Saturday, September 18, 2021

Indy Eleven vs Louisville City FC - 08.25



- Opponent: Louisville City FC
- Location: Carroll Stadium
- Attendance: 6,499
- Final Score: 2-0 L

- Starting XI: Farr, Ouimette, Timmer, Hackshaw, Moon, Koffie, Gutjahr, Ayoze (C), Wild, Law, Arteaga
- Substitutions: Buckmaster 69' (Gutjahr); Seagrist 69' (Ayoze)
- Unused: Edwards, Doyle, Liu, Sissoko, Torres

- Scoring Summary:
LOU - Hoppenot 41'
LOU - Lancaster 36' (assist Hoppenot)

- Bookings:
LOU - Del Piccolo 32' (Yellow)
IND - Hackshaw 56' (Yellow)
IND - Arteaga 60' (Yellow)
IND - Timmer 65' (Yellow)
IND - Farr 71' (Yellow)
LOU - Hoppenot XX' (Yellow from the bench - at least according to Rake/Hauter but nothing official from the USL stats) 
LOU - McCabe 80' (Yellow)
LOU - Souahy 83' (Yellow)

- Referee: Jeremy Scheer
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

For those new to my site, here's a bit of a background on me. I'm not a journalist and this isn't my day job, which is being an engineer. I'm just a fan who has carved out a way to write about my local team. It wouldn't be accurate to describe my writing as journalistic, but my objectively tends to slide further on games against Louisville. Keep that in mind for later...

Indy Eleven - 1st 30' Distribution
Louisville has a way of keeping the same guys on the roster for long periods of time. They returned 18 guys from last season's Easter Conference finalist team. That familiarity breeds an understanding of where guys are going to be going forward, but also when in defense. Louisville presses hard on defense, leaving opposing players with very little time on the ball and forcing them into quick decisions; decisions that Louisville hopes are bad decisions. Indy has the technical ability to pass out of that pressure in a lot of positions, but clearly decided coming into the game that sometimes the best option is to go over that pressure. In the first 30', Indy was passing "long" at a clip of 34% of their passes, which is way above their season average of around 14%. By halftime, that number had reduced slightly to 29% at halftime, but it didn't change much during the second half. Indy finished the game at 22% of "long" passes. It's effectiveness can be debated when you look at guy's passing accuracy (even typically accurate passer Law was at 78%), but Indy never really went away from it.

Right before halftime (feel like those "adage" goals thing is something that has been a problem this year), Louisville got on the board through Hoppenot. Hoppenot... I hate that fucking guy. He just seems to have balls bounce his way against Indy. He's full of attitude. Yet, he seems to continue to find ways to run my night. Tonight, that was a toe-poke goal in the 41st minute that found its way under Farr and then an assist to Lancaster (who I dislike nearly as much) in the 69th minute that sent Indy to a 2-nil defeat. Hoppenot had just 26 touches and 10 passes (only 40% accurate on those passes) and Lancaster had just 16 touches (and just 4 passes!) and yet they find a way to get a win despite Indy having a legit case that they were the better team for good chunks of the game.

That is what separates a playoff team in Louisville, and a potentially non-playoff team in Indy. The bounces just haven't gone Indy's way this year and the yo-yo season continues. Indy needs positive results and they just can't seem to consistently get them. Thanks to the results tonight, and regardless of what happens with Memphis tomorrow, Indy finished the night in the same spot in the table as they came into it; in 6th place and out of the playoffs. The optimists will tell you that the next four games are against the three teams that are in the immediate running for the final playoff spot since it looks like Louisville, Birmingham, and FC Tulsa are closing in on wrapping up the first three spots. The pessimists (I'm one of those) will point out that the next three of those games are on the road (including a long road trip to OKC on a Sunday-Wednesday doubleheader), all take place within the next two weeks that continues Indy's month of weekend-midweek-weekend run of games (counting the exhibition against the Chicago Fire), and the lone game at the end of the run at home is against a team that has a 2W-1D-0L record against Indy this year, holds the tiebreaker, and has outscored the Eleven 8-3, including the 6-2 embarrassment in Atlanta at the beginning of August. Oh, and after that run of games, Indy play the current top three teams in the division. 

I feel like I have said this before, but Indy needed a positive result from this game; from both a confidence perspective and from their placement in the table. Yet here I am again writing about Indy's struggles to win games and their ever decreasing chances of making the playoffs. The bad news of any potential good news is that if Indy were able to make the playoffs, there's a good chance they'll be facing Tampa Bay, who haven't conceded a goal in 801 minutes after their 8th consecutive shutout. So there's that.

Yeah, I'm writing from a place, again, of pessimism. Another loss at home, to Louisville, will do that. Indy now head to Memphis on Wednesday before their two-game road trip to OKC. If Indy wants to have any chance of making the playoffs, they probably need wins in at least two of those games, and given that Memphis has games in hand on Indy, a win there would go a long way. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball

I normally give the GBGB to the most impactful player of the game, what would be considered the MVP by other outlets. With that in mind, I wasn't sure who to give the recognition. Then it occurred to me. Well, actually, I toyed with giving it to Farr for blasting a drop kick off of Lancaster after the second goal, but that's kind of petty of me, even if I enjoyed seeing that kind of emotion from a guy like Farr. 

You can tell how much a team appreciates a teammate by their reaction when that player becomes part of an altercation. Arteaga and former Indy Eleven player Tyler Gibson got into a shoving match and reinforcements were quick to come to Arteaga's back. So I thought about giving it to Arteaga for the love his teammates show for him, but I have a hard time giving it to the team's striker when he didn't have a single shot; not just on target, no shots period. Sidenote: this is back-to-back games where Arteaga hasn't registered a shot and he only had one shot the game before. That's not good.

But one of the guys that came to Arteaga's defense was Karl Ouimette. Indy's newest member of the century club, which he achieved with tonight's game, and the club's recent career games started and minutes played leader. From well away from the action, Ouimette came up to support his teammate and bark an earful at Gibson, who started the altercation with a shove in Arteaga's chest. Reminded me of a recent match when Hackshaw did the exact same thing for Arteaga. Defensive guys looking out for the offense. Yet, Ouimette's vehement defense of his teammate tonight gets him my GBGB in a difficult home loss to Louisville.

Additional Photos (@DLTPhotog)

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