Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Indy Eleven vs United - 01.04

- Opponent: Minnesota United FC
- Location: Blaine, MN
- Attendance: 4,913
- Final Score: 3-2 (loss)
- Starting XI: Nicht (Captain), Frias, Norales, Hyland, Okiomah, Ring, Ramirez, Mares, Mendes, Ambersley, Spencer
- Substitutions: Kleberson (Okiomah), Smart (Ramirez), Moore (Mares)
- Goals: Own Goal (42'), Kleberson (90')
- Bookings: Ring (31'), Frias (48'), Mendes (85')

There would be no problems seeing this week's game on the NASL Live Feed because it was designated the NASL Match of the Week, which meant that it would be shown on ESPN3.  Great, right?  Except I'm apparently not that bright and assumed that the ESPN3 feed through my cable provider would have the game.  Turns out, ESPN3 on my cable provider was showing the ends of college softball and baseball games, all while I cussed about them not showing the Indy Eleven playing like I was led to believe.  I didn't figure out that I could get the game on until well into the first half.  So it ended up being the 1/2 Match of the Week for me. 

What I did see, what I gathered from the Twitter feed, what I've since read at 11thHeaven and Eleven Bricks, and what I heard on the Soccer Saturday podcast, the Eleven dominated the time of possession and run of play in the first half only to give up goals on counter attacks by the United.  Once they had the lead, and the wind at their backs in the second half, the United were content to sit back and keep everything the Eleven wanted to do in front of them.  The Eleven managed a late PK by Kleberson in the 90th minute (twice actually after having to retake the kick due to encroachment), but it was way too little, way too late.

The team took it easy on the woodwork this week, as I can't remember one shot hitting the goal post or crossbar.  As I said last week, I do continue to like the team's fight, especially after going down 3-1, especially considering that they were down despite dominating the time of possession.  After keeping everybody clear of getting a card in the first two games, the team has now totaled seven yellow cards, and if my recaps are correct, Mendes has been booked twice. I haven't heard that he won't be playing as a result of the cards, so I assume the NASL doesn't have that rule. Maybe I should look to see if that is true or not...

One thing that I find curious is that in the two games at home, Chris Estridge started at right back and the team played to 1-1 ties.  In the following two away games, Estridge hasn't seen a single minute of playing time and the team gave up 6 goals.  I'm not saying that there is a direct correlation between the two, but I'm curious why Estridge finds himself on the bench.  I'm sure that Coach Sommer is still trying to figure out which combinations of guys work best and under different conditions and scenarios.  So maybe that's all there is to it. 

As a result of the team's second lose in two games, defender Norales' streak on the NASL Team of the Week came to an end.  Buoyed by their league leading performance, the Minnesota United can thank the Indy Eleven for putting three of their guys on the Team this week, as Calvano, Mendes, and Ramirez all made the team. 

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