INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Eleven announced its first roster moves of the offseason on Wednesday with 2018 USL Championship All-League selection Ayoze Garcia and captain Matt Watson among six players confirmed to return to the side for the 2019 campaign after helping the side reach the USL Cup Playoffs in its first season in the league.
Joining Ayoze and Watson are goalkeeper Jordan Farr, midfielders Nico Matern and Ben Speas, and forward Eugene Starikov. The club also announced it had declined options on midfielders Amass Amankona, Nathan Lewis, Zach Steinberger and Seth Moses.
The Eleven also announced loan arrangements with goalkeepers Owain Fon Williams (Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Scotland) and Ben Lundgaard (Columbus Crew, Major League Soccer); and forwards Elliot Collier (Chicago Fire, Major League Soccer) and Diego Campos (Chicago Fire, Major League Soccer) have concluded and those players have returned to their parent clubs.
“We’re excited to move into next season with a number of dynamic players that brought success to Indy Eleven in 2018,” said Indy Head Coach Martin Rennie. “The club is working hard to continue adding quality players to the strong returning roster.”
Ayoze was named earlier this month to the All-League Second Team after a standout first year with Indy that saw the fullback record eight assists – tied for 13th in the league – while also notching four goals. The Spaniard led the Eleven with 59 key passes and 48.8 passes per 90 minutes and finished second with 48 interceptions and 196 duels won at a success rate of 61.1 percent.
Watson finished second on the team with five assists while also recording 29 key passes and one goal in his first season with the Eleven. Starikov, meanwhile, scored six goals at an average of a goal every 200.2 minutes, the best scoring rate on the team.
Further announcements regarding additional returning players for 2019, along with new signings, will be announced in the coming weeks.