Sunday, July 3, 2022

Indy Eleven vs Miami FC - 09.16


- Opponent: Miami FC
- Location: Carroll Stadium
- Attendance: 8,008
- Final Score: 1-0 L

- Starting XI: Trilk, Cochran, Jerome, Timmer, Brown, Ayoze (C), Aguilera, Law, Asante, Pinho, Arteaga
- Substitution: Ingram 62' (Aguilera); Fjeldberg 64' (Brown); Hackshaw 80' (Ayoze)

- Unused: Svetanoff, Briggs, McQueen, Michael

- Scoring Summary:
MIA - Perez 58' (assist Walker)

- Bookings:

IND - Law 12' (Yellow)
MIA - Perez 24' (Yellow)
IND – Arteaga 29' (Yellow)
MIA – Chapman-Page 29' (Yellow)
MIA – Stanley 38' (Yellow)
MIA – Walker 41' (Yellow)
IND – Brown 46' (Yellow)
IND – Arteaga 90'+4' (Yellow – RED)

- Referee: Nabil Bensalah
- Adage goals: None.

Thoughts and Opinions

In the first game at The Mike in over a month and on a field with a new turf, Indy looked to put the 5-0 beating at the hands of San Diego Loyal behind them by playing Miami FC for the second time in that month-long span. They were unsuccessful in that attempt, as they lost 1-nil in a fairly even, but highly physical, game. Indy now run their losing streak to three after losing to Colorado Springs, San Diego, and now Miami FC. Don't worry, it gets worse...

Ayoze with the start at left back in place of Hackshaw. Indy loses the ability in the air that Hackshaw brings (and Indy was on the wrong side of that statistic by games end, but that wasn't all Ayoze), as well as Hackshaw's long-throw ability near the opposing 18-yard box, but Indy obviously doesn’t lose much else when it comes to having Ayoze in the starting lineup. It has been awhile since Indy fans have seen Ayoze in that role though.

The new turf that was laid during the month-long road trip in June looked like it had a lot of the black pellets. Hopefully that starts to settle as time, weather, and play pushes that down because it was clear that there were some patches where the pellets were much thicker than in others. It also seemed to be a bit slick, as guys were having a hard time keeping their feet at times during quick cuts. So it might have been better than the turf that was there, particularly for the players' bodies, but it showed tonight that it wasn't perfect.

In the early part of the game, Coach Lowry’s desire for the team to try and take multiple bites at the proverbial apple was in full effect as multiple guys found themselves in the box with each Indy shot. As the game reached the 15th minute mark, both teams had settled into the game with both teams holding possession and getting good opportunities near the other’s goal.

After a 29th minute cluster in the Indy box that resulted in both Arteaga and Chapman-Page receiving yellow cards, the intensity of the game ramped up a bit more and the game became a more end-to-end affair. The cards didn’t slow down the hard tackles, as both teams continued to find the ankles of each other in lieu of the ball, and yellow cards continued to fly.

In the 37th minute, a slow Indy defensive transition led to a shot that Trilk managed to get just enough of a touch on a diving effort to push the ball off the post. It might have been the best opportunity for either team and Trilk read it perfectly and had strong enough hands to keep the score at zero. Shortly after, Timmer was absolutely laid out by Stanley, who I think was lucky to not get a red card for the physical tackle. Miami’s fourth yellow card came moments later on a tackle by Walker on Jerome that forced Hackshaw to start getting warmed up on the sidelines. At this point in the game, the idea of a red card seemed as likely as a goal, and a goal seemed to be a foregone conclusion from somebody. Which team was going to get the goal and which team was going to get the red card was still in the balance as the team's departed the field for the locker rooms.

The start of the second half looked like both teams used the 15 minutes of halftime to do a little meditating, which took some of the hard tackles out of the mix, but the end-to-end action remained. The action eventually led to the first goal by Miami in the 58th minute as Miami found holes in Indy’s defense and finally put a ball in the goal instead of just wide or over it. Indy found themselves chasing the game and if not for a spectacular reaction save in the 67th minute by Sparrow, the game would have been back to even. Down a goal, Indy began to ask questions of Miami’s defense. However, it wasn’t meant to be for Indy as they could never find the equalizer and walked off their brand-new turf with a loss, and a drop out of the playoff position with Miami moving ahead of them. 

The good news is that Indy still has games-in-hand on all the teams above them in the table except for Birmingham. The bad news is that I correctly predicted a red card would be issued during the game, as Arteaga was shown his second yellow in 2nd half stoppage time working towards the equalizer. So Indy will head to Pittsburgh without him. Again, trying to see the silver lining, Aris Briggs was available on the bench tonight. Even though he didn't get any minutes tonight, the fact that he could be available on Wednesday certainly helps, but it continues to feel like this season is one where Indy is just a piece or two (or more) short of having everybody available for selection at the same time.

Indy don't have time to lick their wounds with the midweek game against Pittsburgh, followed by a game next Saturday against Detroit FC, but they need to figure out what has gone wrong lately. While the loss in Colorado stung, it was against arguably one of the best teams in the league. However, including the loss to Memphis, Indy have pulled just 7 points from a possible 24, including the aforementioned three game losing streak, and four of six, two of which were home games. Indy may now have new turf at The Mike, but they need to figure out how to make it a fortress again because Wednesday's game at Pittsburgh constitutes the halfway point of the season. There are still a lot of games to be played, but tonight's loss was not the new turf dedication that they were hoping to get. It was a game between two fairly evenly matched teams, but this had the feel of one of those games of old where the Indy Eleven goal just never felt like it was going to come. Unfortunately for the fans, they had to make due with the post-game firework celebration since the post-goal smoke celebration never occurred.

The Indy women play tomorrow at Grand Park, in what will constitute one of two victory laps after securing the Great Lakes division title on Friday night.

That's me trying to end this on a high note.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

His official stats say he had just three saves, which his counterpart had six. Yet, it feels like Trilk's three saves were all spectacular saves that kept Indy within arm's reach the entire game. For a guy who Coach Lowry is high on, but has previously said would have all chances to be #1, Trilk has continued to look like a #1 goalkeeper right now. He makes good saves, he makes good decisions, and he DEFINITELY commands his box. The team may give the Man of the Match to one of the other players, but Tim Trilk gets my GBGB.

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