Sunday, June 5, 2016

Indy Eleven vs Miami FC - 03.09

- Opponent: Miami FC
- Location: Miami, Florida
- Attendance: 1,837
- Final Score: 0-0 D
- Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Falvey, Janicki, Vukovic, Mares, Paterson, Larrea, Gordon, Zayed, Braun
- Substitutions: Lacroix 74' (Paterson), Keller 90+2' (Zayed)
- Unused: Cardona, Shaffer, Ubiparipovic, Miller, Reinoso
- Goals: None
- Bookings: Larrea 83' (Yellow), Franco 90' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: None

The goal seemed simple. Head down to Florida for the fourth time this Spring Season, win against one of the teams in the lower tier in the league, and go into the final game at Carroll Stadium against Carolina in complete control, provided that Fort Lauderdale help out by beating the New York Cosmos. Fort Lauderdale was the only part of that scenario that did their part. In another week where the results of the other games benefited the Eleven, the team didn't take full advantage.

I find myself in a rare and awkward predicament. I find myself disappointed with a road draw in a league where seemingly anything can happen on any given week. At the start of the season, if you told me that the Eleven would be going into the final weekend of the Spring Season with a chance to win it, I would have been ecstatic. If you told me that they would be in that position and be undefeated, I would have laughed at you. Yet, the two draws this week against Jacksonville and Miami seem like points lost that could have already put this Spring Season to bed.

So when a team finishes in a draw with one of the bottom dwellers, there tends to be some negative aspects of their play. I'm going to stop talking about losing the possession battle, the duel battles, and the long ball percentage, because those are just a function of the way this team plays. However, 9% shot accuracy and 0% successful cross statistics indicate an offense that was never really that threatening to Miami goalkeeper Vega. Indy was credited with 1 shot on target and that happened in the first half. For a team that has created a reputation for getting chances late in games, they never really threatened.

Despite the slight disappointment that the Eleven didn't make a much larger step towards securing the automatic bid into The Championship, there were some good things to see. While I love me some Cory Miller defensive headers, there is a good connection between Falvey and Janicki and the backline seems more stable with them together. Despite having to play 90 minutes on Wednesday, Gordon's, Mares', and Franco's energy levels were still very high. Mares, in particular, had some great passes and defensive effort in the midfield, even if his shot selection wasn't the best. Busch was credited with three official saves, but wasn't really tested all game.

This was a game that had the potential to be so much more for the Eleven in terms of the league standings, but neither team was ever really that threatening. A game where the Heat Map is an accurate depiction of the game; very heavy in the middle of the field, but nothing too substantial in the offensive third for either team. So the Eleven finish their Spring Florida tour with a single goal and four draws, but still with a chance to win the Spring Season with a win and a goal heavy output against Carolina next weekend. The Eleven need to overcome a 3 goal differential next weekend to secure the spot, but at least they will be playing a Carolina team that is not in the good form they were in to start the season. Carolina has given up 3 goals this season and Indy has scored more than 3 goals so as we've seen all year, anything is possible.

Hopefully, that "anything is possible" is a 4-0 win by the Eleven (a 3-0 win still gives the tie-breaker to NY, while a 4-1 win gives it to Indy since they have the head-to-head on the 3rd tie-breaker).

Congratulations to Vukovic for his 5th Team of the Week selection!


1 comment:

Don said...

I wasn't able to watch the game live but thanks to WISH TV 8, I recorded it. I was excited to read online that NY lost, but then disappointed to see that the Eleven didn't take advantage of the NY loss.

Good recap.