Thursday, October 13, 2016

Indy Eleven vs Armada - 03.28

- Opponent: Jacksonville Armada
- Location: Jacksonville
- Attendance: 1,254
- Final Score: 0-0 D
- Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Falvey, Palmer, Vukovic, Ring, Smart, Mares, Ubiparipovic, Braun, Zayed
- Substitutions: Lacroix 61' (Mares), Janicki 74' (Palmer), Youla 79' (Zayed)
- Unused: Cardona, Paterson, Keller, Reinoso
- Goals: None
- Bookings: Falvey 66' (Yellow), Ubiparipovic 85' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: One

After being delayed a few days from last Saturday due to Hurricane Matthew, the Eleven headed down to Jacksonville for a Wednesday game. A midweek game on the road in Florida. Do I really need to go over how this game finished? It followed the script this year and went 90 minutes for a scoreless draw. In the 7 games in the Sunshine State this year, the Eleven have now scored just 3 times to bring their season record in FL to 0W-5D-2L (1W-7D-6L all-time).

I'm not going to talk about this game in much specific detail. The team went to Florida and came back with a draw against a bottom of the table team who have the worst goal differential in the league (combined season). They finished the game with a whopping 38% of the possession and at some point in the middle to late first half, I remember the Jacksonville commentators saying something to the affect of "Jacksonville's possession has dropped off in the last several's down to 71%." The Eleven were once again content to allow Jacksonville to possess the ball and work the counter. However, as can be seen from the Distribution graph from the Opta Stats, the Eleven did a fairly good job of possessing and passing in the defensive third and into the middle third, but once they got into the offensive third of the field, there were significantly more poor passes than good ones.

I continue to think about how far we've come as fans of this team. In the 3 years I've been writing, we've gone to praying for home wins and happy with road draws, to expecting this team to perform the way we know they are capable of doing this year. I'm not a professional athlete. My playing days ended after high school. Yet, I find it difficult to grasp my head around how this team performs on the road compared to the way they perform at home. They get a scoreless draw on the road to one of the worst teams in the league a week and a half after beating the Cosmos by 3 goals at home. A Cosmos team that look to be the favorite to win The Championship. The Eleven beat this same Jacksonville team 5-2 just two months ago. How do they go from a 5-2 drubbing to a 0-0 draw against the same team?

It's a midweek game, so I'm not going to dwell on it either. Saturday, the team's back in action at Carroll Stadium against Carolina.


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