Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Indy Eleven vs New York Red Bulls II - 05.10

- Opponent: New York Red Bulls II
- Location: New Jersey
- Attendance: 498
- Final Score: 1-4 L
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Venegas, Rusin, Ouimette, Ayoze, Matern, Lewis, Steinberger, Ring, Saad, McInerney
- Substitutions: Guerra 61' (Ring); Moses 66' (Venegas); Speas 86' (Saad)
- Unused: Farr, Amankona, Mitchell, Braun
- Goals: Saad 21' (assist Lewis)
- Bookings: Ring 30' (Yellow), Rusin 59' (Yellow), McInerney 65' (Yellow), Matern 73' (RED - Yellow 71', Yellow 73')
- Adage goals: Two

If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Similarly, if Indy Eleven lose in Red Bull Arena, does it really count?

Red Bull Arena has seating for 25,000 people and all 498 of the people in attendance saw what Indy Eleven fans have come to expect with this team. The pieces might be there, but they are just drastically under-performing.

From early in the broadcast (emphasis mine) about playing in the USL:
"Everybody's just trying to win championships, right? They're just trying to win. None of that really matters to the players as much as it might mean to the business side of it or the organization side of it. But having a team like this, obviously you would expect them on paper to be better in the standings than they are right now, but having a team that has this much experience and this much quality is, again, only going to increase the overall quality of the league and the competition and the development of some of the younger players in the league."

You don't have to dive too deep into the statistics to see that the Eleven were dominated in all regards in this game. The eyeball test was enough to tell you that this team seems to have been figured out and do not look the same as they did in the first few games. For a team that, on paper, has significant depth, the loss of Pasher and Starikov has resulted in a team that has difficulty breaking down defenses. The attacking pieces of the Eleven in this game, McInerney, Saad, Lewis, Steinberger, and I'll include Ring and Matern as the attacking pieces (not counting Speas who barely received minutes), they accounted for 2 shots on goal (Saad and McInerney), 1 shot off target (no surprise...Lewis), 0 successful crosses, and only 2 chances created.

The official stats credited Lewis with the assist on Saad's goal, but I'm not convinced that wasn't just a poor touch that Saad happen to be able to run onto. Maybe many of you can relate to this like me as you've aged and tried to play and you're mind is still capable of doing this things you used to be able to do, but your body just can't keep up any longer. I feel like Lewis is just the opposite. He's clearly fast, but it's like his brain can't figure out what he wants to do with the ball as his feet speed forward until he reaches the point where his feet get tangled on themselves and he losses possession or blasts the ball over the goal. I have this feeling that if he just slowed his body down a bit, his brain would let him make the correct decisions.

The offense continues to struggle and at some point the dike had to break defensively, which it did versus NYRBII, giving up 4 goals. Granted, two of those goals were scored once NYRBII had a man advantage after Matern picked up 2 yellow cards in 2 minutes, but with 40 shots on goal, they gave themselves plenty of opportunities. With just 4 shots on goal, the Eleven did not give themselves enough opportunities.

With 2 games in 4 days, this could be a rough week for the Eleven when they face 3rd in the conference Charleston Battery on Wednesday. The good news is after Wednesday, they don't play until the 9th when they face 2nd from the bottom Atlanta United 2 at home.

The Game Beckons Game Ball:



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