Monday, August 21, 2017

Indy Eleven vs New York Cosmos - 04.20

- Opponent: New York Cosmos
- Location: Brooklyn
- Attendance: 6,110
- Final Score: 3-3 D
- Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Falvey, Keller, Vukovic, Ring, Torrado, Smart, Speas, Goldsmith, Zayed
- Substitutions: Braun 72' (Goldsmith), Watson-Siriboe 81' (Torrado), Thompson 89' (Zayed)
- Unused: Cardona, Miller, Ables
- Goals: Torrado 10' (assist Smart), Torrado 14' (assist Zayed), Zayed 53' (assist Goldsmith)
- Bookings: Torrado 35' (Yellow), Smart 90+' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: One

Expectations are an interesting beast. Two years ago, the expectation was that the Indy Eleven would play above themselves and get a draw against the New York Cosmos because that's what history had indicated. The first six matches between these two teams finished in draws; 3 each in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Then the magical 2016 Spring Season happened for the Indy Eleven and the seal was broken with a 2 - 1 come-from-behind, last minute home win for the Eleven. The Cosmos exacted revenge a few months later with a 3 - nil victory on their home soil, before the script was flipped in Indy for another 3 - nil victory, that time for the Eleven. The teams met a fourth time last year, playing in the Championship Final, which, not surprisingly, officially ended in a draw and the Cosmos getting the edge in penalty kicks.

So expectations from fans of the Eleven are that Indy will be able to get a positive result against the Cosmos.Which is exactly what the Eleven accomplished this weekend in their trip to Brooklyn. A 3 - 3 goal-fest with Zayed getting his fifth goal of the year off a beautiful ball from David Goldsmith. Yet that was the Eleven's third goal. The first two came from an unlikely offensive source. For all of his ability and talent, scoring has not been a part of Gerado Torrado, who had managed a single assist and no goals in his time here in Indy. Yet, he found himself in a shooting position just inside the 18-yard box on a short corner from Smart, and Torrado put it in the back of the net over an outstretched Maurer in just the 10th minute. Four minutes later, this time at the top of the box, Torrado blasted one past Maurer for a 2 - nil lead. A shot that was so hard that it's amazing how fast it got past Maurer. Check it out from the camera behind the goal:

NASL/Opta Attack Stats
With a two goal lead and with so little of the game in the books, the expectation in this series is that the game was far from over, but you would expect that the Eleven would hold on for a win. The Cosmos had other plans. 36 Total Shots other plans. 28 Shots from INSIDE the box other plans. Torrado may have gotten the scoring started, but the Cosmos planned to finish it and found the net in the 29th minute to get them on the board after putting one off of the post in the 19th minute. The posts and crossbar behind Busch saw a lot of action in this game and may be the reason the Eleven took home a draw instead of a loss.

The team withstood a barrage of shots and attempts and if we're honest, survived with last ditch defending for significant stretches. After finding their first goal to give themselves momentum going into halftime, the Cosmos found another one shortly after the break to pull things even. Yet, the fight we saw last year in the Eleven manifested itself again as Zayed's goal in the 53rd minute put the Eleven back on top mere minutes after the Cosmos drew even. The Cosmos' 2nd goal resulted from a long range blast that found the crossbar and a put back off the rebound as Vranjican rushed forward and Vuko and Keller ball-watched. Hustle won out. Zayed's goal resulted from a perfectly placed long ball from Goldsmith and individual effort by Zayed. The final goal of the night came in the 84th minute by Guerra from a corner kick. Guerra was completely unmarked and put the ball in a spot between Busch and Smart guarding the post.

And the second comeback of the night was complete.

In other news... Actually, I don't know if we can call this news anymore. Torrado picked up his fourth yellow card in four Fall Season matches. If the team's leader in yellow cards (his defensive midfield running mate Ring being a close second) gets another yellow card anytime in the team's next 12 matches, Torrado will watch from the sideline due to yellow card accumulation. A card he received that was suspect at best and horrendous at worst.
"I think we have to be honest, right, and Javi Marquez made a meal out of that in the end. Right, I mean, we gotta be honest. He was fouled to begin with and that was a foul, but after that, I'm not sure why he's doing that."
Because teams, seemingly with the exception of the Eleven, have learned that the NASL refs are going call every flop against the Eleven with either a penalty kick or a yellow card. In this case, I think Torrado was going to receive the yellow card for the initial foul and not from Marquez's disgusting embellishment antics, but it's the ref's or the assistant ref's responsibility to realize that there was a flop and issue a yellow card to Marquez as well. These are the things that turn off the casual fan and absolutely pisses off the die-hard fans, while taking away from the game. Personally, I'm tired of seeing this shit.

Exit soap box.

An injury to Vuko in stoppage team was felt to be a penalty kick by the Cosmos players and the Cosmos announcers, but the ref disagreed. However, what it did was remove Vuko from the game in what looked to be concussion protocol by the Cosmos medical staff so that the Eleven were forced to play with 10 for the 10 minutes of stoppage time (albeit some of that time was used by the attending to Vuko).

The Eleven vs Cosmos has turned into quite the rivalry and this game is another in line for most exciting game in the series. Even if you expected an exciting game, this game exceeded all expectations. Don't believe me? What about Eric Wynalda?

The Eleven head home on Saturday to play Jacksonville, who, at the moment, are desperate for a win in the Fall Season as they are the only team behind the Eleven. Sitting in last place. Will that desperation be stronger than the Eleven's home field advantage. At this point, who knows what to expect?

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Photo: NASL/NY Cosmos
Torrado. The fourth yellow card in four games worries me and Busch could have easily received the Game Ball, but unexpected offense in the form of a brace needs to be rewarded so that's what I'm going to do. Torrado, at 38 years old, uncorked a shot so hard from 20 yards out that Maurer barely had time to react before it was in the net behind him. Those are the flashes of brilliance that Indy Eleven fans wish they could see more often. The pinpoint passing and spot-on decision making are one thing, but it's always nice to be reminded that there's a reason he's the second highest capped Mexican international player.


1 comment:

Don said...

Torrado definitely deserves the game ball. Saturday after the goal from the clip, I kept replaying it over and over. The ball came out of nowhere.

I wish someone would tell the Eleven players to followup on shot. I am tired of seeing the ball go into to the goal, while our players stand and watch.