Preseason for the Boys in Blue is quickly approaching us on the calendar. Before we know it February will be here and in the middle of the month Indy Eleven players will gather in Indianapolis to begin preparations for their 2016 season. A trip to warm-weather Casa Grande in Arizona is on their agenda, as discussed by Coach Tim Hankinson on the most recent episode of 1070 AM’s Soccer Saturday. Hankinson also revealed on the show that exhibition matches against the professional clubs Orange County Blues, Ottawa Fury FC, St. Louis FC, Louisville City FC, and FC Cincinnati are likely to occur, as well as matches against a few yet-to-be named university sides.
In addition to sharing the basics of the Eleven’s preseason preparations, Hankinson added a few of his thoughts on the nearly-complete roster. Currently 19 signed players have been revealed to fans and according to Hankinson the team plans to have about 22 players rostered for the start of the season. An unidentified signing at left fullback was announced in the interview, which will bring the roster to 20 when revealed. The coach added that he feels they have a need for more attacking players on the wing and at forward. (According to an early January news item in the Jamaican Observer, Dino Williams is one of our new attacking players, however the club has been silent on this.) Hankinson also said a few trialists will join them during their preseason (Dino, maybe?) and presumably one or two from this group will join as the final pieces of the Spring roster.
At Brew Wallace we love unfounded speculation, and with the roster nearly complete let’s take a look at and make some guesstimates about the depth chart. A lot can and will change between now and the opening day kickoff but nothing is stopping us from making (il)logical guesses as to the current pecking order in certain positions.