Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Indy Eleven vs FC Edmonton - 04.17

- Opponent: FC Edmonton
- Location: Edmonton
- Attendance: 3,285
- Final Score: 2-1 W
- Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Palmer, Keller, Vukovic, Ring, Smart, Speas, Torrado, Zayed, Goldsmith
- Substitutions: Henderson 67' (Speas), Torrado 75' (Ubiparipovic), Thompson 79' (Goldsmith)
- Unused: Cardona, Lomeli, Ables
- Goals: Goldsmith 7', Zayed 41' (assist Speas)
- Bookings: Torrado 66' (Yellow), Smart 77' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: None

The thing about a Sunday afternoon game in Edmonton is that it makes it difficult for me to watch the game live. Thanks to ESPN3 and the ability to watch replays of games, I was able to sit through Edmonton's horrible tv feed to watch the Eleven continue their unbeaten streak that they started in the final stages of the Spring Season. While I wasn't able to watch the game live, the @IndyElevenLive twitter feed immediately set me down a path of concern. A starting lineup that does not include Justin Braun has shown some difficulties in the Spring Season of generating goals. A starting lineup that does not include Falvey as the anchor in the backline is a bit disconcerting. A starting lineup that does not include both of them? That had the potential to be a disaster.

The team has shown they have talent and momentum, but Falvey and Braun have been the lynch-pins of the offense and defense. "Luckily," and maybe hopefully, the Eleven's string of injuries in the Spring Season have paid off by giving guys the playing time necessary that allowed yet another centerback pairing to succeed and another forward to find the back of the net.

Palmer and Keller have rotated in and out of the centerback pairing all season and have been on the field together, but never together as the anchors of the defense. In a game where Edmonton is credited with 40 crosses, FORTY, their partnership seems to have been effective.

Goldsmith has been seeing time towards the ends of games, but picked up a start with Braun's absence. Then proceeded to score a goal in the 7th minute by doing much of what both Braun and Zayed do. Hang around the goal and don't stop on a play. Smart took the ball deep towards the endline before trying to send it back across goal, but the pace he put on the ball was too much to handle for Farago and it bounced nicely inside the 6-yard box for Goldsmith to finish.

This was a game of thirds. I would love to see a statistical breakdown of the game split into the first 60 minutes and the final 30 minutes. It was around the 60th minute where it felt like the game switched. The Eleven did a good job of controlling the ball and the tempo in the first 60, but the Eddies become a much more attacking force in the final 30. Prior to my watch of the game, I had already looked at the stats and knew that Edmonton had 40 crosses and well into the 2nd half, I couldn't imagine how they reached that number. I'm still not sure if it was accurate, but they were clearly the team pressing and putting the Eleven back on their heels.

Around the time that the game seemed to change was with the introduction by Edmonton of McKendry in the 58th minute. In the 60th minute, McKendry fouled Torrado with an elbow to the face, which Vukovic pleaded to the ref deserved more than just the whistle. Once Torrado was taken off the field, the ref restarted play with a drop ball. A drop ball that McKendry contested against Zayed and then hacked away at Zayed's leg after Zayed won the ball and tried to distribute. The two fouls in quick succession led to McKendry receiving a yellow card. After that, I had the general impression that Edmonton increased their level of effort and began pressing and attacking the Eleven more. The last 30 minutes were definitely in the favor of Edmonton, forcing the Eleven to hold onto their 2-1 halftime lead.

Zayed picked up the Eleven's second goal of the game in the 41st minute to give them the lead going into halftime after Edmonton's Ameobi put his head to Fisk's cross to tie the game in the 33rd minute. Historically, Zayed roughly averages a goal every two games, but well off his pace this year, scoring just 3 goals in 14 matches. Zayed needed to see the ball go in the goal. He's been so close on multiple occasions this year so to get a good touch on the ball to put it around the keeper and watch it go off the post and in instead of bouncing back out could be huge for him moving forward. Sometimes a guy that is paid to score needs to see the ball go in to jumpstart a dry patch. Hopefully, this goal was that for him.

The Eleven come home on Saturday to play Edmonton again and will be looking to duplicate the winning result and keep their momentum before heading to Miami the following week. Getting wins against Edmonton is a much different task than going to Miami and getting a result there, but hopefully the team isn't looking that far ahead, even if I am.

The Game Beckons Game Ball:

I want to give the Game Ball every week to Keller for the job he is doing this year after being thrown into his Swiss Army Knife role, but instead I'm going to split the Game Beckons Game Ball this week to both forwards. Zayed because he needed to see the ball go in and Goldsmith because he was able to translate his goal scoring in training to the game. Other guys scoring goals besides Braun is only going to help this team moving forward in the Fall Season.


1 comment:

Don said...

It didn't cost us the match, but the GREEN TEAM SUCKS!!