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A Club Update from Board President, Ken Yerkes

Dear Indiana Fire, Membership-

 

We are pleased to announce that starting in the fall season of 2024 your Club will be strengthening its partnership with our local pro club Indy Eleven.   As of July 1, 2024, all teams in our travel soccer programming will compete under the name of Indy Eleven Academy or Indy Eleven Pro Academy.  We remain the Westfield Youth Soccer Association, only our “dba” has changed.  Likewise, our status as the youth soccer “home team” at Grand Park remains unchanged, together with all rights and privileges.

 

This was the next logical progression in our collaborative relationship with Indy Eleven, which has been evolving over the past several years.  Some examples below:

  • Founding Member of Indy Eleven Recreational Program

  • Formed Indy Eleven Pro Academy for MLSNext and ECNL to align with Indy Eleven professional soccer in 2023.  As well as Eleven now owns a woman’s professional Super League team under the USL umbrella for future female playing opportunities.

  • Our organizations have informally partnered on pre professional programs such as the W League and NPSL. 

  • Indy Eleven Parent company, Indy Sports and Entertainment will be part of the group managing Grand Park and solidifying our home team status under one badge.


Aligning our whole club with Indy Eleven has been a natural progression.  For several years now we have shared coaches and players to enable both, and we look forward to competing for the badge of our local pro team and park partner. 


"The idea is to have every child put on a jersey that points them to our only professional club in Indiana.  The passion and ambition this gives players to someday play for or be a part of the professional soccer community is extremely important to us." -Phil Presser, Technical Director

 That said, I would be remiss if I did not recognize on behalf of our Board and Coaches we will always look back with gratitude on the support and expertise provided by the MLS Chicago Fire.  They partnered with us and shared their brand as we merged clubs and started our journey at the park and were steadfastly loyal to our mutual vision for our Club.  They now have made the strategic decision to grow their franchise using a different, more global model, and we wish them the all the best.  As Mark often has observed, “The Chicago Fire were an excellent best practice partner.”  That door closing, however, has opened the window of opportunity with the Eleven, and we are very excited about the growth and development potential with them in the years ahead.  The W league championship last year using the combined resources of Indy Eleven and our Club is just the tip of the iceberg. 

 

The only thing certain in life is change.  This is an exciting time for our club, our families, and soccer in Indiana.  The future is out there for all of us.


Best Regards,

Ken Yerkes

President, WYSA

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