Sunday, September 26, 2021

Indy Eleven vs OKC Energy FC - 08.27



- Opponent: OKC Energy FC
- Location: Taft Stadium
- Attendance: 1,960
- Final Score: 2-0 L

- Starting XI: Edwards, Ouimette (C), Timmer, Doyle, Buckmaster, Koffie, Gutjahr, Seagrist, Wild, Law, Arteaga
- Substitutions: Moon 18' (Buckmaster - injury); Liu 64' (Gutjahr); Ayoze (Wild) 75'; Sissoko (Koffie) 75'
- Unused: Farr, Partida, Torres

- Scoring Summary:
OKC - Chavez 30' (assist Bijev)
OKC - Daniels 74' (assist Bijev)

- Bookings:
IND - Seagrist 23' (Yellow)
IND - Gutjahr 45'+2' (Yellow)
IND - Koffie 70' (Yellow)
OKC - Kurimoto 90'+2' (Yellow)
IND - Sissoko 90'+4' (Yellow)

- Referee: Kevin Broadley
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

The phrase "must win" has seemed like a constant refrain for weeks now and Indy hasn't been very successful at doing that. As a result, they continue to find themselves on the wrong side of the playoff cut line for 10 out of the past 11 weeks. Atlanta and Memphis both hold the tiebreaker over Indy, further making their chances of making the playoffs more difficult. The result on Wednesday now determines who holds the Indy-OKC tiebreaker. Indy brought in four new players in the past two weeks to help that cause, but positive results in back-to-back games in OKC were a must to make the addition of the players meaningful and not just potential steps towards next season. A dwindling bench with Haworth, Cochran, and Hackshaw injured meant that Doyle has already seen minutes, and Partida made the trip to OKC. 

Another refrain that has been constant lately is that Indy isn't catching any breaks and the bad bounces just keep happening. Or that Indy continues to be undone with silly (or bad) mistakes.

So would you expect anything less than to see Buckmaster go down with what looks like a very serious ankle injury (they went straight to the locker room with him) around the 16th minute, further shortening an already depleted bench? Or how about OKC taking a ball from their endline as Ellis-Hayden dribbles about 1/3 of the way up the field, passes easily to Bijev, who dribbles another 1/3 of the way up the field, and then passes to Chavez who had beaten the offside trap, and easily puts it past Edwards? Full length of the field in two passes and Indy are down 1-nil in the 30th minute having already burned a substitute. 

As the first half continued, the fans who have been starting to worry about Farr's effectiveness watched as Edwards ran towards a long ball only to not touch it at all, and then whiff on another ball outside his box (and luckily watched it run across the endline). All of that was after Edwards came to his endline corner of the box and missed getting the ball completely, but was bailed out by the OKC player slipping and not being able to get a good shot/cross.

Forget it. Here's the basics of how this game was lost. 

Indy hasn't scored a goal in 3 games. 

Indy had a single shot on goal, by Law, in the 79th minute

OKC had 11 shots, 7 on target, for a whopping 63.6% shooting accuracy. 

Indy had a paltry 25% tackles success rate. 

Indy's final third had less green than my bank account when my daughter's gymnastics fees are due.

Right now, there is so much wrong with the way things are going that the addition of Ledesma, Partida, and Adewole look like extended tryouts for next season. The fans that still think there is a chance to make the playoffs are like the band on the Titanic, knowing the ship is going down, but trying to put on a brave face and doing your job of supporting. This team was rebuilt after missing the playoffs, and it is looking like an inevitability that this team is going to miss the playoffs this year as well. A new coach will be added and we'll see what players remain (I suspect at least a few are on two year contracts...Law and Arteaga if we're lucky).

Indy go again on Wednesday, maybe with Adewole in the bench, but I wouldn't expect him to play. As they mentioned on the broadcast, when you have back-to-back games like this, often times the second game feels more like an extension of the first game, picking up right where it left off. If that's the case, I don't see how Indy do anything but lose like they did tonight. Their lines were so spread out that OKC easily passed between them, there seemed to be a defeated mentality for a good chunk of the players, and they looked outmatched.

Indy play again on Wednesday at 8:30. Watch at your own risk.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Just so that I don't have to do the "Nope" thing that I did for the Loudoun game, I'm going to give the GBGB to Aidan Liu for making into the game. I never like to see guys make it through the entire season without getting minutes and he was the last one (not counting the Academy guys or the new guys). So good for him.

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