Monday, April 30, 2018

Indy Eleven vs Charlotte Independence - 05.05

- Opponent: Charlotte Independence
- Location: Charlotte
- Attendance: 1,702
- Final Score: 0-0 D
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Venegas, Mitchell, Ouimette, Ayoze, Matern, Lewis, Pasher, Watson, Saad, McInerney
- Substitutions: Steinberger 66' (Lewis); Braun 80' (Pasher)
- Unused: Farr, Speas, Rusin, Guerra, Ring
- Goals: None
- Bookings: Ayoze 32' (Yellow); McInerney 72' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: None

After a bye week, the Eleven headed to Charlotte looking to continue their good run of form. For the first time this season, they came home from their road trip with just a single point instead of the possible three. Statistically, the game was close with no team really having any major advantage. From my eyeball test, that was pretty consistent too. Each team seemed to have stretches where they were the dominant team and then stretches where they were on their back foot.

With the exception of a ball off the woodwork, Charlotte managed 7 shots, none of which were on target. The Eleven forced Charlotte's Miller into 2 saves. One of those shots was unlucky for the Eleven to have not found the net as Miller barely got a hand to a Saad shot and it bounced down off the ground and up over the crossbar.

In a week with three games, a draw on the road is a good one to start, but there's a feeling that the Eleven needed to get a win knowing that the two teams coming to Indy this week are FC Cincinnati, a team who has already come to Indy and defeated the Eleven, and Louisville City FC, a team that has yet to lose a game this season and is beginning to already pull away from the rest of the conference. As I continue to reiterate, the interplay with this team is showing itself more and more each game and it seems like only a matter of time before it translates to more goals. Defensively, the team continues to be stingy, despite my continued concern of Fon Williams' control of his box, so once the offensive piece finally gels, the Eleven may put themselves in the elite portion of the conference. As it stands, while they continue to gel, they have kept themselves above the playoff cut line.

Additionally, Venegas was added to the starting lineup this week, meaning that with the exception of Ferreira, Starikov, and Lundgard, the team is getting back to full strength. Again, in a week where the Eleven play three games, full roster depth is a good thing. The unused portion of the bench against Charlotte included Rusin, Speas, and Ring, who have a combined four starts in the young season. The roster is so deep that starter level guys didn't even see the field in this game. I'm guessing one or more of them see the field on Wednesday or Saturday.

Lastly, I'm sure I'm not the only one who was glad to see Zayed make an appearance for Charlotte in this game. He didn't see the ball much, but just seeing him on the sideline waiting to come in made me smile a little bit.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

While I would have liked to see him actually get a shot off or create some chances, Lewis was active on the right side of the field, completing nearly 90 percent of his passes and seemed threatening in the attack.

The Pasher/Lewis winger lineup is eventually going to produce more goals, but they're fun to watch right now, even if they're not yet producing.


No comments: