Saturday, August 22, 2015

Indy Eleven vs Rowdies - 02.18

- Opponent: Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
- Attendance: 8,500
- Final Score: 2-0 W
- Starting XI: Nicht, Franco, Norales, Miller, Hyland, Keller, Stojkov, Lacroix, Steinberger, Rugg, Richards
- Substitutions: Smart 72' (Stojkov), Ceballos 81' (Richards), Norales 85' injury (Janicki)
- Unused: Cardona, Brown, Wojcik, Pineda
- Goals: Richards 60' (Keller), Norales 70' (free kick)
- Bookings: Steinberger 42' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: None

Attendance took a hit this week with the first time under 9,000, but a mid-week game with the threat of thunderstorms all week will do that. It's a shame, because those that decided to stay home missed a really good showing by the Eleven. Even with the heavy rains that made the last part of the game very interesting and ruined part of the notes that I took, there were a few things that made it through the rain.

What I realized as I read through my notes was that the Eleven overcame what has been an issue with them and it even occurred during this game. The Eleven looked the better team through most of this game, but have had an issue all season with finishing. Yes, one of the goals was from a spectacularly taken free kick by Norales from just outside the 18-yard box, but it was good build-up to get to that point (and should have been a red card in my opinion). There was nice build-up within the first 5 minutes that lead to a corner. Stojkov was a beast in the opening 15-20 minutes. The possession was in favor of the Rowdies, but the Eleven took a lot more shots.

In the 57th minute, I wrote down that I wish Richards would have taken the shot instead of trying to pass to Lacroix. Three minutes later in a play that was setting up exactly like the one just before it and he did exactly that. This team has an issue with scoring and seem to be looking for the perfect shot each time that they get in the offensive third. Richards became a little selfish and took a tough angled shot and it paid off.  I have to wonder if Richard's decision to take the shot on the second attempt helps show this team that sometimes you just have to put it on goal and see what happens instead of waiting for that perfect opening. I also wrote down that the Tampa Bay defenders were closing quickly on the Eleven players so they must have read the scouting report on the Eleven.

The thing that stuck out more than anything was that even with a two goal lead, this team was pushing forward trying for more. They didn't park the bus hoping to get out with a win. They were still taking it to the Rowdies until late in the game. After Richard's goal in the 60th minute, they started taking more of those half chances. Smart had least one. Steinberger had at least one.

I'm also not going to get down on Charlie this week. He had a couple moments where he needed to take that half chance shot, but that goes for the entire team, and he did some good work off the ball. He and Lacroix helped set up Richard's goal by forcing Pickens to make a decision and his not knowing where to go helped create the smallest of windows for Richard's shot. He was tracking back deep into the defensive third to help secure the win. I want to see him take a shot, but he had good moments this week.

This was a good team win and I hope that they can carry the momentum into Saturday's game against Atlanta.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great win. It was worth getting soaked to watch. I hope the lessons have been learned and they continue playing as they did on Wednesday.