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THE MORNING TEA – Indy Puts Words into Action with Bail Project Donation

By NICHOLAS MURRAY -, 08/05/20, 7:30AM EDT


Take a look ahead at an intriguing slate of midweek action; Louisville breaks ground on new facility

Week 7 in the Championship continues with four Eastern Conference clashes tonight, but first up we take a look at Indy Eleven’s latest move to make an impact off the field. Here’s your Morning Tea for Wednesday.



USL Championship clubs like the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Birmingham Legion FC and New Mexico United have gone beyond words and put into action their support for organizations and initiatives working to remove roadblocks that have arisen for minorities through systemic racism in society.

On Tuesday, Indy Eleven joined them as it announced it would make a contribution to The Bail Project’s National Revolving Bail Fund made from proceeds generated from sales and auctions of shirts recognizing the Black Lives Matter movement that players have worn in pregame warmups this season.

Aimed at combating the racial and economic disparities in the bail system, The Bail Project is an unprecedented effort to combat mass incarceration at the front end of the system. The national nonprofit provides free bail assistance and community-based pretrial support for thousands of low-income Americans every year, reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence.

“After being introduced to The Bail Project and learning more about their mission, Indy Eleven is proud to support the direct impact they make for citizens of Indianapolis and beyond in regards to combating systemic racism,” Indy Eleven Chief Executive Officer and President Greg Stremlaw said in a statement announcing the move.

The Bail Project has been one of the national initiatives that has seen significant support during the peaceful protests that remain ongoing in the United States. Speaking in July with CBS News, the organization’s CEO Robin Steinberg estimated donations have helped replenish the fund to the tune of $15 million.

To date, The Bail Project has secured freedom for more than 11,000 people in over 20 cities across the United States, including Indianapolis. It has also established relationships with community partners to advance systemic change.

For Indy, it’s another step forward in making the change the club hopes to see more of in the future.

“We are continuing to listen, learn, and discuss ways to promote racial equality and social justice both inside and outside our organization,” said Stremlaw. “Working directly with Indy Eleven’s internal Diversity and Inclusion Committee, this donation is merely the latest example of these efforts, and we vow to seek more actions and partnerships that will benefit our city in the weeks, months and years ahead.”



Philadelphia Union II vs. New York Red Bulls II

Group F

5:00 p.m. ET |
Venue: Subaru Park Predictor: PHI Wins 20% | Draw 22% | NY Wins 58%
Group F
The Gist: The Red Bulls II will look for their third consecutive victory when they visit the Union II, with the hosts having struggled to find form since the resumption of the season. Philadelphia has lost each of its past four games, including a 5-1 defeat to the Red Bulls II on July 22 that appeared to get New York’s season back on track. The Red Bulls II have since claimed a 2-1 win against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which moved the side into a three-way race for the two playoff positions in Group F. Another win would see New York keep pace with rivals Hartford Athletic and Riverhounds SC in what is shaping up to be a very good race.

Atlanta United 2 vs. Charleston Battery

Group H

7:30 p.m. ET |
Venue: Fifth Third Bank Stadium Predictor: ATL Wins 25% | Draw 26% | CHS Wins 49%
Group H
The Gist: Atlanta will look to build on its first victory of the season, while the Battery will hope to rebound when they meet for the third time this campaign on Wednesday night. Charleston suffered its second defeat of the season on Friday night, falling 2-0 to the Tampa Bay Rowdies as the club’s attack couldn’t quite find its range despite good passages of play at Al Lang Stadium. It returns to Fifth Third Bank Stadium looking for a third win out of three against Atlanta, which it defeated 3-0 on home turf on July 24 when the sides last met. Atlanta is coming off a 4-3 victory against Miami last Wednesday night, however, and will be looking to pull itself level with Charleston on points with a win of its own. It will need to do so without leading scorer Jackson Conway, however, who serves a one-game suspension for two cautionable offenses against Miami.
Discipline: Atlanta - Suspended: Jackson Conway
Discipline: Charleston - Suspended: Jarad van Schaik

Birmingham Legion FC vs. Charlotte Independence

Group G

8:00 p.m. ET |
Venue: BBVA Field Predictor: BHM Wins 41% | Draw 28% | CLT Wins 31%
Group G
The Gist: Legion FC returns to home turf looking to bounce back from its first defeat of the season as it hosts a Charlotte Independence side that will kick off an arduous segment of its schedule at BBVA Field. The Independence have picked up four points from their opening two games, but now face a run of four games in 11 days that could have a major bearing on its playoff chances. If Charlotte can take victory, however, it would move level on points with Birmingham, but Legion FC has been stellar on home turf so far this campaign and will be wanting to get back on track after a 1-0 defeat to North Carolina FC.
Discipline: Birmingham - Suspended: Bolu Akinyode

Saint Louis FC vs. Sporting Kansas City II

Group E

8:00 p.m. ET |
Venue: West Community Stadium Predictor: STL Wins 62% | Draw 23% | SKC Wins 15%
Group E
The Gist: Sporting can complete a remarkable eight-day run if it can take victory against Saint Louis, with the visitors to West Community Stadium on Wednesday night coming off back-to-back road victories against Louisville City FC and Indy Eleven in the past week. SKC II handed Indy its first regular season defeat at Lucas Oil Stadium in more than two years this past Saturday with a 1-0 win that saw Danny Barbir score the only goal, moving the side off the bottom of the Group E standings. Saint Louis, meanwhile, is hoping to rebound from its second loss of the season in Memphis on Saturday night, but STLFC has been a far stronger proposition at home than on the road so far this season, winning both of its games in front of its home fans this season.




- Louisville City FC broke ground on its new 30,000 square foot training facility on Tuesday afternoon, and WDRB’s John Lewis caught up with LouCity Head Coach John Hackworth to talk about the new project, and what promises to be one of the biggest games of the week as Indy Eleven visits Lynn Family Stadium on Saturday.

- North Carolina FC's Hadji Barry is paying tribute to his father on his jersey this season, which now reads “Baba” instead of “Barry” across the back for his Guinean dialect's word for father. The Conakry, Guinea native dedicated his first season with NCFC to his father, who recently passed away in their home country.

- Saint Louis FC kicks off a key stretch in its bid to reach the Championship Playoffs on Wednesday night when it hosts Sporting Kansas City for the first of three consecutive games at West Community Stadium. STLFC has lost only five times at home since the start of the 2018 season and is looking to bounce back from a narrow loss on the road against Memphis 901 FC this past Saturday.

- Birmingham Legion FC’s Bruno Lapa has got out to a flying start to his first professional career. Ahead of Legion FC’s clash with the Charlotte Independence on Wednesday night, the Three Honest Lads podcast caught up with the former League Two standout.

- Sporting Kansas City II is on a roll after victories against Louisville City FC and Indy Eleven, looking more like the side that won back-to-back Western Conference titles in the club’s first two seasons. The Blue Testament’s Nathan Dunn looks ahead at another big game on the road at Saint Louis FC on Wednesday night.

- New Mexico United has been on a hot run of form since returning to action last month, going four games undefeated to move to the top of Group C ahead of Saturday's clash with Phoenix Rising FC. With a handful of new players making important contributions, United Head Coach Troy Lesesne has been very happy with the culture that has grown within the squad that has manifested itself not only on the field but during the club's travels.

- Reno 1868 FC’s Christian Francois was voted the Championship’s Player of the Week on Tuesday, also marking the second time the Haiti international has been named to the Team of the Week this season.

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