Indy Eleven went one step further in its pursuit of veteran talent today with the signing of goalkeeper Jon Busch, who will also serve as the club’s Director of Goalkeeping. Per club policy, contract details will not be announced. Busch’s signing brings Indy Eleven’s 2016 roster to 19 players with the start of preseason training just under a month away.
“Indy Eleven gains more than just a player by bringing Jon Busch on board,” said Indy Eleven general manager Peter Wilt. “Besides his proven ability as a top-level goalkeeper, Jon brings unparalleled experience, leadership, grit and character that the rest of the team will feed off of.”
Since entering the professional ranks in 1997, Busch has made more than 450 starts in official competitions during a successful 19-year career. After beginning his playing days with five seasons in the A-League (second division) from 1997-2001, Busch spent the last 14 years climbing near the top of Major League Soccer’s charts in numerous categories during stints with the Columbus Crew (2002-06), Chicago Fire SC (2007-09, 2015) and the San Jose Earthquakes (2010-2014).
“I brought Jon into training with the Tampa Bay Mutiny back in 1998, so I’ve been familiar with him for quite awhile,” said Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson. “Throughout his career in Major League Soccer he overcame injuries and those who doubted his size, proving how good he was through his incredible work ethic and determination. He will be a leader, a voice and a player that brings nearly unmatched experience for a goalkeeper in the American game.”
The 39-year-old Busch racked up a 113W-92D-101L record in MLS regular season play and ranks fourth in league history in goalkeeper games played (309), shutouts (83) and saves (1,151) and fifth in wins. The native of Queens, N.Y., helped Columbus (2004) and San Jose (2012) to MLS regular season Supporters Shield titles, won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with the Crew and earned the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award and earned a spot on the MLS Best XI Team with the Earthquakes in 2008. After making a career-high 34 starts with San Jose in 2014, Busch returned for a second stint with Chicago last year, making 12 appearances with the Fire.
“I’m very excited to join the Indy Eleven. It’s a great opportunity for me to play for a great organization and try to win a championship in the NASL,” said Busch, who played with new Eleven teammates Brad Ring and Lovel Palmer while in San Jose and Chicago, respectively. “At the same time this opportunity provides an avenue for me to start learning the goalkeeper coaching side of the game as well.”
In addition to his anticipated service on the field, Busch will serve as the club’s Director of Goalkeeping, with duties to include first team coaching and scouting, serving as a guest coach with the Indy Eleven NPSL squad and assisting with the Indy Eleven Summer Soccer Clinic series.
Busch will stay busy in the community as well with the continuation of his Saves for SEALs program. The charitable organization he founded in 2011 raises funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation to assist with family support services, educational programs and legacy activities for active and veteran U.S. Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) support personnel, and their spouses and children. For more information, visit www.crowdrise.com/SAVESforSEALs.