Sunday, May 29, 2022

Indy Eleven vs New Mexico United - 09.11


- Opponent: New Mexico United
- Location: Carroll Stadium
- Attendance: 6,915
- Final Score: 2-1 L

- Starting XI: Trilk, Hackshaw (C), Jerome, Timmer, McQueen, Brown, Ingram, Powder, Fjeldberg, Arteaga, Pinho
- Substitution: Law 20' (Fjeldberg); Aguilera 62' (Ingram); Asante 62' (Powder); Cochran 76' (Jerome) 
- Unused: Meredith, Ault, Michael 

- Scoring Summary:
NM - Portillo 38' (Wehan)
NM - Own Goal 63' (Jerome)
IND - Pinho 80' (assist Asante)

- Bookings:
IND - Arteaga 35' (Yellow) 
NM - Kiesewetter 90'+4' (Yellow)

- Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

As Greg Rakestraw likes to say, Indy had Chamber of Commerce weather for this game, but after a 2-1 loss, Coach Lowry was anything but pleasant. I mean, he was his normal accommodating self and answered questions as well as he could, but there was a lot of heat and anger in his mood. He was unset with the result, but not upset with the way his team played. Which is fair. Indy limited New Mexico to just four shots, only two of which were on target, one in each half. Yet Indy found themselves on the wrong side of the result, partially because Indy saw a rare mistake from Jerome.

That's getting ahead of ourselves though. 

This was Indy's first league game with Trilk in goal, with Panicco having been pulled back from Nashville in time for Nashville to give him the start and victory against Louisville City FC in the U.S. Open Cup. Trilk did everything you could ask of him in his first start against a talented New Mexico team. New Mexico came to Indy for the first time, fresh off a 7-0 drubbing of Phoenix Rising on Tuesday, a game that was postponed due to COVID concerns, and featured a number of Rising academy players. More on my thoughts about Trilk later.

After a challenge for the ball, Fjeldberg did the "something is wrong with my hamstring" skip and proceeded to sit down, immediately after giving the universal sign in football for "prepare to make a substitution." The trainer agreed with him and he went to the bench in the 20th minute with an apparent hamstring injury, and Nicky Law entered. Fjeldberg was having success on the left side of the field, but its not like you lose any talent when Law enters the game. A minute after entering, Law put a dime towards the 6-yard box that Pinho headed off the crossbar. A few inches lower and this game likely had a different appearance. During halftime, I saw Fjeldberg walk back onto the field from the locker room and he wasn’t walking with much limp, so hopefully his injury is minor. Though, he also walked straight across the field, pausing briefly to talk to Asante, and went to one of the seats and immediately sat down. So while the injury might not be as bad as initially feared, his mental aspect of the tweak was still a bit fresh at halftime. As usual, Coach didn't say much about the status of the injury after the game.

In the 35th minute, a yellow card was shown to Arteaga for dissent. Shocking. Not that he received the card, shocking that it was only his first yellow card of the season, given his energy level and his propensity to vehemently argue calls that he doesn't think are correct. Which are most.

A few minutes later, and Indy found themselves trailing, somewhat against the run of play, but set up nicely by Wehan as he put it in a spot where Portillo could one time it in front of the Indy defense. That is one of those goals that Indy didn’t really do much incorrectly from a defensive standpoint, but the pass and shot was just a bit better. You don't like to give up goals, but sometimes, you just have to chalk it up to an incrementally better play by your opponent than by you.

You might go the rest of this season and not see a mistake by Jerome like he made today. You can blame it on the field or him looking two steps ahead of the play in front of him, but to watch a simple pass back to him go under his foot and into Indy's own goal is something that just doesn't happen. It's a rare mistake by Jerome that gave United a second goal and a steep 2-nil mountain to climb against a very stout United defense. 

There are times, and this game had several of those times, when Indy's attacking players were not in sync with each other. Passes were not where they wanted them. Shots were taken when a pass was preferred. When they were in sync, they looked dangerous, bringing the United out of their shape, and forcing the NM players to chase shadows. The guys just weren’t clinical enough to get the ball in the goal enough to overcome United’s first goal and the freebie from Jerome.

We all love Arteaga. We love his effort, his passion, and his goal scoring ability, but if I'm being honest today, he made some bad decisions in this game. The yellow was unnecessary, but more of my issue came towards the end of the game as Indy was chasing the result. There was a sequence where the ball went out for an Indy corner kick. Arteaga went to take it. Asante ran over to relieve him, but Arteaga brushed him off. There is absolutely ZERO reason for Arteaga to take a corner kick with 5'-2" Asante on the field. Asante isn't going to win a ton of headers from corner kicks, but can put in a perfect corner kick. The ensuing throw-in that happened after the kick went out not far from Arteaga and he, again, waved off other players who came over to take it. In this case, that player was Hackshaw, who we've seen be effective with long throw-ins. Arteaga's was effective, and Hackshaw can get to headers and is talented, but I, personally, would rather see Hackshaw taking that throw with my goal-poaching striker in the mix within the 18-yard box when I need that goal. I love his passion and desire to win, but neither of those two restarts should have been from him, but rather, TO him. I'm sure being 11 games into the season without a goal is affecting him and he's trying to affect the game as much as he can, but those are not the times to do it.

Indy pulled one back in the 80th minute with yet another goal from Pinho on a nice cross from Asante. Solo has now added to his career points total in less than 40 minutes of game action. Let's hope that continues.
Indy fall at home for the first time this season and now spend the next month away as the turf at Carroll Stadium gets replaced. That's not been officially announced by the team nor by IUPUI, but it seems to be a worst kept secret than to find out Indy fans hate Hoppenot. When Indy return home on July 2nd to Miami FC, it will be on new turf. Next week, though, Indy travel to Charleston to play another struggling team in the hopes of getting today's loss out of their system.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
It seems a bit strange to be handing out a Game Beckons Game Ball to a goalkeeper in a 2-1 loss, but Trilk deserves a lot of credit for the way he played today. He made good decisions on when to come out for balls, he was decisive, and didn't make any real errors. Even the own goal wasn't his fault. As the ball started back to the normally rock solid Jerome, Trilk made the right play and put himself in the position to back up Jerome. It just pushed him too far away when the ball went under Jerome's foot. Again, it feels weird to do it in a loss, but I think Trilk deserves the GBGB for his play today after having not played a single minute in league play before Panicco's departure. I don't know if it will remain his position with the addition of Meredith from Nashville, but he has played well, despite his 2 goals against average. 

Additional Photos (Courtesy of @DLTPhotog)

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