Saturday, June 26, 2021

Indy Eleven vs Louisville City FC - 08.10



- Opponent: Louisville City FC
- Location: Lynn Family Stadium
- Attendance: 10,927
- Final Score: 3-3 D

- Starting XI: Edwards, Ouimette, Cochran, Hackshaw, Timmer, Ayoze (C), Law, Moon, Wild, Smith, Arteaga

- Substitutions: Hamilton 62' (Arteaga); Vassell 62' (Ayoze); Koffie 71' (Law); Seagrist 71' (Wild); Buckmaster 86' (Moon)
- Unused: Dick, Sissoko, Gutjahr

- Scoring Summary:
LOU - DelPiccolo 6' (assist Ownby)
IND - Smith 9' (assist Hackshaw)
LOU - Gomez 14' 
IND - Hackshaw 20' (assist Moon)
IND - Arteaga 41' (assist Smith)
LOU - Bone 78' (assist Ownby)

- Bookings:
LOU - Bone 32' (Yellow)
IND - Smith 33' (Yellow)
LOU - Hoppenot 70' (Yellow)
IND - Vassell 74' (Yellow)
IND - Buckmaster 9'+4' (Yellow)

- Referee: Gabriele Giusti
- Adage goals: Yep

Thoughts and Opinions

Game 2 under interim manager Max Rogers started with something that we didn't see much from the waning days of Martin Rennie's tenure, and that is a starting lineup that is the same as the previous game. Something that we have seen though, is Indy giving up early goals, which they did again tonight, giving up a goal in the 6th minute. The difference is that in this game Indy got one back in the 9th minute. 

25 Min Attack Stats
The scoring didn't stop there as Louisville scored 5 minutes later on yet another goal that has taken a deflection and had the Indy goalkeepers wrong-footed. For Louisville's second goal, it was Gomez taking a shot that bounced off of Ouimette with Edwards leaning the wrong way. Amazingly, Indy followed that up 6 minutes later with their own goal. Moon sent a ball to the far post that found Hackshaw with a one-touch into the near post netting. For two teams that are typically pretty stingy with their defense, there were 4 goals in the first 20 minutes. Then Louisville gave up another one five minutes before halftime. 

After that goal, and the halftime break, the game settled into a more normal IND v LOU match. LouCity holding much of the possession, with Indy keeping the ball in front of them and countering when the opportunity arose.

Full Match Crosses
Until the 78th minute when Louisville scored again as Indy continued to concede more and more possession hoping to ride out the game, which is something you can't do against a team like Louisville. It seems Martin didn't pack the Rennie Bunker (TM) into his banker's box when he left the office. Indy tried to defend and defend and that is never going to be a winning tactic against a team like Louisville, especially in a game where the teams scored a combined 5 goals in the first half. Louisville finished the game with 52 crosses according to the match center stats. You don't have to know much about soccer to know that if you have that many balls being sent across the goal, something is going to give and usually its the defense that buckles under that pressure.

However, I don't want to get too negative with the bus parking that took place for the majority of the second half. So let's talk about how efficient Indy was in the first half with their goals. Really that goes for both teams. Between the two keepers, they were only made 2 saves (both by Edwards) for the entirety of the game. At halftime, there were 5 shots on target and 5 goals. That's pretty damn effective. Indy had 6 shots for a 50% shooting accuracy and Louisville also had 6 shots for a 33.3% shooting accuracy. The number of shots for Indy went down to 1 in the second half, but they were highly effective in the first half. 

One last thought for this match. Since Martin Rennie's departure, Indy Eleven have scored 5 goals. Many fans will state that this is what this team can do now that Rennie is gone. I'm not going to argue that too vehemently, but I do want to point out that part of Rennie's complaint as he departed was the Carroll Stadium turf. We all know (or suspect) other reasons too, but the team has played on two really nice grass fields since that post-game rant. Will the same offense output that we've seen the past two games be duplicated when Indy Eleven get back to Carroll next week against Birmingham? Will Martin's parting shot be proven to be true? I guess we'll see, but at the moment, his assistant's decision to push Law further up the field and allow Timmer to play the single defensive mid role looks to have been very effective in his first two games as the team's interim coach. 

Indy head home with a point from Louisville, with the Central division leading Birmingham Legion waiting for them on Saturday. We know the field won't be full of sand like it was when Indy met Birmingham in the first game of the season, so this next game will likely play much differently. Either way, there will be a lot on the line as the two teams will want to maintain their winning ways.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Photo Credit - EM Dash
This is a hard decision for me tonight. So I'm going to make it easier on myself and just reward the GBGB to the entire team for their first half effort. Yes, giving up two goals was not ideal, but both of Louisville's goal came off deflections. Indy had three very good goals. Smith's goal was a great header from a great Hackshaw cross. Hackshaw's goal came from a great Moon cross. Arteaga's goal came from a great Smith thru-ball (and Law decision to not play the ball). Notice I didn't say that any of those goals came from set pieces. I'm good with a good set piece goal, but this team is starting to look like they can do both set piece goals and run-of-play goals. That's something that brings optimism moving forward and deserves to be rewarded. So First Half Indy Eleven get the GBGB. Hackshaw gets the photo.

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