Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Indy Eleven vs Memphis 901 FC - 08.26



- Opponent: Memphis 901 FC
- Location: AutoZone Park
- Attendance: 3,716
- Final Score: 1-0 L

- Starting XI: Farr, Ouimette, Timmer, Hackshaw, Moon, Koffie, Gutjahr, Ayoze (C), Wild, Law, Arteaga
- Substitutions: Doyle 55' (Hackshaw - injury); Buckmaster 73' (Moon); Seagrist 82' (Ayoze); Torres 82' (Koffie)
- Unused: Edwards, Liu, Sissoko

- Scoring Summary:
MEM - Murphy 31'

- Bookings:
IND - Moon 28' (Yellow)
MEM - Paul 56' (Yellow)
MEM - Reynolds 75' (Yellow)
MEM - Cropper 90' (Yellow)
MEM - Kissiedou 90'+6' (Yellow)

- Referee: Adam Kilpatrick
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

About 7 hours before the start of this game, Indy Eleven announced that Emmanuel Ledesma was signed and would be joining the team for the rest of the season. As I mentioned on Twitter after the announcement, a key part of what was sent to the season ticket members was the fact that Ledesma is "currently completing the paperwork process for entry into the United States and is expected to join Indiana’s Team as early as next week." That means that he, obviously, wasn't available for this game, but it also means that he won't be available for the first OKC game, and presumably, the second OKC game on Sunday-Wednesday. 

Now that I have that out of the way, welcome to your regularly scheduled complaint about soccer in baseball stadiums. Memphis' temporary turf looked two-inches thicker and heavier and with a very defined crease between the permanent grass and the Crapgrass. For those unaware, Crapgrass comes from a very specific seed that flourishes best in baseball stadiums around the country where USL games are played. Despite Crapgrass's proliferation on narrow soccer fields throughout the Eastern conference, Indy hasn't figured out to play on them. During Rennie's blow-up before exiting the team, he indicated that he had a vision for the way this team should play and they couldn't do that on the Carroll turf. Apparently, that vision has remained with Rogers and the rest of the staff, and also applies to crapgrass stadiums. The team has a certain way they want to play, and come hell or high water, they are going to play that way this year. With no Pasher this year to who they can bomb the ball over the top, the team continues to build slowly from the back, giving teams easy ability to get behind the ball in numbers and to cut off passing lanes. In this game, on this field, even the counter-attacks took a slow pace to them.

Last game, Hoppenot found a crap ball deflect off of him after a Ouimette slide to get to the ball, then Lancaster rises between two of Indy's best defenders and headers in Ouimette and Hackshaw. Tonight, Murphy is sandwiched between Ouimette and Hackshaw and Farr puts a ball off Murphy that bounces back over Farr and into the net in the 31st minute. 

Those are the kinds of things that happen in a season that wasn't meant to be. 

It also doesn't help that Indy's only shot on target came IN. THE. 10TH. MINUTE. Indy went 80 minutes (more if you count the 9 minutes of second half stoppage time) without getting a shot that required a save from Cropper. 

"One of the best build-ups, resulted, frankly, in nothing for Indy." - Rakestraw

He only said it once, but he probably could have said it more. Indy didn't give themselves enough opportunities to win and a weird goal for Memphis sealed their fate. 

With tonight's loss, the chances of Indy making the playoffs took one more extremely negative hit. Ledesma will get in town just in town to play the final 4 or 5 games, when it looks like it won't matter. The addition of his skill could be added too late to make any difference. Though that also requires some assumptions on his fitness, having not played in 3 months, and his ability to quickly acclimate to the team and Indy.

One fluke goal and Indy's season has all the appearances of being over. Yeah, yeah, they have points available and they can have results go their way and they can still make the playoffs, particularly with two upcoming back-to-back games against the current 4th place team. However, nothing about this season, including tonight's game where guys at times looked lethargic or resigned to the fact that they were going to lose, provides any indication that the season is going to end any way other than the way that it looks like right now. Indy on the outside, watching the playoffs from home and fans wondering what players, if any, will be returning next year, who will be coaching those players, and if those players will ever be playing at Eleven Park.

Indy plays OKC on Sunday and then again on Wednesday. Whether the effort to sign Ledesma means anything may likely hinge on what happens in the next week.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

There aren't a lot of positives that stick out in a game like this, but I thought Timmer had a decent game, considering that Ouimette was in and out a couple times with injuries, Hackshaw actually left the game with an injury, and Doyle inserted into the middle. Timmer dealt with a lot and mostly did so well. That's not the most glowing pronouncement for the GBGB, but that's what we get tonight.

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