The New Star Soccer
series is excellent. You play as one player throughout his career, controlling aspects of his life on and off (training, getting drunk, etc.) the pitch.
NSS3 is the highpoint, NSS4/2010 was good but had many issues (perhaps fixed, the games are often patched and I haven't played NSS2010 in a while.)
What do you think are the reasons for the lack of [indie] sports games?
Sports generally have a defined set of rules, and the better you simulate these rules and how it plays out in the real world, the better sport game you generally have. In other words, sports games are something are generally more fit to be developed with a big budget by big studios who have the money required to make intricate physics and 3D animations and all that jazz.
Indie sports games can work though if the sport in question is something totally crazy that doesn't call for realism to work out. But at that point it becomes arguable whether it can be labelled as a "sports" game or just a competitive game. Like if anything goes, you could say that Super Smash Bros is a sports game. Or any fighting game is a sports game. Or any game with competition and "rules" (provided by game logic) are sports games.
Just off the top of my head I can think of many counterexamples: the New Star sport games are hardly "totally crazy." Out of the Park baseball is a self-published game and is one of the most in-depth simulations around (think Football Manager for baseball.)