Sunday, April 16, 2023

Indy Eleven vs Orange County SC - 10.05


- Opponent: Orange County SC
- Location: Championship Soccer Stadium
- Attendance: 3,977
- Final Score: 0-1 L

- Starting XI: Oettl, Boudadi, Diz Pe, Vazquez, Dambrot, Lindley, Blake, Quinn, Martinez, Robledo, Guenzatti (C)

- Substitution: Fjeldberg 65' (Martinez); Asante 65' (Robledo); Rebellon 75' (Boudadi); Tejada 79' (Blake)

- Unused: Trilk, Jerome, Rissi

- Scoring Summary:
OC – Iloski 30’ (Penalty Kick)

- Bookings:
IND – Dize Pe 23’ (Yellow)
IND - Blake 36' (Yellow)
OC - Jamison 56' (Yellow)
OC - Scott 73' (Yellow)

- Referee: Ricardo Fierro
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

To say that Indy's previous two trips to California in 2022 were not pleasant, is an understatement. Indy lost to San Diego in June by a score of 5-nil, and then traveled to Monterey Bay in September and returned back to Indy with another 5-nil loss. So the west coast wasn't friendly to Indy. Indy did play tonight's opponent, Orange County SC, in April to a 3-1 win, but did so from the friendlier confines of The Mike.

This, however, is a different Indy Eleven team. Basically from top to bottom. Of tonight's starting lineup, only Dambrot and Vazquez were a part of either of those two games' starting lineups. None of Indy's scorers in the Orange County game are still on the team. However, the results were the same. Different team, same flight home without any points. 

Orange County was awarded a penalty kick in the 29th minute awarded, against the run of play at that point of the game, which felt exactly like a repeat of last week's game against Oakland. Iloski stepped up and hop skipped his run-up to his shot that sent Oettl the wrong way, giving Orange County an early lead. After the goal, the game opened up as OC began to realize they could win the game, and Indy searched in vain for the equalizer or winner. Indy couldn't break down the OC defense, and OC couldn't unlock Indy's for a second goal. So a 1-nil loss is how Indy finished their first west coast road trip of the season.

Which leads us to an important question.

Is the beautiful game "beautiful" if you can't score goals and win goals? 

I would argue no. It was absolutely frustrating to watch Indy not convert any of their possession nor shots into actual goals. Did I accidentally post a blank image from the USL match center? Nope. That was Indy's shots on target in the first half. With a roughly 60/40 advantage in possession, Indy managed to add just 2 shots on target in the second half when they were chasing, but considering that they had 39 crosses, 26 of which came in the second half, Indy gave themselves plenty of opportunities to test Orange County's goalkeeper, but continually didn't do that. Cropper finished the game with just 2 saves. Indy have just been extremely poor in their finishing, if they even shoot. At this point in the season, Indy haven't translated their possession into enough shots, and certainly not enough goals.   

Tonight's loss brings Indy's recent California trips goal total to 11-nil. The bad news is that Indy have to return back to the Golden State in May to play Sacramento. Before that though, Indy return home to play another California team in Monterey Bay on the 22nd. I wasn't worried in the beginning of the season about the possession not translating into goals, but we've reached a point where goals, or at least chances on goal, should be happening more often with the amount of time that the team control the ball and the game. I'm now succumbing to my pessimistic nature, and am now worried.

I guess we'll find out next Saturday.

The Game Beckons Game Ball

I hope that at some point I'm able to award the GBGB to a player for their ability to score (at least) one goal and give Indy a victory. Until that happens, I have to look for other ways to acknowledge good play, despite the losses. For his burst of energy in his role off the bench, tonight's GBGB goes to Fjeldberg. In 25-minutes of action, Fjeldberg accounted for one of Indy's shot on target, 2 of their crosses, and won 66% of his duels. He immediately made an impact upon entering the game, but he too couldn't find a shot or goal.

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