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Pro Soccer Draft and Team Come to Indy

Indy is abuzz with soccer representatives from across the country, all of them getting ready for Major League Soccer’s SuperDraft and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s (NSCAA) annual convention, both taking place this week.

The two organizations typically hold these annual events in the same host city. “It is the best opportunity for representatives from all levels of the game to commune in one room and celebrate the rite of passage as players go from the amateur to the professional ranks,” MLS spokesperson Will Kuhns tells IM.

The state might have some of its own drafted into the big leagues during Thursday’s SuperDraft at the Indiana Convention Center, broadcast on ESPN3 and ESPNFC, with a live webcast on mlssoccer.com.

Among Indiana players who might make the jump from college to professional ball is IU sophomore—and recent national champion—Eriq Zavaleta, who has decided to forgo the remainder of his college career, hoping he can play with the big boys instead.

Another hopeful Indiana player, Dillon Powers, lives up to his last name. The Notre Dame senior is ranked second among the SuperDraft’s Top 10: Best Holding Midfielders.

Indianapolis soccer fans are also looking past this week’s draft excitement in anticipation of spring 2014, when a new professional team from Indianapolis will join the North American Soccer League. While the club will start out in the minor-league NASL, organizers want eventually to represent the city in top-tier MLS. Fans interested in naming and/or choosing the team’s colors will be able to weigh in at indyprosoccer.com.

Local developer Ersal Ozdemir, president of the Keystone Group, is behind plans for the new pro team. Ozdemir, accompanied by Governor Mike Pence and Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Deron Kitner, is expected to reveal more details today at a 3 p.m. press conference at the JW Marriott.

Photos: Eriq Zavaleta, via iuhoosiers.com; Dillon Powers, via und.com.