Eleven Add Pair of Midfielders
May 16, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
INDY ELEVEN PRESS RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Eleven Professional Soccer bolstered its roster with a pair of midfielders today, acquiring Blake Smith on loan from Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact and making official the signing of Kevin Rozo. Per club policy, terms of both deals will not be disclosed.
Today’s moves bring the Indy Eleven roster to 23 players, and both Smith and Rozo will be eligible for selection by Head Coach Juergen Sommer for Saturday’s contest against Ottawa Fury FC at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET kickoff, live on MyINDY-TV 23).
“Bringing in Blake and Kevin provides us with more options in midfield and some depth,” said Indy Eleven President/General Manager Peter Wilt. “At this point in our season we look forward to the added energy and competition these two players will provide every day in training and on game days.”
The 23-year-old Smith joins Indy Eleven after a season and some change with the Montreal Impact, which selected the University of New Mexico product with the 8th overall selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
“Blake brings great experience for a young professional,” said Sommer. “He’s a player looking for first-team minutes to further his development, and he will certainly be in the mix to get those minutes with us right from the start.”
The left-sided midfielder tallied two goals and an assist in 16 appearances – all off the bench – during his rookie season last year and has also seen the field as a substitute in three matches this season for L’Impact.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to join Indy Eleven and the chance to earn my time on the field,” said the 23-year-old Smith. “I’ve done my homework on the club and think I can come in and help the team out and fight for some wins.”
Rozo officially gained his spot on the squad today after training with Indy Eleven since the waning weeks of the NASL side’s preseason. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder brings a well-traveled background in tow, as the Miami-born Rozo spent four years as a teenager with the youth development set-up of Colombian outfit Millonarios in addition to stints with the famed youth academy of Argentine side River Plate, the United States Under-17 Men’s National Team and the Colombian U-20 MNT.
“Kevin is another young, dynamic player that will bring some depth and daring to our midfield,” said Sommer. “He’s a guy that has been through a lot with his injury situation over the last year, but he’s come in and proven he’ll put in the work to get better and fight for playing time.”
Rozo has been sidelined for nearly a year after suffering a groin injury while training in Portugal last spring and has been continuing his recovery with Indy Eleven in recent months.
“I’m happy to be here with Indy Eleven and looking forward to contributing the team this season,” said Rozo. “The reception the team has received thus far has been outstanding and I think this will be a great place to continue my career.”
#20 KEVIN ROZO
Weight: 160 lbs.
Date of Birth: Nov. 1, 1994 in Miami, FL
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia
Last Club: Millonarios (Colombia)
Acquired: Signed on May 13, 2014
#19 BLAKE SMITH
Weight: 150 lbs.
Date of Birth: Jan. 17, 1991 in El Paso, TX
Hometown: Boerne, Texas
College: University of New Mexico (NCAA)
Last Club: Montreal Impact (MLS)
Acquired: Via loan from Montreal Impact on May 13, 2014