Web Spotlight: LC grads try out for new Indy pro soccer team
By Brian Peloza Post-Tribune correspondent September 11, 2013 10:44PM
Lake Central graduate Fabian Urquiza (red jersey) works to get past a defender during Indy Eleven open tryouts on Friday. | Brian Peloza/for the Post-Tribune
Updated: September 11, 2013 10:54PM
INDIANAPOLIS — Adam Misirly and Fabian Urquiza hope their winding journeys pursuing a professional soccer career will soon return them close to home.
The Lake Central graduates were part of a 32-player group that participated in open tryouts on Friday for Indy Eleven, a new professional soccer franchise that will begin play in 2014 in the North American Soccer League.
It was the third and final session of open tryouts and Indy Eleven head coach Juergen Sommer said “we probably found five to six guys that we really like and will continue to build the team with.”
Urquiza learned of the first tryout session for Indy Eleven while finishing his season playing for a team in Argentina.
“I was pretty bummed,” said Urquiza, a 6-foot-4 forward. “I thought I had missed the opportunity, but I found out there was another round so I jumped on the opportunity. ... It would be pretty awesome to make the team. It would be great to be wit the start of something new and help build a foundation.”
Misirly and Urquiza’s careers at Lake Central coincided with the Indians’ current 10-year sectional championship streak. Since graduating — Misirly in 2009, Urquiza in 2010 — each have spent time overseas.
Urquiza played for Valparaiso University for two seasons, transferring to Indiana where hopes of walking onto the team never materialized. He played for a team in Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this year after previously training in the preseason with the Portland Timbers of the MLS.
He returned from Argentina to finish his education at Indiana, despite having a contract “on the table” to play there.
“The soccer is phenomenal,” Urquiza said, “but living there in the other 20 hours of the day is a little rough.”
Misirly immediately left for Germany after graduating from Lake Central, spending the past three years playing for amateur teams there and in Chicago during the summers. He began playing for SC Perchtoldsdorf, a lower-level team in Austria, in January.
All of that international experience didn’t quite prepare him for the Indy Eleven tryouts.
“In Europe there is usually a team already set up and you’re invited to try out and it’s only one person, with all eyes on you, to see how you fit,” said Misirly, a defender. “Here there are so many people for so many open places it’s kind of different. My mentality was to play how I know how to play, and whatever happens, happens.”
Indy Eleven will conduct extended training with selected players later this month and into October, Sommer said. The team will open with a 23-to-25-man roster.
“We want to look for guys we know fans are going to want to come out and see play,” Sommer said. “They may need to have some physical and athletic abilities, along with the technical piece.”
Outside of physical talent, Sommer and his staff were paying close attention to how “professional” players approached the tryouts, from arrival time to handling the stretching routines to team chemistry.
“Some people have it and some people don’t,” Sommer said. “There are a lot of intangibles that don’t have anything to do with a soccer ball that matter.”