Indy Eleven fans will be hoping for opportunities to fire up the smoke at Michael A. Carroll Stadium on Saturday as the club hosts its home opener against Las Vegas Lights FC. | Photo courtesy Matt Schlotzhauer / Indy Eleven
For Indy Eleven Head Coach Mark Lowry, the sight – and as importantly, the sound – of the club’s travelling support last Saturday during the club’s victory against Detroit City FC at Keyworth Stadium was even more impressive on second viewing.
As the club prepares for its home opener this weekend, it’s also something he hopes to see much more often this season.
“I heard them throughout the game, but I actually heard them more when I watched the game back,” Lowry said this week. “I heard a lot of our fans singing from the camera that we watched the game from, so that was fantastic. They were there, they had our backs in the wind and the rain and the snow. They were there pushing us, we’re so glad we could get the three points for them, give us something to cheer about, give them something to feel happy about when they travel that far.
“There was a lot of them. We want to make sure we give them those moments more often than not this season.”
WHERE YOU GO, WE WILL FOLLOW#indyforever pic.twitter.com/9fNGNWHiBM— Brickyard Battalion (@The_BYB) March 26, 2023
Lowry’s first season at the helm in Indy had ups and downs as the side landed 13 points outside the playoff positions in the Eastern Conference. Some of the results the side delivered at home, though, were among the most impressive of any side during the campaign. In consecutive late-August outings, the Boys in Blue posted victories at home against both 2022 USL Championship Final participants. The side first handed San Antonio FC its most recent defeat to date on August 27 before claiming the LIPAFC rivalry for a second consecutive year with a 2-1 victory against Louisville City FC four days later.
After picking up its first win of 2023 in Detroit last weekend to move to four points from two games, there’s a rightful sense of optimism as the side plays host at Michael A. Carroll Stadium for the first time this campaign.
Indy faces Las Vegas Lights FC on Saturday night for the first meeting between the clubs in the Championship aiming to build on its positive start. With Lights FC having picked up points in both of its road contests to start the season at Rio Grande Valley FC and Orange County SC, Lowry is expecting a well-organized visitor.
“Right now it looks like they’re pretty compact, pretty organized,” said Lowry. “They’re going to want to come spoil our party, just like we went to Detroit and spoiled the party there. … We need to make sure that doesn’t happen. We need to keep our standards high, keep pushing the guys to get better, our commitment to each other.”
For one of Indy’s players, the home opener will also mark a homecoming. Reacquired this offseason after spending 2022 in Colorado Springs, midfielder and Indiana native Cam Lindley is excited to return to Carroll Stadium to play in front of friends and family on Saturday.
Saturday will offer a contrast to the first time Lindley wore the club’s colors. Having signed for Indy prior to the 2020 season, the 25-year-old made 12 appearances for the side in front of empty stands during the abbreviated campaign. Having grown up playing at Carroll Stadium as a youngster, Lindley is hoping to rekindle some of those memories.
Indiana native Cam Lindley is familiar with Michael A. Carroll Stadium, having played there while coming through the youth ranks in the city. | Photo courtesy Jon DeBoer / Detroit City FC
“A lot of goals. Shocking, I know, to the fans,” Lindley said of memories playing at the stadium. “I scored a lot of goals there, but a lot of wins. Really true development as a player on that field.”
Part of a new-look lineup this season for the Boys in Blue alongside fellow midfielders Aodhan Quinn and Jack Blake and forwards Sebastian Guenzatti and Douglas Martinez Jr. – who made his debut for the side in Detroit – Lindley could be a key figure as Indy tries to continue its early-season momentum.
“The guys have set a standard for themselves now in these first two games of what it can look like and what it should look like every game,” said Lowry. “Their objective now is to make sure that we bring that to the Mike on Saturday, and we provide that level of quality and a level of control of the game and then go get three points.”