Saturday, October 30, 2021

Indy Eleven vs Memphis 901 FC - 08.33


- Opponent: Memphis 901 FC
- Location: AutoZone Park
- Attendance: 4,015
- Final Score: 3-0 L

- Starting XI: Farr, Buckmaster, Timmer, Adewole, Seagrist, Koffie, Partida, Moon, Ayoze (C), Vassell, Arteaga
- Substitutions: Gutjahr 61' (Sissoko); Moon 61' (Vassell); Liu 76' (Arteaga)
- Unused: Edwards, Doyle, Hackshaw, Ouimette

- Scoring Summary:
MEM - Lamah 2' (assist Salazar)
MEM - Murphy 32' (assist Kissiedou)
MEM - Fortune 56' (assist Kissiedou)

- Bookings:
MEM - Fortune 7' (Yellow)
IND - Vassell 25' (Yellow)
MEM - Reynolds 66' (Yellow)
IND - Moon 80' (Yellow)
MEM - Carroll 82' (Yellow)
IND - Partida 85' (Yellow)

- Referee: Matthew Franz
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

Would you expect anything less from Indy Eleven this year than a 3-0 loss to close out a season that has been underwhelming and disappointing? Last year's team finished like a semi-truck tire that was showing its issues and then explodes violently on the interstate. This year's team was more like a tire with a slow leak. Indy tried to put some more air in the tire with some late season signings, but Indy found themselves on the side of the road in Memphis with a tire that just couldn't go any further.

On paper, this team seemed like it should have been a contender. In results, Indy finishes the season in 6th place in the Central Division, with a 9W-8D-15L record and a different coach than which they started. Haworth played just 4 games. Hackshaw couldn't play the final 7 games. Cochran couldn't play in the final 11 games. Farr missed 8 games in the middle of the season. Law and late season addition Ledesma missed the final 2 games. Wild missed the final 3. Vassell missed 7 games due to international team duty and difficulty getting back into town. Seemingly, if things could go badly, they did.

This game was no different. Even the USL match center was ready for the Indy season to be complete, as it took a break for about 20 minutes of game time and even restarted the clock a few times despite being 60+ minutes into the game.

Memphis got on the board early in the 12th minute as Salazar and Lamah easily worked themselves around the Indy defense; thereby allowing them the ability to sit in and knock the ball around as much as they wanted. Knowing Indy was going to want to press the issue if they wanted the draw/win, Memphis was content to play keep away when they could, bunker when needed, and counter at key opportunities. At no point did Indy look like they were going to win this game after giving up that early goal. A Kyle Murphy goal in the 32nd minute put this game to bed with 58 minutes of game remaining. The 56th minute (offside) goal by Fortune just made the game difficult to watch for Indy fans as the Eleven didn't put a single shot on target in the second half. 

The slow tire leak finally put Indy on the side of the road. 

Also of note was that Ouimette was not in the starting lineup, which means he finishes the season (and maybe his Indy Eleven career?) at one game less than 100 starts for the club, which would have made him the first player to hit that mark. When Karl hit the 99 game start mark with 6 games remaining, I really thought we would see our first Indy player with that milestone, but Ouimette played 18 minutes total in the final 6 games. Not sure why he fell so far out of favor with Rogers, but Ouimette didn't have much say in the final games of the season.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Ayoze. For no other reason that he's about to turn 36, playing like he's found the fountain of youth.

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