Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Indy Eleven vs Fury - 01.06

- Opponent: Ottawa Fury
- Location: Carroll Stadium, Indianapolis
- Attendance: 10,285
- Final Score: 4-2 (loss)
- Starting XI: Nicht (Captain), Stone, Frias, Norales, Hyland, Ring, Corrado, Smith, Mares, Ambersley, Spencer
- Substitutions: Ramirez (Corrado), Mendes (Mares), Smart (Frias)
- Goals: Ambersley (20'), Spencer (44')
- Bookings: Norales (25'), Spencer (45'), Ring (90')

Another team from Canada enters #TheMike and another team from Canada leaves with a victory, while the Indy Eleven remain winless.  Like last week, there are a few things that stick out to me for this game.  The first is the absence of Kleberson, which it turns out is because of an injury.  I also heard that Chris Estridge was supposed to start, but he was also scratched due to injury. 

Secondly, if you're keeping track, this week's yellow cards brings the season total to 14, with Norales and Ring accounting for 6 of the 14.  Second highest yellow card total in the league, and third highest in total fouls committed.  Looks like the Eleven are tops in the table at something, I just wish it was more wins than fouls.

Sidenote: Another amazing team stat is that the Eleven have the fourth highest number of goals scored (9), but the fewest number of shots on goal (21).  So they are making their shots count, and if you think of all the times the ball hit the woodwork in the early part of the season, it's even more impressive.  The Eleven are the only team in the league that has scored and been scored upon in every single game. 

Broken record comment of the week: "I will continue to attribute part of that to the Eleven’s continued reluctance to go to the ball. Players continue to wait for the ball to get to them while the other team is going to the ball. That has to change. The Eleven continues to fight until the end of the game, but even when they are fighting to close the gap (they continue to fight from behind by giving up early goals), they still wait for the ball to get to them. While they are waiting, the other team takes the ball away before it gets to them."

I don't remember there being as many hopeful balls blasted from the backline to the forwards this game, but that could just be wishful thinking on my part. 

The Eleven have quite the interesting front line with Ambersley and Spencer.  Ambersley is 5'-7" and Spencer is 6'-4" tall.  What Ambersley loses in height, he more than makes up for in effort.  That guy never stops working to get to the ball and there were numerous occasions where he had dropped back into the midfield to try and regain possession and move the ball forward.  For somebody Spencer's size, he is good with his feet as displayed by his goal right before the end of the first half.  While the replay appears to show the Ottawa player flopped, Spencer should have never put himself in the position he did to get the yellow card.  Score your goal and run back to the other end.  There was no need to try and go get the ball out of the net, particularly when the Ottawa player was right there.  From my viewpoint in the stands, before I saw the replay, I kept muttering, "please don't give him a red card" because I thought he had truly thrown a punch. 

Second broken record comment of the week: "I suppose my takeaway from this game is that despite the team still not having a win, the fight is still there with the team. I hope the communication gets better with time and that Coach Sommer figures out the lineups that work best. You can’t fix stupid and you can’t coach heart. At least the team seems to have that going for it."

I'm not very hopeful that the Eleven will go into the Cosmos' stadium and come away with a win this weekend, but you never know.  If the team can limit their defensive lapses, maybe they walk away with a hard fought 2-1 win and a much needed confidence boost.  That leaves next week's matches against the Dayton Dutch Lions in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday and the San Antonio Scorpions on the 31st as the next chances to win at home for the Spring Season.  I don't think they want to go into the World Cup break having not won at home.  I think the fans will still be there, but a win would do wonders to lift the spirits of the team considering the effort they are giving (and getting) at home.

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