INDIANAPOLIS, January 12, 2016 – Indy Eleven began a string of roster signings slated for this week with today’s addition of Jamaican international defender Lovel Palmer. Per club policy, contract terms of the deal that brings the 31-year-old defender to Indianapolis will not be announced.
Palmer, the 15th signed member of the Indy Eleven 2016 roster, possesses a United States Green Card, meaning he will not count against the team’s allotment of seven international slots, only two of which are currently occupied between Dragan Stojkov and Eamon Zayed.
“Lovel Palmer is the first of several upcoming signings that will bolster the Indy Eleven roster with experience, character and winning pedigree,” said Indy Eleven general manager Peter Wilt. “His character on and off the field will be beneficial to the organization in many ways in 2016.”
Internationally, the newest member of the “Boys in Blue” has sported the green & yellow of the Jamaican National Team, where he was a member of U-17, U-20, and U-23 squads before breaking into the senior team in 2005. Since that time, Palmer has appeared in 29 senior matches for the “Reggae Boyz,” including all six semifinal round games during CONCACAF region qualifying for the 2014 World Cup across the second half of 2012.
“Lovel is a great professional that has represented his country at all levels over 40 times,” said Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson. “With a track record of his starts in Major League Soccer we get a polished professional that can play a multitude of positions from right back to central midfield.”
Palmer comes to the Hoosier State after two seasons with Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, where he recorded 52 appearances while scoring one goal. During his six seasons of play in MLS from 2010-15 with Chicago, Real Salt Lake, Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo, Palmer tallied four goals and added five assists across 148 regular season games, mostly out of the right back position. Additionally, he got a taste of his first silverware in American soccer as a member of the RSL team that claimed the MLS Western Conference Championship in 2013.
The native of Mandeville, Jamaica, broke into the professional ranks in his home country during a lengthy stint with Red Stripe Premier League side Harbour View, making nearly league 150 appearances for the “Easters” and bagging 41 goals from 2003-10. Palmer left Jamaica for a brief loan stint with Trinidad & Tobago power W. Connection in 2004, but would return to Harbour View and serve as the team’s captain up until his departure to Houston in 2010.
“When Tim [Hankinson] called me and said he was taking over at Indy Eleven I couldn’t say no because Tim is someone who I can relate to since he’s coached in Jamaica before and he knows the Jamaican players. After we spoke and he talked about his plans for soccer in this city and his plans with this team, it was really a no-brainer,” said Palmer. “There was a team in MLS that called and wanted me to train with them in their preseason, but after learning what Tim and this team had to offer I wanted to be a part of it. I’m really excited to join the Indy Eleven family now.”
During his time with Harbour View Palmer was a three-time winner of the Jamaican National Premier League, two-time winner of both the Jamaican Domestic Cup and Caribbean Football Union Club Championship and a three-time participant in CONCACAF regional championship competitions.
#5 Lovel Palmer
Weight: 160 lbs.
Born: August 30, 1984 (31) in Mandeville, Jamaica
Hometown: Mandeville, Jamaica
Nationality: Jamaican, USA
Last Club: Chicago Fire SC (MLS)
Pronunciation: luh-vell PAHL-mer
Facebook: Lovel Palmer
Previous Clubs: Chicago Fire SC (MLS, 2014-15), Real Salt Lake (MLS, 2013), Portland Timbers (MLS, 2011-12), Houston Dynamo (MLS, 2010-11), W. Connection [Trinidad & Tobago Premier League, 2004 (loan)], Harbour View (Jamaican Red Stripe Premier League, 1999-2010)