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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

Indy Eleven adds former Hoosiers

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In the latest of this week’s flurry of moves involving IU alumni in professional soccer, Indy Eleven announced the signing of former Hoosiers Brad Ring and Mike Ambersley on Wednesday.

The North American Soccer League club added to its growing roster with Wednesday’s additions during a press conference held at Assembly Hall’s I-Lounge.
Ring and Ambersley mark the ninth and 10th players to sign in the club’s yearlong history.

“Adding Mike Ambersley and Brad Ring not only gives our roster two more starting-caliber players, it also strengthens the bonds to the finest soccer program in the country,” said Peter Wilt, club president and general manager. “Indiana University has provided soccer fans across Indiana championships to celebrate on a regular basis and has done so with great integrity, and that’s the blueprint Indy Eleven will strive to follow.”

Ring and Ambersley bring a combined 14 years of professional playing experience to Head Coach Juergen Sommer’s growing roster.

A native of Rockford, Ill., Ring played at IU under Coach Mike Freitag from 2005-08 before joining Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes in the second round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

As a Hoosier, he was named to the All-Big Ten first team in 2007 and 2008 and was named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given annually to the country’s top collegiate player.

After sitting out the 2009 season with a hip injury, Ring made 37 appearances with the Earthquakes, playing primarily as a defensive midfielder.

He was traded to the Portland Timbers in September 2013, but played only one minute with the club before his move to Indy Eleven.

Ring said that he was eager to join the Indy Eleven since hearing about the team.

“I was very excited when I heard Indiana was getting a professional soccer team, and I knew I had to be a part of it,” Ring said. “I am very grateful to be joining Indy Eleven for its inaugural season and anxious to get out on the field with my teammates. Indiana has felt like home to me, and I can’t wait to play in front of Hoosier fans again.”

At 30 years old, Amberseley will become the second-oldest player on Indy’s roster after 31-year-old Kristian Nicht, a goalkeeper who marked the club’s first signing in October.

He donned the Cream and Crimson from 2001-05, playing under Freitag and former IU Coach Jerry Yeagley.

The St. Louis native’s penalty kick in the penalty shootout phase of the 2004 College Cup Final sealed IU’s seventh national championship.

After his four years in Bloomington, Ambersley signed with and was released by two professional clubs before embarking on a career that has seen him make 148 appearances for five clubs over the past seven years.

His longest tenure with one club came with the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies from 2011-13.

Ambersley scored 19 goals in 60 appearances for Tampa Bay before being traded to Minnesota United Football Club in August 2013.

Ambersley said the opportunity to play for Sommer, a fellow IU alumnus, excites him.

“I am really excited to be a part of Indy Eleven and to play for two highly regarded coaches in Juergen Sommer and (assistant coach) Tim Regan,” he said. “This is an organization with high expectations for the team, and that is something that motivates me as a player.”

Both players made appearances for the United States’ U-20 National Team during their IU tenures. The two former-Hoosiers combined to play in nine games with the club.
Indy Eleven will begin its inaugural season April 12 in Indianapolis against the Carolina RailHawks.

Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.

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