Indianapolis’ professional soccer team will begin playing against a new set of opponents later this year. The United Soccer League announced Wednesday the addition of the Indy Eleven for the 2018 season.
The team was previously a part of the North American Soccer League, which announced earlier this week that it was canceling its 2018 spring season.
The USL says the addition of the Indy Eleven will grow the regional rivalries within the league, which also has teams in Cincinnati and Louisville. Indy Eleven Owner Ersal Ozdemir says the team is excited to begin a new chapter in the club’s history.
"The USL’s remarkable growth on and off the field the past few years has gotten the attention of soccer fans everywhere," Ozdemir said in a news release. "We look forward to helping the league continue this momentum as its visibility continues to rise both in the United States and around the world."
The Indy Eleven is one of six teams joining the USL for the 2018 season. The other teams include Fresno FC, Las Vegas Lights FC, Nashville SC, North Carolina FC and ATL UTD 2. Another new team from Memphis will join the league in 2019.
In November, Major League Soccer announced Indianapolis was not one of four finalists for two expansion franchise spots, however the city would remain in consideration for another round of two expansion franchises at a later date. Indy Eleven President Jeff Belskus said the team would continue the push to bring Major League Soccer to Indy, a process which would include a new stadium.