Champions Cup. Visit IndyEleven.com for more information for season ticket deals and/or to hook up seats for the Chelsea/Inter match.