Friday, August 6, 2021

Indy Eleven vs FC Tulsa - 08.16



- Opponent: FC Tulsa
- Location: ONE OK Field
- Attendance: 3,099
- Final Score: 2-0 W

- Starting XI: Dick, Ouimette, Timmer, Seagrist, Sissoko, Ayoze (C), Law, Moon, Wild, Hamilton, Arteaga
- Substitutions: Gutjahr (Sissoko 56'); Hackshaw (Seagrist 72'); Buckmaster (Moon 72'); Vassell (Arteaga 73'); Cochran (Wild 84')
- Unused: Edwards, Malic

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Wild 79' (assist Hackshaw)
IND - Vassell 85' (assist Gutjahr)

- Bookings:
IND - Moon 36' (Yellow)
IND - Arteaga 54' (Yellow)
IND - Hackshaw 81' (Yellow)

- Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

It gets old saying this, but I hate watching soccer being played on a baseball field. It has crappy grass in parts of the field and "pristine" grass in other parts causing weird hops, and such a compressed field that the spacing between the players on offense and defense are just out of whack. I have been asking to see both Arteaga and Hamilton on the field at the same time and for an extended period and Max Rogers rolled out an Arteaga, Hamilton, and Wild front three to start the game. Yet it's hard to judge the true effectiveness of the pairing when the field just barely falls under the FIFA standard. ONE OK Field measures at 70 yards by 108 yards. While Carroll Stadium is just about 5 yards wider and 8 yards longer, it makes a difference in the spacing of all of the players. 

Combine that with the fact that the temporary sod for the infield moved more than Two Men and a Truck, and the first half of offense was a challenge. The name changed from the last Indy Eleven game, but Indy's first shot on target came within seconds of the 45th minute. Last week it was Arteaga, this week it was Hamilton. Unfortunately, this week's shot came from 25 yards out and was straight at Lewis, Tulsa's keeper.

My concerns and worries in the 1st half weren't limited to the offense. Despite the compressed field and the tip-toeing that had to be done on the offensive side of the ball, Indy was still continuing to try and play out of the back on the "good" side of the field, just "playing their game." It just felt like too much in a tight baseball field where it isn't difficult for Tulsa to press high and let defenders defend. On the other side of the field, Indy didn't do enough to press Tulsa's defense into precarious positions on the tectonic shifting sod laid down in the baseball field's infield.  

I guess it just comes down to the game feeling unnecessarily risky on the defensive side and unable to take risks on the offensive side, creating a game that felt disjointed and not attractive. Almost like it was going to take just one or two plays to change the course of the game. 

Two plays that happened from a long pass from Hackshaw and a relatively long pass from Gutjahr. In the 79th minute, second half substitute Hackshaw looked up, and sent Wild running on the "good" side of the field, which Wild finished nicely. Six minutes later, Gutjahr looked up, and sent Vassell running on the "good" side of the field, which Vassell finished nicely.

Ball game.

Avoid the crappy sod, attack over the defense in the good grass, and walk away with three points. The win is a nice result on that field, but a return trip to Tulsa doesn't seem like something to look forward to doing later in the year. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball

It feels a bit weird to give the GBGB to a player that only played 18 minutes of action, but Hackshaw's presence is a much needed stabilizer on the backline and the game seemed to change a bit with his entrance into the game. So with his second assist of the year, Hackshaw is "rewarded" with this prestigious virtual trophy.

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