Friday, July 15, 2022

Indy Eleven vs New York Red Bulls II - 09.19


- Opponent: New York Red Bulls II
- Location: MSU Soccer Park
- Attendance: 424
- Final Score: 1-0 L

- Starting XI: Trilk, McQueen, Timmer, Cochran, Hackshaw, Ingram, Aguilera, Ayoze, Asante, Arteaga, Pinho
- Substitution: Law 61' (Aguilera); Fjeldberg 69' (Ingram); Briggs 89' (Cochran)

- Unused: Lewis, Brown, Revolorio, Sanchez

- Scoring Summary:
NYRBII - Rafanello 53' (assist Adebayo-Smith)

- Bookings:
IND - Asante 45'+3' (Yellow)
IND - McQueen 49' (Yellow)
IND - Ayoze 75' (Yellow)
NYRBII - Cragwell 77' (Yellow)

- Referee: Melvin Rivas
- Adage goals: None.

Thoughts and Opinions

Coming into the game, Indy was on a 5-game losing streak (Indy's longest in club history), and a 4-game (360 minute) scoreless streak. NYRBII came into the game losing 4 of their last 5 games (3 in a row), on a 5.75-game scoreless streak (516 minutes; last goal was in 24th minute against San Diego on June 2nd), and having conceded 15 goals in that stretch, including a 5-nil result to El Paso and a 6-nil result to Louisville. 

Distribution from Indy Defenders
Right now, Indy looks like a team that doesn't know how to break down opposing defenses. Things take too long to develop, allowing the opposing defenses time to get back behind the ball. Once that happens, the ball heads backwards towards Indy's CBs and GKs. Then Indy's offense has to restart everything, but with the other team's defense setup and ready to defend again. So at some point, the back-and-forth passing and possession from Indy ends up being a long pass from the back line over the midfield in the hopes that the forwards can do something with it. However, the forwards end up being on an island as the midfield has dropped back to help get the ball forward. Imagine having Asante, Ayoze, and Law in your midfield and constantly bypass them, which is what Indy is consistently doing.

Then it just takes a couple of mistakes from the defense, or the goalkeeper, and Indy have to work even harder to try and claw a result. Tonight's mistake was that Indy's defense didn't track Rafanello on the left side. So in the 53rd minute, a cross from Adebayo-Smith went across the box untouched for an easy finish from Rafanello, and Indy conceded a goal to a team that hadn't scored, to that point, in roughly 6.25 games.

This team looks completely different than the Indy team before the June road trip. Indy's only victory since the road trip started was the 4-3, Arteaga first-half hat trick game against the near-the-bottom of the table Charleston Battery. Yet, Indy couldn't figure out a way to beat the actual bottom-of-the table New York Red Bulls II, who picked up their first home game win in the 2022 season, and only their second win all season. 

Let me rephrase that for those in the back. 

Indy lost to the worst team in the conference, and it wasn't even close.

Let that sink in.

Indy get to follow-up this game with three home games against the teams ranked 2nd, 3rd, & 4th in the conference (Memphis, Tampa, & Pittsburgh, respectively, and in that order). The way the team looks right now, this now current 6-game losing streak, and 5-game scoreless streak (450 minute) could easily balloon to a 9-game losing streak before heading on the road again to Hartford. An early season 4-game win streak turned into an up-and-down result period before the bottom has dropped out. 

At this point, can Indy find a way to claw themselves back into any kind of playoff position? It's the old Indy Eleven refrain. There's too much talent on this team to be getting this many poor results. Yet, here we sit hoping Coach Lowry and the boys figure out how to put together a game that doesn't look difficult to watch, and I'm not talking about the tactics. If Indy can't win playing "pretty" soccer, then they're going to need to figure out a way to get back to playing the "ugly" soccer that was at least getting positive results in the early portion of the season.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine a recipient of the GBGB. Tonight wasn't even close. Trilk receives this game's GBGB, because NYRBII had EIGHT shots ON TARGET. If it wasn't for some great saves from Trilk, this game could have been much worse. A 1-nil loss to the worst team in the conference could have been much worse if it hadn't been for a goalkeeper that keeps getting shoved out of the starting role, but keeps making saves.

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