Sixteen years ago tomorrow, the short history (at least the on-field history) of the Indiana(polis) Twisters of the Continental Indoor Soccer League came to an end with a playoff loss in Houston against the Hotshots.
Above you see the the lineup cards for the two teams from the last home game in Twisters history, played on October 3, 1997 at the now-demolished Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Left for dead after a rare home loss (they’d gone 11-3 at MSA during the season, but lost 6-4 in game one), the Twisters came back to win game two, 7-4 with four fourth-quarter goals. That sent the series to the dreaded mini-game, and, having lost leading scorer Mariano Bollella to a knee injury late in the second game, the Twisters couldn’t muster enough offense and lost, 4-1, to lose the series. The Hotshots went on to the CISL Championship Series, where they lost to the Seattle SeaDogs, closing out the league’s five year history.
There was a brief attempt to revive the Twisters after the CISL folded in December 1997, with the ownership of the local outdoor team taking them over and planning to take them into the National Professional Soccer League. That proved to be a pipe dream, as the money to pull that off never materialized, and the Twisters never returned.
Many of the players (and some front office folks) continued on in the game. The last one left playing is Carlos “Chile” Farias, still kicking it at 37 (though I have no doubt 51-year-old Mirko Castillo is sure he could still play). Some day I’m going to do a documentary on this team, because the stories are just too good.
If you’re ambitious and want to listen to the audio of the radio broadcast of the very last Indiana Twisters game ever, from October 4, 1997, click here.