Missed Goals: Indiana Soccer Teams That Folded

In April, Indianapolis learned the name of its new professional soccer franchise: Indy Eleven. Here’s a list of Indiana soccer teams that have come—and failed—before it.

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They came. They kicked. They folded.

Maybe the new Indy Eleven squad will fare better.

Indiana Tigers (1973–74)
Known as the Gary Tigers in its first year, this pro team had a disappointing record of 8-5-20 over the course of two seasons in the now-defunct American Soccer League (ASL).

Indianapolis Daredevils (1978–79)
Indy’s first pro team played two seasons in the ASL. Formerly the New England Oceaneers, the Daredevils (above left) won 16 of 52 matches after moving here.

Fort Wayne Flames (1986–89)
Back-to-back last-place finishes in the American Indoor Soccer Association contributed to the Northern Indiana franchise folding after only three seasons.

Indiana Twisters (1996–97)
The Indy-based Twisters of the Continental Indoor Soccer League qualified for the playoffs in their second season. The league collapsed just months later.

Indiana Blaze (1997–2001)
The women’s team of Indy competed in the W-League for five seasons, finishing in third place in 2000. The owner suspended operations to focus on the Indiana Blast.

Jamar Beasley (Photo courtesy Chicago Fire)Indiana Blast (1997–2004)
They had the best record in the D3 Pro League in 1998, and Jamar Beasley (right), once of the MLS Chicago Fire, played in 21 games in 2003. But a revolving door of head coaches hampered the Indy club’s success.

Indiana Invaders (1998–2011)
Before packing up, the Invaders, based in South Bend, strung together five straight winning seasons in the early 2000s, and current MLS defender Justin Morrow made eight appearances in 2007, scoring one goal.

Fort Wayne Fever (2003–09)
The soccer club had both a pro men’s team and a pro women’s side. The organization had a history of successful youth teams before going pro and returned to amateur competition after the 2009 season.

Indianapolis Braves (2007)
The Braves compiled an unimpressive 4-6 record in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), which nonetheless put it a notch above the other Indiana NPSL team founded that year.

 

Daredevils photo courtesy George Perry; Beasley photo courtesy Chicago Fire.

This article appeared in the July 2013 issue.

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