New pro soccer team to be called Indy Eleven

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Indianapolis’ pro soccer team doesn’t make its on-field debut until April 2014, but organizers on Thursday unveiled the club’s name: Indy Eleven.

Team owner Ersal Ozdemir announced the moniker and premiered the teams colors—red, white and navy blue—during an afternoon rally on Monument Circle that drew about 300 people. Mayor Greg Ballard and Indiana Soccer Association President Murray Clark attended the event.

Indy eleven rally 15colTeam executives unveiled the club's name and colors during Thursday's rally. (IBJ Photo/ Anthony Schoettle)

“We believe the inspiration and meaning behind the Indy Eleven identity will serve as a just reward for [fans’] loyalty for years to come,” said Ozdemir, president of local development firm Keystone Group.

The team will compete in the North American Soccer League, the top feeder league to Major League Soccer. IBJ first reported that Indianapolis soccer boosters were working on bringing a NASL franchise to the city; Ozdemir officially announced his plans in January.

The numerical name makes reference to the number of players soccer teams place on the field, but also has subtextual references to Indiana history.

Specifically, the number 11 recalls Indiana’s 11th Regiment in the Civil War, which posted significant contributions under the command of Hoosier-born Col. Lew Wallace. Wallace went on to author the literary classic “Ben Hur.”  

The symbolism extends to Indianapolis iconography as well. According to the team, the color scheme and the circled star at the point of the team’s crest echo that of the civic flag of Indianapolis, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in May.

The checkered background of the crest might at first seem a nod to Indianapolis’ longtime auto-racing culture, but also pays tribute to the Brickyard Battalion, the supporters group that proved vital in helping establish the team in Indianapolis.


  • Aired on TV?
    I'm so excited to here Indy will have it's own soccer team. I LOVE watching soccer, but never had the opportunity to follow a team. Could you please tell me if this will be aired on television with Direct TV? I live pretty far away and I don't want to miss a game!!!
  • Who will get more Folk?
    I predict Gen Con will get more attendees and bring in more money than this event.
    • What if 11 men arent on the field?
      Does that mean they will have to use Indy Ten or Nine..........Im not a sports fan but was watching the news tonight about the team tri-outs at IU. I never new the name of the team until tonight and I turned to my son and said, loudly, What in the $%#(% does Indy Eleven mean. My son responds with "I bet it is because the probably have eleven players. Now my son is not a sports fan either so he was just guessing. I said now one would be that stupid as to name a team after how many players on the field?! Correct? So, I ran to my trusty Google home page and a quick search revealed that, sure enough, some dork named the team after how many players on the field. I couldn't believe what I was reading....How in all of sports names can you name a team after the number of players you have on the field. They should have picked the name "Indy Number One"! I'm just do not see the reasoning here....
    • the number 11 recalls
      Specifically, the number 11 recalls Indiana’s 11th Regiment in the Civil War, which posted significant contributions under the Costume Accessories command of Hoosier-born Col. Lew Wallace. Wallace went on to author the literary classic “Ben Hur.”
    • Nickname
      [Lew] "Wallace trained the 11th Indiana in Zouave tactics and the regiment became known as Wallace's Zouaves. Some Zouave regiments wore a fez with a colored tassel." I know what I am wearing to the first match! Popcorn! Cold Beer! Get your Fez right here!
    • great name
      As a positive unintended consequence, the name will separate the wheat from the tares. Viva La Once!
    • Growing on me
      "Eleven" seems like a decent variation of soccer teams that just use "FC" (football club) or "AC" (translates to football club) in their names. Kinda like it actually.
    • chill
      Within three years the name will be as forgotten as the fighting eleventh. Unless we are paying the Keystone Group to build a soccer stadium. Come to think of it, a soccer stadium would be perfect for the Carmel mid-town area and Brainard is willing.
    • YO Eleven
      We can all pretend we are at the Craps table and yell.....YO Eleven!! (what a retarded name)
    • Who's on first?
      Having the team and players being described by a numbers reminds me of this comedy skit. Who made the goal? It was number 8 on number 11! Who is on first? http://youtu.be/Ii7KYM4oc38
    • The real reason behind "eleven"
      Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and... Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten? Nigel Tufnel: Exactly. Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder? Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where? Marty DiBergi: I don't know. Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven. Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder. Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder? Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.
    • The Indy Diez y Uno
      I have a new slogan for the city "Indy - We're Going Around in Circles!" Soccer, Cricket, Donkey Basketball. Indy is a minor league city with a major league inferiority complex.
    • Ouch
      Pretty terrible name unfortunately. I had big hopes earlier today but they were quickly erased when Indy Eleven was introduced. Why the consortium behind the team asked for fans to vote on a name is beyond me. It is now obvious they had no intentions of honoring any of the suggestions the people of this city made. For shame.
    • Soccer in Indy
      Great news, finaly we have team to call our own. Indy needs to support this team and great game of soccer. And what a great name easy and simple. Lets fo it 11
    • Love the Name
      I love the name! It's not cheesy like "cougars" or "tornados!" The name has historical meaning. Lets just be happy that we have a pro team in Indy!
    • Indy Eleven
      I think it will grow on people. I already kinda like it. Go Eleven!
    • Mascot Idea
      The mascot should be a pretty young lady in a toga with a torch.
    • Not too late
      Team named 11? I thought players had numbers, not teams. Can you imagine the announcer trying to indemnify players with teams on the radio/TV. It's not to late to change it to "Indy Regiment" or "Indy Volunteers" with the same back story meaning.
    • Spinal Tap
      Maybe it's a Spinal Tap reference! "It goes to 11".
    • Better than your names...
      Educated guess: most of the naysayers on the name won't attend a game anyway. Eleven has deep meanings in the soccer world, and it ties to some history of Indiana. Whether or not you recall the Indiana 11th Volunteer Regiment, it still exists, and ties the team to the legacy of one of Indiana's favorite sons, Lew Wallace. Admittedly, the name is different, but it will grow on soccer fans. The rest of you need not comment.
      • Team name
        I could cheer for the shortened "Indy", but cheering for a number 11 seems strange.
      • Ugh
        Another embarrassment for the city of Indianapolis.
      • Seriously?
        That name is about as creative as the multi-million dollar IU Health logo.
      • ROFL
        Good stuff, DonS. I just wonder where they got their "history" from? Their "research" is much more creative than their new team name.
      • great
        I love this name.Sounds great. Whoever thinks this name si bad, needs to look at the Fever. And keep in mind they won a championship with that horrible name.
      • Hate the name
        What was the point of asking the people of Indianapolis to suggest a name and colors when they chose this??!! NO ONE will understand what Indy Eleven means - sounds like the name if a convenience store to me rather than a professional soccer team.
      • what is an 11?
        Nice design but terrible name.
      • Growing on me
        I can see how this would be a head-scratcher at first, but this name is quickly growing on me. And I love the shield design.
      • What were they thinking?!
        What were they thinking with this name? I would like to know more about who selected this awful name. I can't get over what a misguided choice this is.
        • Disappointing
          I was so excited for this identity launch, but am very disappointed. It seems they got creative for creative's sake, forgetting to think about how fans can comprehend and rally behind the name. A common mistake in branding circles. If you wanted to reference the 11th Regiment, why not just call them the Indy Regiment. No need to get cute, when no one is able to make the leap with you. This is a step back in the momentum this team has had in ticket sales. Hopefully their on-field performance can overshadow this commoditized name.
        • Terrible name!
          I love the colors and crest, but what the heck is with the name? What Hoosier is going to know what 11 has any significance to the state? Who thought of this!?
          This is so disappointing! 11 - really! This is the best we can do? I can barely contain myself to see the mascot. Crew, Fire, RPM, Racers - something tied to the 500. Pacers, Colts, Indians and 11. Wow!!
        • Terrible Name
          It's such a bad name selection that I have to repeat my comment title- terrible name. I'm not a soccer fan and this does nothing but continue to turn me off to the sport.
        • Keystone
          Ersal Ozdemir don't care what we all have to say about this. All he has to do is make some more contributions to Mayor Ballard and VOILA....A city subsidized soccer team with a city subsidized venue. To go along with his city subsidized Broad Ripple parking garage, which he gets to keep ALL OF THE REVENUE.
        • poor choice
          What a poor choice for a team name. Rippler, there is a difference between this and team names such as the 49ers and 76ers. Those names have deep historical connections to their respective cities. You would be hard pressed to find more than 10 people in the entire city that would know what 11 stands for. Again, what a terrible choice and a marketing DISASTER!
        • numbers that make sense
          the 76ers and 49ers make sense. People in California were called 49'ers before there was a team. Maybe they should consider "Indianapolis 500" because they probably only have 500 fans!
        • Name
          What a poor name good colors thou
        • Team Mascot
          I found the mascot! http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-p2QL27xATVo/TzBiGCsLT3I/AAAAAAAAKCE/NDC4t3NHDkI/s1600/Count-Sesame-Street-1.jpg
        • "11"
          I'm all for Indiana history but I'll bet you if you asked 100 Hoosier the significance of "11" they'd walk away mumbling something. Maybe the Indiana Cougars after Mellencamp or the Indiana Birds after Larry....nice marketing fiasco.
        • Really?
          "The number recalls the Civil War regimen?" Yup - first thing I thought of! What about the 10th regiment? poor guys. I hope no one confuses this with the Kentuchy 11th Regiment!! Maybe this refers to State Road 11, or Indiana Title Code 11? or maybe the $11 they spent drinking beer to come up with such a stupid name! We have Colts and Pacers, so stick with the horse theme: Mavericks, Mustangs, Stallions.... “We believe the inspiration and meaning behind the Indy Eleven identity will serve as a just reward for [fans’] loyalty for years to come,” said Ozdemir. What does that mean! It is totally stupid. it's not too late....make a change. PLEASE!
          • Tiffany
            I know! What team name would have a number?!? Well, besides The 76ers. But that's it. Oh, well there's the 49ers too. But those teams will never go far. A number?? That's just too crazy for my midwest mind to handle.
            • terrible
              What a terrible, unoriginal name! But as we'll learn, since Ersal Ozdemir has Greg Ballard in his pocket, he will be able to do whatever he wants and the city will pay him MILLIONS.
            • Yikes
              Seems like they just randomly picked something historical that has to do with Indianapolis. I get the symbolism since soccer has 11 players but man, this name wasn't even a suggestion on their website. Didn't they say the name with the most votes would win?
            • Lame
              How disappointing! Just sounds weird and it's hard to get excited about a number! Is that really the best they could do? Sounds like a bunch of stuffed shirts got "creative" with that.
              • SIlly
                WHat happens when one of the players gets a red card? Will they have a 4 month commitee to decide on renaming them 10?
              • Who is in charge of this!
                11?? What does the mascot look like? I know there is the desire to be original. But sometimes a basic name that you can work with is important. The old arena football name - Firebirds - would have worked.
              • Hmmm....
                That is the best they could do? How about some imagination in the naming of a pro team for a change?
              • Really?
                Sorry - The name is a big zero for me.

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