Thursday, September 28, 2017

Indy Eleven vs Armada - 04.25

- Opponent: Jacksonville Armada
- Location: Jacksonville
- Attendance: 1,881
- Final Score: 0-0 D
- Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Falvey, Miller, Vukovic, Ring, Torrado, Smart, Speas, Ubiparipovic, Zayed
- Substitutions: Junior 64' (Speas), Goldsmith 64' (Torrado), Henderson 85' (Ring)
- Unused: Cardona, Watson-Siriboe, Thompson
- Goals: None
- Bookings: Smart 37' (Yellow), Ring 69' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: None

At some point, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this isn't working. Watch the highlights below. Put together by the Indy Eleven, not the NASL, the Indy Eleven. They had to go all the way to the 73rd minute before they could find a single offensive highlight worth putting in the video and it was a result of Paulo Junior, Don Smart, and David Goldsmith. The New Guy, Mr. Indy, and The Kid.

Coach Hankinson employed what has become the team's now typical 4-2-3-1 lineup with the regular back four, Ring and Torrado holding the fort just ahead of them, and then Speas, Smart, and Ubiparipovic as the midfielders, with Zayed as the lone forward. Defend first, attack on the counter.

The attacking four had 3 shots, with only 1 of those on frame. All by Smart. Speas, Ubiparipovic, and Zayed all had goose eggs in the attack. Goldsmith had 2 shots on goal in half the time. Yes, it could be argued that the tactics changed when Goldsmith came in and that the game opened up significantly towards the end of the game, but for a team that desperately needs wins to give themselves any kind of chance to be one of the final four playing at the end of the year, they need more tooth to their offense beyond what we're seeing right now.

The Jacksonville commentators were very partisan in their call of the game, but I don't think they were wrong in stating that the Armada should have won the game. The Eleven are fortunate to have come away from the away game with a draw. I think the team has reached the point where the young guys start getting their shot. The playoffs are being further and further from being a possibility and since I think those guys could be around next year, they might as well start seeing some more minutes. Some may argue that there's still too much time left to throw in the towel, but when you get three shots on goal from your four attacking starters, what does it matter. Give Goldsmith, Thompson, and Ables a chance. Might as well throw Cardona and Lomeli into that group too. I love Jon Busch, and this team might not be in the position they're in if not for his superior goalkeeping, but this team isn't clicking right now and I, personally, don't see the difference between a draw on the road with a bunch of young guys or the performance we saw tonight out of veterans.

The Game Beckons Game Ball:

Cory Miller. Miller has come back from his injury with the same hard-nosed defending we all remember from last year. If you're coming into his space, you're going to know it. He's always on the edge of getting a card of one color or the other, but I guarantee that Banks, Taylor, and Gebhard are going to see Cory in their nightmares. How many last ditch efforts did Miller have to time perfectly and he got them all right?


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