Thursday, July 13, 2023

Indy Eleven vs Charleston Battery - 10.18


- Opponent: Charleston Battery
- Location: Carroll Stadium
- Attendance: 9,059
- Final Score: 1-1 D

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

- Substitution: Asante 58' (Velasquez); Pinho 58' (Guenzatti); Molina 84' (Martinez); Rissi 90'+1' (Blake) 

- Unused: Trilk, Jerome, Robledo

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Quinn 61’ (Penalty Kick)
CHS - Trager 77' (assist Ycaza)

- Bookings:
CHS - Palma 38’ (Yellow)
IND - King 65' (Yellow)
IND - Dambrot 85', 89' (Yellow, Yellow, RED)

- Referee: Elton GarcĂ­a
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

When these two teams met in early June, Indy headed back from South Carolina with three points in the bag, thanks to a 2’ converted penalty kick by Quinn, a 72nd-minute penalty kick goal by Quinn, a 75th-minute goal by Molina, and an 80th-minute own goal for good measure to make Charleston Battery’s night one to forget. Indy has won just once since that victory, a 2-nil win in Hartford. Indy had a 2W-2D-2L record counting the victory in South Carolina, keeping Indy in a playoff spot but not able to make any moves up the table. Tonight's draw pushes Indy down below Tulsa, hovering dangerously at the playoff line with tough games upcoming against the top of the table.

Starting with the first game against Charleston, Quinn has catapulted to be Indy’s leading scorer, bagging a brace twice in the 6-game span. All his goals have come from the spot, which has now moved him up to second place in club history for penalty kick goals, and just one behind Ayoze with tonight's goal. It’s good that Quinn is so effective from the spot, but Indy shouldn’t be relying on his ability to finish from 12-yards out. Indy has proven scorers on this roster (including Quinn who is now an assist away from joining the 50 goals/50 assists club in league history), but Indy need to find another way to score goals.

In an attempt to not leak an early goal, Indy was in a 5-3-2 formation early in the game as Charleston held the early possession, likely hoping they could prevent a repeat of the last game between the two teams by not letting Indy have the ball. Indy, true to form, nearly went down a goal early when an 8th minute shot rang off the crossbar after Barajas beat the offside press and found himself all alone. As the entire backline raised their arms and actually looked at the assistant referee on the right side of the field, Barajas had a clear attempt at the goal, but put it just 6-inches too high. I have grown tired of watching game after game of defenders raising their arm, and slowing down, thinking they have a better angle than the assistant referee who is looking down the line and seeing King keep Barajas onside. Raise your hand if you want, but don't slow down. That's how you nearly gave up another early goal.

My computer died at halftime so it was handwritten notes for the entire second half, and the first half ended with a nil-nil draw. Does it matter though? We've all seen this story play out in the same, but different ways, all season. Coach Lowry didn't come back out from the locker room to answer any questions. So we're going to finish this post in bullet format because tonight I'm kind of tired of writing the same article. I’m going to ask some questions in some of them. If you know the answers, let me know.
    • Martinez distribution
      The team scored a goal to give themselves a lead. Yay!
    • From the spot... Shocking, right?
    • The team gave up a lead. Another defender was lost to red card. Coach Lowry never came back out to talk to the press. 
    • How many times did Martinez, Indy's fast midfielder/forward, receive a pass leading him towards goal only to pass backwards? Oh wait, I can answer that. See the image to the right (keeping in mind Indy was going left to right in this image). Answer... A LOT. That's a lot of going backwards for a player who is expected to go forward. 
    • How many times did a quick counterattack come to a grinding halt once Martinez received the ball? Same answer.
    • Why is Indy so hesitant to shoot the ball in the attacking third? 
    • Individual mistakes costing Indy points. This time it was Boudadi and Oettl who weren't on the same page for a ball that EITHER OF THEM should have been able to get to before Trager. And yet, both of them watched him take the ball and easily score.
    • I don't know how, but Indy managed to win the aerial duels battle, but lost the duels battle. My eyeball test said that those values should have been much more in favor of CHS.
    • Congrats to Quinn for reaching the 20,000 minute mark in USL league history. 
    • Another defender, Dambrot, gets a yellow/yellow/red card and will have to sit out next game.
    • From the league's Discipline Report - "Following a review by the Independent Discipline Panel, Indy Eleven's Adrian Diz Pe has been suspended for one game for violent conduct following an incident in the side's contest against FC Tulsa. Diz Pe will be unavailable for selection in Indy's contest against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on July 22."
    • So that means more shuffling of the back line because Vazquez is also going to be out for the next month (or more) with his injury. So Jerome and Rissi, who seemingly everybody has lost confidence in recently will likely be back in the starting eleven. 
    • I say "likely" because Lowry might decide to go 3-4-3 and just turn the game against Tampa into a high scoring affair. Throw everybody forward and see who can outscore the other. Defense first, the recent tactical adjustment hasn't been consistently achieving points, so maybe a shift forward instead of backwards will be considered. Who knows?
    As I keep repeating because the team keeps repeating their mistakes, "you are what your record says you are." With the way Indy has continued to self-inflict problems on themselves, while also not being able to stay healthy, Indy is a bottom of the table team who are going to struggle to stay in the playoff picture, particularly given their upcoming opponents.

    Indy get a week and a half off to think about what they've done, and to think about what they'll do, since the next game is the aforementioned game against Tampa Bay. Then they just have to play Tampa (home), Pittsburgh (away), and Louisville (away) in an 8 day span. The way things are going for the team right now, they'll be lucky to get a single point out of those 9 available points.

    The Game Beckons Game Ball
    You can call me lazy, but I don't feel like giving a GBGB tonight. The closest I have in me is to congratulate Quinn on reaching such a major minutes milestone.

    Additional Photos (Don Thompson Photography)

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