Sunday, August 26, 2018

Indy Eleven vs Atlanta United 2 - 05.25

- Opponent: Atlanta United 2
- Location: Atlanta
- Attendance: 3,008
- Final Score: 3-2 W
- Starting XI: Fon Williams, Venegas, Ouimette, Ferreira, Ayoze, Ring, Guerra, Mares, Moses, Saad, McInerney
- Substitutions: Starikov 69' (Mares); Lewis 77' (Saad); Speas 84' (McInerney)
- Unused: Lundgaard, Matern, Mitchell, Rusin
- Goals: Ouimette 53' (assist Ayoze)
- Bookings: Moses 45'+1' (Yellow); Ring 69' (Yellow)
- Adage goals: One

I'm not sure you've noticed, but lately the Indy Eleven have difficulty playing with a lead and closing out games. They were up 2-1 on Louisville on the road and they gave up a 59th minute goal to come home with 1 point instead of 3. They were up 2-nil on North Carolina and had to get a 90th minute goal from Guerra to salvage a win at home. They were up 2-nil on Toronto and had to get a second half goal from Mares to salvage a win at home. Today, they were up 1-nil against Atlanta (I refuse to call them ATL UTD 2, despite the constant use of it from the commentators) and then gave up a 90'+6' goal to lose 2 points on the road. The team tried to spin it on Twitter by saying, "We take a point," but they were seconds away from a victory before being outworked to a ball after a lazy header attempt back to Fon Williams.

This photo tells you everything you need to know about the end of the game...
Coach Rennie in the foreground exasperated about the end of the game, Assistant Coach Dixon in the middle ground disappointed, and Atlanta players in the background celebrating. I've already used my Gloria quote about the organic globule earlier this season against Nashville, but the quotes from that game still apply (slightly edited):
"You know I think it's easy to forget it was 3-3 1-1. It feels like it was a loss because we lost that goal so late... From a coaching perspective, obviously the defending side of it was disappointing and especially with 1 minute to go to not see the game out, I'm very disappointed with that." - Coach Rennie

"I think I'm more concerned and disappointed about the way we didn't see the game out. I think that was what really frustrated me and also the mistakes we made in losing the goals."
Three months later and I'm able to still use old quotes to describe the recent run of games.

Getting a rare night off, Mitchell watched the game from the sidelines for just the first time since the New York Red Bulls game in May. I'm not going to say that he header at the end of the game wouldn't have happened if Mitchell had been in, but I suspect that his header would have gone better than Ferreira's. So maybe I am saying it wouldn't have happened.

While he was likely not going to be playing on Wednesday anyway, Brad Ring picked up his 5th yellow card of the season, meaning he will miss the game against Pittsburgh for yellow card accumulation whether he wanted to or not.

On the plus side, Ouimette scored his second goal of the season in the 53rd minute on a corner kick from Ayoze. Mares got some more minutes with his new teammates. Mitchell got some rest ahead of a game against Pittsburgh.

On the unsure side, Lewis found his way off of the bench after not playing for 13 games. Wonder what Coach Rennie saw in training to decide to give Lewis some minutes.

On the "that's about right" side, Zach Steinberger was loaned to North Carolina FC and in his first start for them, he scored twice (one that will be a Goal of the Week nominee) and had an assist in their 6-2 win over Charlotte.

The team can call it a draw. I call it a missed opportunity against the second worst team in the conference for 3 points and a chance to solidify their place in the playoffs.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Ouimette for getting the goal.


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