Indy Eleven Defender Nemanja Vukovic Named NASL Player of the Week
Montenegrin veteran scores goal, plays role in clean sheet to help Indy stay hot
NASL Soccer News: North American Soccer League (NASL) spring season has been spectacular — especially for Indy Eleven — which has officially rekindled the form it displayed last year when it captured the North American Soccer League (NASL) Spring Season Championship.
Indy Eleven defender Nemanja Vukovic has been named North American Soccer League (NASL) Player of the Week after starring in his club’s 2-0 win over Jacksonville Armada FC at Carroll Stadium on Saturday night.
The Montenegrin defender, who has been one of Indy’s most consistent players dating back to last year, contributed at both ends on Saturday. Vukovic opened the scoring in the 48th minute, taking midfielder Brad Ring’s pass and curling a beautiful effort into the far corner. He also helped keep the opposing attack off the scoreboard, winning five duels, gathering four interceptions, and chipping in two tackles.
Performances like the one Vukovic turned in on Saturday have lifted Indy out of an early-season rut that saw the club claim just seven points from its first 11 Spring Season games. The Boys in Blue have now gone undefeated in their last five games – a stretch that includes four victories.
As seen on Saturday night when he sent in five crosses and created a pair of scoring chances, Vukovic is an important part of Indy’s attack, despite being deployed as a defender. Following the 2-0 win in Jacksonville, he now has a goal and three assists so far this year – and he’ll be in a good position to eclipse last year’s mark of three goals and three assists.
The 33-year-old defender appeared in 13 Spring Season games, shaking off an injury that kept him out for three weeks in late April and early May. He made 31 league appearances for the club last season after coming over from Sacramento Republic FC.
Born in Titograd, Yugoslavia, Vukovic spent 10 professional seasons playing in Montenegro and Greece. In 2012, he signed with MLS side Columbus Crew before going back to Montenegro. The 6-foot-2 defender has been in the U.S. since 2014 when he signed with Sacramento.
Indy will kick off the NASL Fall Season north of the border, squaring off against FC Edmonton at Clarke Stadium on July 30 at 7 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on ESPN3 (U.S.) and NASL.com (Global).
Here is NASL’s recap of each Spring Season finale:
Indy Eleven stayed hot and closed out the Spring Season with a 2-0 victory over Jacksonville Armada FC at Carroll Stadium on Saturday night.
Goals from defender Nemanja Vukovic and midfielder Craig Henderson gave the Boys in Blue their fourth win in five games.
After both sides traded scoring chances in the first half, Vukovic opened the scoring in the 48th minute. Midfielder Brad Ring lifted a long ball across the field to Vukovic, and the Montenegrin veteran took a touch and curled the ball inside the far post to make the score 1-0.
New Zealand international Craig Henderson doubled Indy’s advantage in the 68th minute when he finished off a pass from forward Eamon Zayed. Jamaican midfielder Don Smart played the initial ball in for Indy and the goal was Henderson’s first in an Indy shirt.
Indy claimed 13 points over its final five games of the Spring Season, shaking off a poor start to move towards the middle of the pack heading into the second half of the year.