In his first two seasons with Indy Eleven, Trinidad and Tobago defender Neveal Hackshaw was an All-League performer (1st team in 2019, 2nd team in 2020). Now, he’s back for a third season in the United Soccer League (USL) Division One.
What makes Indy Eleven the right club for him right now in his career?
“For me, the reason why it’s the right club, right now is because I fit the system,” Neveal told the BGN publication. “The coach and the staff like me, my teammates like me, we have a good team, and this season we are going to work very hard to win the season. We have the players, we have the coach to do so. So, all we have to do is just work hard and stay together as a team.
“My goals for this season are to play at the best of my ability, win the championship, and maybe get a better contract with a bigger club somewhere. My main focus is here first. So, my main goal is to win the championship.”
Indy won their season opener against Birmingham Legion FC before dropping their home opener against FC Tulsa over the weekend. Hackshaw has played every second of both of Indy’s matches this season. He’s a key member of the backline, recording seven clearances and six tackles already in 2021. While he’s comfortable in defence, Hackshaw has also played in the midfield during his career, including with Indy back in 2019 before sliding back into central defence.
“It’s nice,” he said of being able to play multiple positions. “It’s good. I like to play centre midfield because I like to control the game, but even playing from the back is good. I’m always in the game from the back. It’s the same I should say. I could play anywhere you put me, just tell me how you want me to play, role and function, and I’m good.”
In addition to being a star player for his club, Hackshaw also had the opportunity to showcase his skills with his country, playing on the national team for T&T. He has over ten caps for the Soca Warriors, including playing the full 90 minutes in both of the team’s World Cup qualifiers back in March.
“It’s always my pleasure to wear the red, white, and black from our country,” said Hackshaw. “This was always my dream to do so. And now that I can, I’m happy to represent my country any day, any time. And it’s pretty awesome. I love it, I love repping my country. I love repping my colours.”
While he misses T&T, Hackshaw has made himself at home in Indiana.
“Indianapolis is good. Really don’t like the cold, (but) the summer is nice. It’s nice, I like the views.
“I miss the sun,” he continued, “the beaches, anyone from over here will love Trinidad because of the beaches, the carnival, just the vibe man. It’s a whole different vibe from over here.”
When discussing his favourite foods from his native country, Neveal listed bake and shark, doubles, macaroni pie with callaloo, stewed chicken, and fried rice.