Thursday, June 9, 2022

Indy Eleven vs Miami FC - 09.13


- Opponent: Miami FC
- Location: Riccardo Silva Stadium
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 1-1 D

- Starting XI: Trilk, Timmer, Cochran (C), Jerome, Ingram, Brown, Law, Asante, Aguilera, Arteaga, Pinho
- Substitution: Rebellon 87' (Aguilera); Michael 90'+4' (Law)
- Unused: Meredith, Ayoze, Fjeldberg, Revelorio, Warhaft 

- Scoring Summary:
MIA - Sorto 15' (assist Walker)
IND - Pinho 55' (assist Aguilera)

- Bookings:
IND - Arteaga 22' (Yellow) 
MIA - Walker 36' (Yellow)
IND - Aguilera 38' (Yellow)
MIA - Chapman-Page 40' (Yellow)
MIA - Valot 60' (Yellow)
MIA - Parkes 90'+2' (Yellow)

- Referee: John Matto
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

Thirteen minutes and 49 seconds. That's how much of the game was able to be played before the weather in Miami did what weather in Miami does. Sent everybody back to the locker room for a rain delay. A rain delay that lasted from approximately 7:25 PM to 9:57 PM.

First Half Average Po
Something I don't say very often, but Timmer was getting destroyed on the left side of the field in the early part of the game. Seemed to be over extending himself against Walker. Before the weather delay, both Walker and even Murphy were taking advantage of a high line that Timmer was playing, and he kept getting beat. One of those led to a quick shot from Murphy when none of the other defenders stepped to him and he put it into the outside netting. If he had managed to get it on the other side of the post, I'm not sure that Trilk had it covered quickly enough to keep it out. 

After the break, it was the same thing that led to Miami's goal less than 20 seconds after the restart. Arteaga lost a ball near half field line, McFarlane put a ball around Timmer where Walker could run onto it before Cochran could get to him. Walker one-timed a cross in that no man's land between the defenders and Trilk, and Sorto beat the playing out-of-position Ingram to the ball in front of goal. One mistake led to another led to another led to a goal. Those are the kinds of goals that coaches hate. One mistake can be forgiven as guys are human and not perfect. It's letting the mistakes compound that drives coaches like Lowry crazy.

The rest of the first half became a chippy affair with yellow cards flying aplenty for both teams. Both teams received a pair of yellows, and the second half started with an elevated level of physicality as well. That began to settle down a little, but this did not have the feel of a game against two teams that haven't played each other in 5 years. This felt like a rivalry match where every touch mattered.

Stefano Pinho has become an absolute find for Indy Eleven, making Coach Lowry look like a genius. Pinho's performance in Austin last year on paper (1 goal in 25 games) did not necessarily warrant the faith that Lowry had in him when he signed him. Lowry has said before that he could just see that he was primed to do exactly what he has done this year; score goals at an average of greater than a goal every two games, plus providing 3 assists. Pinho has demonstrated all season that a well placed shot can often be much more effective than a shot with a lot of power. Today's goal was exactly that kind of shot; placed under Sparrow and against the direction Sparrow was headed. With tonight's goal in just the 13th game of the season, Pinho is within 2 goals of being in the Top 10 in club history for goals. 

Speaking of Coach Lowry looking like a genius. Whenever he can, Coach Lowry has repeatedly been effusive about the talent, ability, and potential of Aguilera. On the season, he has a goal and tonight's assist, but his effort to get into that position for the assist demonstrates what Lowry was hoping he would get with Aguilera. The only concern I have with him is his propensity to pick up cards. He has one of the team's two red cards this season, and another 4 yellow cards, including one tonight. You like the effort, but a yellow card accumulation suspension seems likely at this point.

Second Half Shots
Considering the delay, the quick turnaround, and a limited bench availability, Indy will definitely take the draw. It doesn't change the table at all, but Indy Eleven will take a draw on the road under difficult circumstances most days of the week. Definitely on this Wednesday of the week. Indy didn't come back out of the weather delay locker room the way they wanted, but they stuck with the plan and were the better team in the second half, with much more effective shots on goal than what Miami provided.
Indy continues to get points without all of their guys available. If Indy can get to a point where the majority of the roster is available for selection, this team can definitely make a run late in the season, and into the playoffs, because they're hanging around the playoff line now with less than ideal roster availability. Indy are now off until June 18th when they head to Colorado Springs to play one of the league's hottest teams in the Switchbacks. With where Indy's roster is at right now with guys working their way back to full health and guys on international duty, the10-day break is a warm welcome before making that trip to Colorado.

Before that game, Indy fans can get their soccer fix with THREE games by the women's team before the men's team plays again. The women play this Friday at home against Flint City AFC, next Wednesday at Kings Hammer FC, and then back home at Grand Park on the 17th against Racing Louisville. While you wait for the men to take the field again, support the undefeated women's team.  

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Another composed finish and the goal that salvaged the draw under difficult conditions pushes Pinho towards this game's GBGB. There were some other notable performances (see Aguilera praise above), but I'm going to lean towards Pinho tonight, mostly for proving Coach Lowry right by signing him.

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