Saturday, May 4, 2019

Indy Eleven vs Tampa Bay Rowdies - 06.07

- Opponent: Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Location: Indianapolis
- Attendance: 8,035
- Final Score: 0-0 D
- Starting XI: Newton, Hackshaw, Crognale, Barrett, Ayoze, Walker, Gibson, Watson (C), Enevoldsen, Kelly, Pasher
- Substitutions: Ouimette 26' (Pasher - due to Barrett RED); Diakhate 75' (Kelly); Matern 90'+3' (Enevoldsen)
- Unused: Farr, Farias, King, Ilic
- Goals: None
- Bookings: Barrett 13, 20' (Yellow/Yellow - RED)
- Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
- Adage goals: None

A nil-nil draw against the last undefeated team in the conference is something that the Eleven may be able to look back at later and recognize as a key part of making the playoffs. Achieving that result by defending for the majority of the game because Barrett picked up two yellow cards in the first 20 minutes makes it that much more impressive. 70 minutes is a long time to defend and not concede a goal. It also makes it hard to judge a game like this since the tactics for Indy had to change at such an early stage of the game. Coach Rennie was forced to burn a sub in the 26th minute so that he could get Ouimette into the game to help shore the defense. I'm confused about the sub though in that he pulled Pasher, who we saw last year is capable of playing on the back line. Regardless, Barrett's departure from the game changed everything for the Eleven.

This is kind of a throw away game. Indy wasn't able to exert its normal offensive prowess because the team, the entire team, was focused on defending first. So let's use the game as a teaching lesson on why you don't want to get a yellow/yellow/red in the first 20 minutes.

Here are the Shots for both teams in the first 20 minutes:
Here are the Shots for both teams in the first 20 minutes. Indy managed to get 3 shots in that time frame, from different players, from different locations, but all of them on frame. Including a header from Barrett that forced a reaction save from Tampa's goalkeeper McCarthy in the 13th minute. Otherwise, Indy could have been ahead early and then truly played their game plan. As it was, Barrett say his second yellow several minutes later and the Rennie Bunker (TM) was in full effect. In that same time frame, Tampa Bay managed just one shot, which didn't require a save from Newton.

Now let's see what happens after the 2nd yellow card and Barrett's dismissal from the game.

Indy managed just four more shots the rest of the game, only one of which forced a save from McCarthy. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, proceeded to take 14 shots on goal after Barrett's ejection. What's noticeable about those shots, however, are that none of them were On Target and four of them were blocked. Against New York Red Bulls II, Newton was required to make 6 saves, nearly as many as he had been forced to make in all of the preceding 5 games. Down a man for 70 minutes, Indy's defense did their job and Newton was credited with just 1 save for the game. The Rennie Bunker (TM) did its job and did it well.

I could show you the Heat Maps for those two time frames, but they basically show the same thing. Indy with an advantage in the first 20 minutes. Tampa Bay pinning Indy into the Eleven's defensive half of the field for the last 70 minutes. Red cards, and particularly early game red cards, ruin game plans and adjust tactics, substitution patterns, and results. Indy managed a draw, but it makes you wonder what could have been if they had been at full-strength for the entire game.

Indy get a few short days of rest to play their 3 game in 7 games, as North Carolina FC come to town on Saturday. Indy will be without Barrett so Coach Rennie will have to, once again, adjust the lineup as they play the third team this week who are ranked in the Top 4 in the conference. Luckily for them, two of the three games have been at home and the next game after NCFC comes in two weeks.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

When a team has to defend for as long as Indy defended on Wednesday, a defender is going to get the Game Beckons Game Ball. Guaranteed. The entire team played defense well, but Crognale stood out to me. He finished the game completing nearly 86% of his passes, won 67% of his duels, 80% of his aerial duels, and had 7 clearances.

No comments: