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.”
- 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.