Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Indy Eleven vs Rowdies - 02.08

- Opponent: Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
- Attendance: 10,226 (paid attendance...)
- Final Score: 2-2
- Starting XI: Nicht, Franco, Janicki, Miller, Hyland, Keller, Stojkov, Mares, Pineda, Brown, Wojcik
- Substitutions: Ring 34' (Keller injury), Melgares 81' (Miller), Wojcik 85' (Stojkov)
- Unused: Cardona, Frias, Norales, Smart
- Goals: Mares 21' (assist Brown); Hyland 90'+8'
- Bookings: Brown (Yellow 59'), Miller (Yellow 74')
- Adage goals: One (40')

Of my group of season tickets holders, I was the only one of our 11 tickets (of course we have 11 tickets...) who wanted to brave whatever the elements threw at us on Saturday night.  However, since I was the only one going and previously mentioned that I hadn't used my credentials, I figured the game against the Rowdies would be an excellent time to be part of the media instead of a fan. The fact that it kept me dry was just an added bonus.

The game tested my capabilities of being an "impartial" observer of my favorite team as I tried to be part of the media.  While the press box was predominantly filled with Indy staff or Indianapolis sports writers, there were still Rowdies staff there and I didn't want to break the NASL media regulations requirement that the "press box is a neutral zone; both home and visiting team management, personnel and media will refrain from bipartisan comments or cheering."  I may or may not have broken that rule in the 97th minute.

The bullet list of this game alone is a crazy read:

  • The National Anthem performed by Josh Kaufman
  • A goal by the Eleven in the 21st minute created by a spectacular wedge shot by Hyland to Brown, who held up the ball long enough to play a ball to Mares who put the ball into the side netting
  • An immediate delay after the goal due to lightning in the area
  • A 2 hour and 3 minute delay where the corner flags and much of the sideline looked like this for awhile:
  • A few hundred fans braved the delay to see their home team not in as good a rhythm after the delay as they were in before it
  • An adage goal given up by the Eleven in the 40th minute from a shot by Balchan that deflected off Miller
  • A yellow card to Antonijevic right before the end of the half (this will come back later)
  • Another goal for the Rowdies in the 68th minute by Santos
  • Followed shortly after by another yellow card to the Rowdies' Hernandez and the Eleven's Miller for an altercation in the 73rd minute
  • Followed immediately by a red card to the Rowdies' Santos for taking that altercation too far
  • Indy Eleven playing with a man advantage for the next 17 minutes of regulation
  • Sommer makes a defense-for-offense substitution in the 81st minute to get a goal by bringing on Melgares for Miller
  • Sommer makes another substitution to add more offense with Wojcik in the 85th minute
  • Rowdies' Menjivar gets a yellow in the 88th minute
  • Rowdies' Antonijevic gets a yellow in the 89th minute, his second of the game, meaning his yellow turns into a red and the Eleven now have a 2-man advantage
  • Seven minutes of extra time are added...SEVEN
  • Nicht playing center field as the Rowdies drop 9 guys back into defense and were content to blast the ball back out and save their win
  • Hyland rips a shot just under the crossbar, just over the outstretched arms of Pickens and into the back of the net in the 98th minute
  • Rowdies' Hristov gets a red card leaving the Eleven to play out the final moments with a 3-man advantage.
11 v 8 closing minutes and a 2-2 tie salvaged in what looked like a win by the team's play, but a loss by the score until Hyland's heroics.  Heroics that go back to what I've been saying.  Shoot the ball!  With the wet conditions after the delay, I thought that any open shot within 30 yards of goal should have been played on frame and as hard as possible with the expectation that Pickens would have difficulty catching it or it taking a funny skip on the way there like Tampa's first goal.  The team still only managed 5 shots on goal in conditions that should have produced more, especially with the man/men advantage. That needs to change if this team has any desire to turn some of these games into wins.

For his late game heroics, stellar assist to the assist on the first goal, and all-around solid play, Hyland became the first Eleven player to be awarded the NASL Player of the Week.  Congrats Kyle!



Don said...

A fantastic goal by Hyland.

Jeff C. said...

The Rowdies played cheap, dirty football, and they got what they deserved. If not for disgraceful time-wasting, they don't go down two men, and then who knows what happens?