Sunday, October 2, 2016

Indy Eleven vs Eddies - 03.27

- Opponent: FC Edmonton
- Location: Edmonton
- Attendance: 1,307
- Final Score: 2-1 L
- Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Falvey, Miller, Vukovic, Torrado, Smart, Mares, Ubiparipovic, Braun, Zayed
- Substitutions: Palmer 26' (Miller), Ring 61' (Torrado), Gordon 75' (Ubiparipovic)
- Unused: Cardona, Paterson, Lacroix, Keller
- Goals: Zayed 56' (assist Mares)
- Bookings: Palmer 54' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: One

The Indy Eleven were undefeated in the Spring Season and rode that form to some hardware and a guaranteed spot in the Championship. They have since turned that form and ran it through the mud, particularly on the road. Fortunately, they've maintained that form while in the presence of the BYB and the friendly confines of Michael Carroll Stadium. Away from Indianapolis, however, the Eleven have struggled to a 0W-2D-6L record in the Fall, with a -9 goal differential (7 goals for; 16 goals against). After dispatching of in-form Miami and dismantling league leading New York in the past two weeks at home, the Eleven had to play what has become a dreaded road game, this time against FC Edmonton. In the closing minutes of the game, the Edmonton commentators stated, "the Eleven are going to look back at this game as 3 points lost." When the opposition's commentators look at the game as the home team stealing a win, you know this could have been a much better result from the Eleven.

Even though Zayed put the Eleven on the board first in the 56th minute from a well placed ball into the 6-yard box by Mares, they couldn't hold on and gave up an 80th minute goal to take the win to a draw and then another heartbreaker in the 90'+4' on a complete defensive breakdown to take the draw to a loss. With that loss, I don't see how it's possible for the Eleven to make up enough ground to win the Fall Championship or the Combined Standings. Especially since the Eleven have 5 games left and 3 of them are on the road; 2 of which are in the dreaded State of Florida. That means that unless the visitors somehow beat the Cosmos (who look to be the de facto favorite to win the Fall after clenching a post-season berth with the weekend's results), the Eleven are going to have to win the first game at home and then travel to New York to win the Soccer Bowl. Given their current (and past) road form, I'm not optimistic.

The rumor has been that Janicki is nearing his return after plantar fasciitis has sidelined him the past 6 games, but with Miller's injury that occurred in the 20th minute taking out another center back, some defensive adjustments are going to be required again if Janicki isn't ready. I'm not a doctor and Miller is a tough dude, but based on his reaction as soon as it happened and that he couldn't put any pressure on it on the way off the field, I wouldn't expect to see him for potentially the rest of the season.

I've been keeping track of the team's goal locations and the locations of where they get scored upon, but figured I would pull out everyone else's and show only Zayed's goals. With his tally today, Zayed brings his season total to 14, now just one behind league leading Ramirez. How teams lose him around the 6-yard line at this point in the season is a testament to his ability. He's only scored one goal outside of the penalty spot. Thirteen goals all within a few yards of the goal and thanks to his goal scoring effort coming in bunches, his time in Indy hasn't hurt his Mr. Hat Trick nickname nor his goal every 2 games average.

The Eleven are a special team, but it's been hard to watch their results on the road this season. Maybe they're just lulling the other league leading teams into a feeling of confidence.


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