Indy Eleven allows contact at practice following COVID-19 testing, eyes 2020 season re-start

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Eleven played one game before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the United Soccer League’s season.

On March 7, Indy won at Memphis, 4-2.

“Not only was it a great win, but we actually broke a bunch of franchise records,” said Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie. “It was the first time in the history of the club that we came back from two-nil to win the game. I think also the first time the team has scored four goals on the road.”

Indy hopes to rediscover that momentum in two or three weeks on July 11 or July 18. Rennie told CBS4 the league is deciding between those dates to re-start the revamped 16-game regular season.

Those 16 games are expected to play over a 13-week span through the first week of October. A single-elimination playoff format follows.

“A big factor or us and for most people in the world is not being able to dwell too much on things changing or things not being the way we would like them to be,” Rennie said. “I think whoever can do that in the world at the moment are going to come out on top.”

Rennie told CBS4 players and coaches were tested for COVID-19 a week ago. Once the team got the all-clear, contact has been allowed at practice.

“That changes what we can do quite a lot,” Rennie said. “That allows us to play full squad training, 11 versus 11.”

Rennie said it is unclear at this time whether fans will be able to attend the team’s eight regular season home games at Lucas Oil Stadium this season, but he is hopeful.

“Lucas Oil is a huge stadium, so there will be opportunities to keep everybody safe,” he said. “Still able to enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy the game, but still keep distance from others.”

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