Sunday, April 10, 2022

Indy Eleven vs Rio Grande Valley FC - 09.05


- Opponent: Rio Grande Valley FC
- Location: H-E-B Park
- Attendance: 3,357
- Final Score: 2-1 W

- Starting XI: Panicco, Rebellon, Jerome, Cochran (C), Timmer, Powder, Brown, Ingram, McQueen, Aguilera, Pinho
- Substitution: Law 68' (Powder); Briggs 68' (McQueen); Michael 86' (Ingram); Ayoze 86' (Pinho); Arteaga 90'+4' (Aguilera)
- Unused: Trilk, Ouimette

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Pinho 69' (assist Jerome)
IND - Pinho 78' (assist Briggs)
RGV - Lopez 83' (assist Coronado)

- Bookings:
RGV - Nodarse 25' (Yellow)
IND - Rebellon 35' (Yellow)
IND - Pinho 40' (Yellow)
IND - McQueen 58' (Yellow)
RGV - Ruiz 73' (Yellow)
IND - Aguilera 90' (Yellow)

- Referee: Gerald Flores
- Adage goals: One

Thoughts and Opinions

Wind Chart for Edinburg, TX
from Weather Underground
Let's be honest. This was a game of two teams that are sitting towards the bottom of their respective tables, struggling to get positive results. At some point, one of them had to break through get a win, right? In the first half, I thought that team was going to be Rio Grande Valley. They controlled possession, they had more shots, and they were going with the wind. For the second league game in a row, wind was a factor as clearances and long passes were held up in the 22 mph winds and 35 mph wind gusts. The second half brought about a change in direction for Indy and fewer passes being affected by the wind.

RGV had a 56% to 44% advantage in possession at halftime, and expanded that to 62% to 38% by the end of the game. Indy didn't have a shot until stoppage time of the first half and didn't have a shot on goal until the 68th minute. Yes, that coincides with Pinho's first goal. Indy's ONLY other shot on goal happened in the 78th minute, which yes, coincides with Pinho's second goal. If you're only going to get two shots on goal, a 100% conversion rate is required if you want to have any chance of winning the game. 

This team is a mystery to me at this point in the season. Indy struggles with teams that press hard (see St. Louis), but are generally dominant in the aerial duels. Yet, between the 60th and the 63rd minutes, Indy had four consecutive corner kicks and walked away from that stretch of play without a single shot on goal. How is that possible?

After Indy gave themselves a two-goal cushion in the 78th minute from Pinho's second goal, my gut feeling was telling me that the goal-scoring was done for Indy, but not for RGV. Five minutes later (the old adage goal rearing its head), a pass was threaded through a channel between Rebellon and Aguilera who couldn't keep up with Coronado, who one-touched a centering ball to Lopez who had made a run off of Cochran's shoulder and beat him to the spot in the 6-yard box where he found the ball and just needed to redirect it on goal away from Panicco. Despite pretty good defense for the majority of the game, Panicco continues to wait for his first clean sheet of the season.

I know it's early in the season, but I'm starting to worry about McQueen and Powder. I feel like I have seen a number of times where McQueen and Rebellon aren't on the same page and Powder seems to be struggling in the midfield as well. In this game, McQueen was less than 53% accurate with his passes, neither provided any positive stats for the attack, and both conceded more fouls than they won with McQueen picking up a yellow card (plus his red card in the first game against Loudoun). The Lowry offense I saw in El Paso last year utilized crosses from the wings to get balls into the box, but Powder has just two crosses in his four games played. Yes, there are a number of factors that go into their numbers, but I think Indy are going to need more out of these two guys moving forward.

Indy return home to Carroll Stadium for a much needed homestand as they play 5 of their next 6 games in Indy. The trip to AutoZone Park to play Memphis 901 FC on May 14th is the only away fixture in the months of April and May. Indy needs to take advantage of the BYB support as Indy plays on the road for every game in the month of June. Indy begin the run of home games next week against Atlanta United 2, who sit just ahead of Indy in the table and just took a 4-nil beating from Detroit City FC.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

This is a season where Indy has had a hard time scoring goals. A combined lack of composure and a hesitancy to shoot the ball has lead Indy to scoring just 2 goals in their first four games. Indy, through Pinho, doubled that total last night, giving him 3 of Indy's 4 goals. In honor of the team's first brace (that didn't include a penalty kick as part of the brace) since Tyler Pasher accomplished the feat in the first game of the 2020 season, today's Game Beckons Game Ball goes to Stefano Pinho. Pinho's first goal was the kind of goal that can be used to demonstrate how to perfectly control a ball off your chest to your feet. We routinely see that kind of ball fall into a spot where the player can't do anything with it. His second goal involved two pinpoint passes ahead of it from Ingram to Briggs and then from Briggs to Pinho, with Pinho again making the correct and deft touch around a charging Miller coming off his line to have a simple shot on goal. I really like Brigg's effort lately, but seeing Arteaga come on in second half stoppage time makes me excited to see what a top line of Arteaga and Pinho can do moving forward.

No comments: