Photo credit: SF Deltas
Indy Eleven hosted its first postseason match in club history, ultimately defeating FC Edmonton to advance to The Championship Final. At Carroll Stadium, soaking in the atmosphere, that Saturday afternoon back on November 5 was San Francisco Deltas CEO Brian Helmick.
“I thought the environment was outstanding," he said. "It was a beautiful sunny day and it was a good omen for the club.”
Sinisa Ubiparipovic scored his first goal for the Eleven, leading to the 1-0 win, before a sold-out crowd.
While witnessing a thrilling match, Helmick also took notes as the Deltas prepare for their first NASL campaign in 2017.
“I went around and took pictures in terms of seating and food trucks because there’s going to be a lot of similar things we’ll be doing,” he said. “There’s some things we’re working on so we can create the atmosphere Indy does.”
So far the Deltas have hired Marc Dos Santos to coach the team. Dos Santos was the NASL Coach of the Year in 2015 when he guided Ottawa to The Championship Final. The club has also signed eight players to date with several of them familiar faces from around the league, including goalkeeper Romuald Peiser and midfielders Greg Jordan and Danny Szetela. Also, renovations have begun on the Deltas’ home, Kezar Stadium, with the improvements to the stadium's infrastructure slated to help foster an even better game-day experience.
The anticipation is starting to bubble over for Helmick.
“There’s something about once you see players on the field, once you see the refs running out to start the game – it’s exciting,” he said.
The wait is now just a few more months for Helmick and San Francisco to see the Deltas take the field for the first time.
“I just want to be in the stadium for that first match,” he said. “I can’t wait. I probably won’t be able to sleep the night before or after.”