Sunday, July 19, 2020

Indy Eleven vs Sporting KC II - 07.03

- Opponent: Sporting KC II
- Location: Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium
- Attendance: 4,931 (the infamous distributed tickets value...)
- Final Score: 2-1 W

- Starting XI: Newton, Hackshaw, Barrett (C), Ouimette, Conner, Gibson, Ayoze, Haworth, Carleton, Pasher, Moon

- Substitutions: Antley 11' (Ayoze - injury), Lindley 63' (Carleton), Ilic 64' (Conner), Walker 89' (Pasher), Osmond 90' (Gibson)
- Unused: Farr, King

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Pasher 39’
SKCII - Harris 53'
IND - Barrett 67' (assist Ilic)

- Bookings:
SKCII - Cuic 26' (Yellow)
SKCII - Rad 35' (Yellow)
SKCII - Riley 40' (Yellow)
IND - Haworth 44' (Yellow)
IND - Ilic 71' (Yellow)
SKCII - Barbir 82' (Yellow)
IND - Antley 90'+9' (Yellow)

- Referee: Eric Tattersall
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions
If the Indy Eleven's time in the NASL has taught us anything, it's how to be effective in a "sprint" of a season and not a "marathon" of a season. Win quickly to put teams behind you so that the pressure is on them to catch you, win at home, win against the teams that you are supposed to beat, and then hope for some other results to go your way.
  • Win quickly - 3 games, 3 wins - CHECK
  • Win at home - 2 home games, 2 wins - CHECK
  • Beat teams you're supposed to beat - Wins against Saint Louis and Sporting KC II - CHECK
  • Other results to go your way - Saint Louis beats Louisville tonight - CHECK
Then have some guys who can put the ball in the goal and aren't afraid to do it. I'm looking at you Paddy Barrett. You thought I was talking about Pasher. Everybody knows about Pasher at this point. 
"And they just can't stop him." - Brad Hauter. Pasher is now tied for 3rd in club history for Points Scored with Dylan Mares (Dylan is also now tied with Ouimette for Games Started and was overtaken by Ouimette for Minutes Played) and is making it look like he might score in every single game this season unless he is physically double-teamed through the entirety of the game.

Paddy Barrett though, who Coach Rennie once answered one of my questions about Barrett, by saying that the team often jokes that Barrett is a striker in a defender's body. He had 3 chances created, 1 shot that slide just wide of the goal, and he scored the game winner with a soft little bending shot around the keeper. All that after forcing Saint Louis' keeper into an outstretched save last week. 

He's the center back.

The team is getting goals from defenders and it's just a matter of time before guys like Moon, Carleton, and Lindley find the back of the goal too. Indy had 11 shots on goal; not 11 shots, shots on goal. They had 23 shots. Of the 11 shots, Moon, Carleton, and Lindley accounted for 4 of them, with Tyler Pasher accounting for 4 more. 

Throw in the defending that Ouimette, Barrett, and Hackshaw routinely perform and the group defending from Gibson, Conner, Ayoze, and Haworth, and this team looks formidable. The USL Match Center for the game lists SKCII as having 14 total shots and my recollection of the game wouldn't have put it that high. The 2 shots on goal seems accurate, but even one of those shots is the goal were Harris got in on Newton 1v1 and slide it past him. Otherwise, Newton was forced to make 1 save. 

SKCII is a very young team. The starting goalkeeper is a kid from Indiana who is only 18 years old and made 9 saves tonight. So you can see the talent on their squad and they are going to take points from the top teams in the group, probably even Indy because it's difficult to win against a team every time when you play them 4 times in the season. SKCII were fast, full of energy, and pressed well. In fact, when I saw the sign raised for 8 minutes of stoppage time, I truly wondered if they were going to be able to steal a point out of the game. Yet, Indy's group defending and some moments where the ref kept the whistle out of his mouth in dangerous (PK) locations saw the game finish with Coach Rennie using his allotted 5 subs this week. While Walker and Osmond are only going to be officially credited with 1 minute of game time, their fresh legs and effort were evident. Indy's depth, and the youth at that depth, is going to be valuable, even in this shortened season.

Indy travels to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, both riding wins and sitting atop their groups as Pittsburgh put a 6-spot on Philadelphia Union II tonight. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball
Game winner from a defender. There were a lot of good moments from the game, but a goal from Barrett a few days before his birthday? Yeah, that's enough to get you the GBGB.

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