Sunday, August 2, 2020

Indy Eleven vs Sporting KC II - 07.07

- Opponent: Sporting KC II
- Location: Lucas Oil Stadium
- Attendance: 5,409
- Final Score: 0-1 L

- Starting XI: Farr, Hackshaw, Barrett (C), Osmond, Walker, Gibson, Dumas, Antley, Lindley, Pasher, Moon

- Substitutions: Ilic 46' (Moon), Conner 46' (Walker), Ayoze 59' (Dumas), Watson 59' (Antley), Carleton 77' (Lindley)
- Unused: Newton, Ouimette

- Scoring Summary:
SCKII - Barbir 70' (assist King)

- Bookings:
SKCII - Rad 50' (Yellow)
SKCII - Duke 76' (Yellow)
IND - Ayoze 88' (Yellow)
IND - Osmond 90'+7' (Yellow)

- Referee: Youssef Elmessoussi
- Adage goals: One

Thoughts and Opinions
Writing about a home loss is something that hasn't happened in over two years. Indy Eleven haven't lost a regular season home game since July 4th, 2018 against Ottawa Fury. A span of 29 games that puts Indy in the top of the USL record books for home regular season undefeated streaks. A span of games that included just 7 draws, the last of which was a 1-1 draw against Louisville City FC in June of last year. 

Indy has made a habit of winning their home games throughout the club's history. Tonight's game was Indy's 99th home game in the club's history. With the loss, Indy now has a 50W-26D-23L regular season home record, meaning that 74% of the time, Indy has come away with points. If you take out the inaugural 2014 season where Indy struggled to get wins until the unforgettable night against Minnesota, that number goes to 81% of the time that Indy gets a positive result at home. 

Yet, Sporting KC II came into Indy on a week where they had a Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday schedule and managed a win in Louisville on Wednesday and high pressed the entire game with a bunch of teenagers and young twenty year olds. Indy, on the other hand, one-upped SKCII by coming into the game with a Saturday-Wednesday-Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday schedule. Even with Indy's depth at all positions, that's a rough schedule, and Indy looked tired at times. Walker and Moon only played the first half and Farr picked up his first playing time of the year in place of Newton, so Coach Rennie was clearly conscientious and concerned about the effort his squad was going to be able to perform tonight against the young talented guys from SKCII.

Indy was (is) the better team.  Indy have played a couple more games than the rest of Group E, but they still have a 6 point lead over 2nd place Saint Louis and a 9 point lead over SKCII and LCFC with 6 more home games remaining. The loss isn't the end of the world for this team, but sometimes the schedule just works against you.

The SKCII goal in the 70th minute came from an effective counter attack, but there was a distinct difference in the 1st and 2nd half for the Eleven. Indy definitely tilted the field towards the SKCII goal after the halftime break, but it became even more pronounced after the SKCII goal. Indy just couldn't finish the chances like they have in other games. 

Tyler Pasher was again met with triple team defending so there are going to be openings for other guys to showcase their talents and scoring abilities. However, on a night where nobody was that well rested from the last two week's schedule and the opponent has the ability to high-press you non-stop for 90 minutes (a tactic that we've seen used effectively over the years by NYRBII), preventing them from scoring and finding your own chances can be difficult.

Indy now get a full week to rest and work on some things in training that they haven't been able to do the past two weeks, just in time for the first installment in 2020 of the LIPAFC, as Indy head down to Louisville's new Lynn Family Stadium to attempt to maintain the road teams' successes at the new stadium. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball
Most of the time, I give the GBGB to the player that I think had an excellent game. This was another hard game to choose that player. So tonight's Game Beckons Game Ball goes to Jordan Farr. You never want to be the goalkeeper during a game where the team loses for the first time at home in two years. Nor do you want to be the player that the club front office decide is going to be the player representative during the press conference after the loss. Yet, Farr took it like a champ. He heaped praise on the coaching staff for believing in him. He heaped praise on Newton for being one of the best keepers in the league year after year. He heaped praise on the fans who are able to make it to the games to support the team. Jordan was the consummate professional after a difficult loss. So I'm going to reward him for that effort and mentality.

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