NASL Announces Four Additional Broadcast Partners, Blames Canada

Soccer: NASL Fort Launderdale Strikers at Ottawa Fury
September 12, 2015: Ottawa Fury versus the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the NASL at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, ON. The match finishing 0-0.

For the third time this week, the NASL and commissioner Bill Peterson hosted a league conference call from Manhattan to announce new television partners for the league’s upcoming 2016 season. With the latest announcement bringing the total broadcast partners to eight, fans of the upstart league will be certain to never miss any live action. Exact programming schedules still need to be determined but Peterson was able to share some details of the partnerships:

  • The world’s largest anime network, Crunchyroll, plans to feature a bi-monthly NASL match overlayed with an “Anime Filter.” This groundbreaking digital process will animate all of the on-field action. Peterson shared his enthusiasm about the technology, “We are especially excited about animating our matches as it will allow us to make our more experienced players, such as Indy Eleven’s Jon Busch or New York’s Juan Arango, appear much younger than they actually are.” Before releasing specific match information, league officials shared that they must first determine if “bi-monthly” means twice a month or every other month.
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Depth Chart Guesstimations

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.

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Waiting For GM: Possible Candidates for Front Office Vacancy

waiting-for-gm

Indy Eleven supporters were stung by the announcement this week that team president Peter Wilt would soon be leaving the franchise to focus his work on launching a new NASL club in Chicago. The high-energy and gregarious Wilt leaves large shoes to fill, to say the least.

The Eleven were able to snag a locally-prominent replacement from the metro area in Jeff Belskus. The former Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and IndyCar executive has been brought on board seemingly with one achievement in mind: secure support and funding from the city of Indianapolis and the Indiana General Assembly for a soccer-specific stadium. Without a doubt, Belskus has a rolling start on his key initiative and certainly has more connections and trust at the Indiana Statehouse than Wilt could garner in just a few seasons in the capitol city.

Belskus has previously helped to secure taxpayer funding to the tune of $100 million for the IMS and with service on the boards of the Indianapolis chamber of commerce and Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association he is connected at the right levels to carry out this assignment. The combination of Belskus with an owner as politically involved as Ersal Ozdemir will make a tough duo for the Republican supermajority to repeatedly reject. (However, the looming 2016 state-office elections may impact stadium funding more than anything these two can say or do.)

With a new team president signed and the obligatory offseason stadium talk out of the way, and with a few inches of snow and ice on the ground and little better to do, I think we should pass the rest of our time here speculating on Wilt’s replacement to oversee team management. And, while the number of available players and coaches is endless, the list of professional soccer executives in America seems small by comparison. There’s a chance we could nail this signing, so let’s dive in!

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