Thursday, August 6, 2015

Indy Eleven vs Eddies - 02.16

- Opponent: FC Edmonton
- Location: Edmonton
- Attendance: 3,120
- Final Score: 2-0 L
- Starting XI: Cardona, McKinney, Janicki, Miller, Frias, Keller, Smart, Lacroix, Steinberger, Rugg, Wojcik
- Substitutions: Pineda 45' (Wojcik), Brown 55' (Lacroix), Richards 75' (Keller)
- Unused: Ring, Hyland, Franco, Nicht
- Goals: None
- Bookings: None
- Adage goals: None

Nearly everything I want to talk about this game comes from the starting lineup.

That's right folks, there are 3 carry-overs from the previous game. One of those, Steinberger, was playing in just his second game for the Eleven with about a week of practice time with the team and the other two, Miller and Janicki, have only a few games together as a unit. Just to make it all the more mind-numbering for me, the average number of starts for that lineup (including this game) was just under 5.5. Taking out Janicki, Miller, Rugg, and Wojcik, that number drops to just a hair under 3 and only 12% of the total number of minutes played.

Frias has a few starts, but hasn't seen the field since the fifth game of the year against  Jacksonville. Cardona hasn't seen the field since Nicht's sabbatical with Montreal in game six of the year. Lacroix has been injured. McKinney has been injured.

I understand that with 3 games in 8 days, you need to rest some guys. 75% of the regular starting lineup though? It's not like this was the same Edmonton team that came to Carroll Stadium and the Eleven hammered for 90 minutes. That version of the Eddies was missing guys to injury and national team duties. Of the 14 players in each game (11 + 3 subs), only 7 played in both games. The other half were their missing starters who came back with a vengeance last night.

I'm not saying that the guys that were on the field for the Eleven aren't all good, talented guys. I'm just saying that there is something to be said for consistency. Maybe Coach Regan is making a point to the poor form of the "regular" starters. Maybe this group of guys have been playing well together during practices. Maybe there were some guys who just needed a day off.

I don't know the logic behind the drastic roster changes, but I think it's safe to say that it didn't work out as well as Coach Regan would have liked.

I mentioned it in my post after Sommer's departure and it still stands true today. The team's at the top of the standings all have positive goal differentials. That seems like such an obvious statement, but it bears repeating. If you score more goals, you win and that usually translates to league success. Oh, and in case you're wondering, Saturday's opponent in Ottawa finished the Spring Season in 9th place with a -3 goal differential, but have turned that in the Fall Season into a First place standing with a +7 goal differential and a combined Second place standing with a +4 goal differential. The Eleven? -4 in the Fall and -3 Overall and shut-out the last 5 halves, back to the stoppage time goal by Mares against New York.

"It's a simple game. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball."

Or something like that.

1 comment:

Don said...

We will see if the rest helps on Saturday.