INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023) – Indy Eleven has announced Academy standout Diego Sanchez as its most recent first-team signing ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season. Per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed, and status is pending league and federation approval. The Indianapolis native has spent three seasons (2021-23) with the first team on a USL Academy Contract and has seen action in a pair of matches. He signed his initial academy contract on Aug. 9, 2021. Heading into the 2023 season, Sanchez was one of 19 players to sign USL Academy Contracts with Indy Eleven and is the second to sign with the first team.
“Obviously it’s a lot of emotions right now,” said Sanchez. “I’m at a loss of words to be honest with it, but I’m glad that it’s finally come. I’ve been working for it for quite some time, put in a lot of effort… I’m just glad I’m able to put the pen to the paper and make my dream come true.
“Thank you to all my coaches, all the players, all the teams that I’ve been on. It’s been a journey… I’m happy to be a professional soccer player.”
At the Academy level, Sanchez helped lead the club to a USL Academy League Championship in 2021, while being selected as one of four Indy Eleven players to the all-tournament first team. The club also won USL Academy Cup Championships in 2022 and 2023, with Sanchez being named to the Boys Best XI in 2023.
This season, the Pro Academy boasted an 11-0-1 regular season record and will make a trip to the 2023 Academy League Playoffs December 7-10 in Tampa, Florida. “One of the things we’re trying to produce is more trailblazers,” said Indy Eleven Academy Director Kiki Wallace. “We want all the kids in the Academy dreaming big, and as they get older those dreams might settle down and become a little bit more realistic with where they are and what the next step is, but… we want them dreaming of being professional footballers and breaking through here at Indy Eleven.
“It’s fantastic to have Diego continuing down that path because just like guys before him fueled the dream he’s now pursuing, he’s now fueling the dream for the next generation coming up behind him.”
Indy Eleven Roster as of 11-28-23 Goalkeepers (1): Yannik Oettl Defenders (5): Danny Barbir, Younes Boudadi, Callum Chapman-Page, Adrian Diz Pe, Macauley King Midfielders (4): Jack Blake, Cam Lindley, Aodhan Quinn, Diego Sanchez Forwards (1): Sebastian Guenzatti