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Indy Eleven follow New York Cosmos lead, will field NPSL side

New York Cosmos

In 2016, the New York Cosmos won't be the only North American Soccer League side to field an NPSL side. On Monday, Indy Eleven FC announced that they'd be following suit, creating Indy Eleven NPSL, which will take part in 2016.

Indy's decision to join the NPSL in order to help develop young talent reaffirms their status as one of the NASL's best run clubs, despite the lack of any significant on-pitch success to this point. President and GM Peter Wilt spoke about what the club hope to accomplish by joining the NPSL on Monday:

"The addition of Indy Eleven NPSL will deepen Indy Eleven’s connections with the top collegiate programs and players across the country, with a particular focus on the Midwest. Indy Eleven will provide the resources necessary to make the successful program Mark Webber and John Simmonds have built in the last two years even stronger."

Before joining forces with the Eleven, the NPSL side was known as Indiana Fire NPSL, and had two very good seasons. GM Mark Webber spoke about the reasoning for the change of partnership, moving on from the Fire, and getting together with Indy:

"Our NPSL team has had outstanding partners in the Chicago Fire and Indiana Fire Juniors the last two years. The guidance and financial support from the Fire and talent provided by Indiana Fire players has been an invaluable part of our initial success. This new relationship with Indy Eleven expands our organization to a ‘State of Indiana team’ as opposed to a team embodied by one club."

Head Coach John Simmonds expanded on Webber's comments as well:

"Developing a partnership with Indy Eleven, Indiana’s only professional soccer organization, is an exciting development for our team. This relationship will help significantly as we continue to identify college players and other amateurs who have the potential to move up the professional ranks, starting from the NPSL level."

"2016 will be a landmark season for Indy Eleven NPSL as we begin this new partnership with Indy Eleven, prepare to compete in our first U.S. Open Cup game and defend our NPSL Midwest Region championship."

As a midwest regional club, it's unlikely that Cosmos B will meet Indy Eleven NPSL, unless it occurs during the playoffs. The NPSL has adopted regional play in order to minimize travel expenses, and given the number of teams in the league, and the size of the country, that decision makes loads of sense.

Regardless of whether or not Cosmos B ever meet Indy Eleven NPSL, however, it's good to see another NASL side looking to improve their player development strategy. Well done, Indy.