Sunday, August 20, 2023

Indy Eleven vs El Paso Locomotive - 10.25


- Opponent: El Paso Locomotive
- Location: Southwest University Park
- Attendance: 6,684
- Final Score: 3-2 W

- Starting XI: Trilk, Boudadi, Diz Pe, Chapman-Page, Dambrot, Blake, Lindley, Quinn, Asante, Velasquez, Guenzatti (C)

- Substitution: Robledo 66' (Velasquez); Martinez 66' (Blake); Pinho 85' (Asante); Jerome 90'+3' (Guenzatti); Rebellon 90'+3' (Dambrot)

- Unused: Crawford, Reveno

- Scoring Summary:
ELP - Calvillo 21' (assist Navarro)
IND - Guenzatti 53' (assist Blake)
ELP - Navarro 55' (assist Petrovic)
IND - Chapman-Page 64' (assist Diz Pe)
IND - Martinez 71' (assist Boudadi)

- Bookings:
ELP - Zacarias 32' (Yellow)
ELP - Calvillo 45'+3' (Yellow)
IND - Blake 47' (Yellow)
ELP - Diaz 58' (Yellow)

- Referee: Gerald Flores
- Adage goals: One

Thoughts and Opinions

The month of August has been a case of multiple games in short windows. Indy started the month with a Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday series against Memphis, Birmingham, and Miami, respectively. After a week of training, Indy began another Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday series, starting with El Paso tonight, and continuing with Memphis and Loudoun, respectively. Indy finished the first August series with a 2W-0D-1L record and were wanting to match, or better, that record in the second series of August. With the win tonight, Indy start the second series of August on a good note and extend their win streak to three games.

Indy also came into this game against Coach Lowry's previous team with their names all over the league's News & Notes
  • Solomon Asante's three-assist night against Birmingham made him just the first player in league history to record three different three-assist games, two of which have occurred during his time here in Indy. The assist also meant that Solo became the first player in USL Championship league history to score 50 goals and have 50 assists. 
  • Three days later, Aodhan Quinn assisted Diz Pe's goal against Miami to bringing the 50/50 club to two members. Both players, amazingly, sit at the same number of assists and goals at 103 (53/50 for Quinn and 51/52 for Asante). 
  • In the BHM game where Asante moved into the 50/50 club, Guenzatti's goals on those assists put Guenzatti into sole place in 9th in the league's regular season goal scoring list.
  • Coming into tonight's game:
    • Quinn needed 3 more appearances to reach the 250-game mark in regular season appearances.
    • Jerome needed 1 more appearance to reach the 150-game mark (which he achieved tonight with a late game substitution, as he and Rebellon were able to get a few minutes of action in their previous home field).
    • Diz Pe was 192 minutes away from the 10,000 minute mark (now needing just 102 minutes after going the full 90 in tonight's game).
  • Callum-Page had one of his yellow cards removed under the Good Behavior incentive to remove him from the the potential of yellow card accumulation suspension.
  • Boudadi, however, is firmly at risk of being suspended after picking up his 8th card of the season against Miami (had previously had one card removed for Good Behavior), so he sits at 7 official yellow cards on the season.
Indy started the game doing what everybody thought they would do; hold possession. It wasn't a surprise to Indy fans, nor was it a surprise to the El Paso players, coaches, or fans. Also not a surprise to Indy fans was that despite all of the possession, and the early chances, it was El Paso that opened the scoring in the game even though ELP was on a 9-game winless streak and 4-game losing streak.  In their losing streak, ELP had been outscored 17-3, and yet they found themselves with the better chances and a lead going into the halftime locker.
Indy has just not shown an ability to get consistent results. I don't know if you can blame it on the later start, or the difference in altitude, but the urgency wasn't there for Indy throughout much of the first half. They maintained their deliberate approach to possession without overtly dangerous attacks. I couldn't have been the only Indy fan who was thinking at that point in the game that we were in for another round of the "we were the better team, but didn't get a result" speech from Coach Lowry.

Then the second half took a trip from El Paso to Crazytown. 

Indy equalized in the 53rd minute with a toe-poke goal from Guenzatti that slide under Diaz. About 90-seconds later, El Paso went back on top in the 55th minute from a rocket by Navarro that Trilk will likely think he could have done better parrying, after getting his hands to it, but unable to keep it out of the net. Chapman-Page redirected a corner kick that went through a swarm of people before finding its way to Callum who just needed to get his body in front of the ball to let it bounce off him into goal. Diz Pe was listed as the one who was credited with the assist, but I didn't see it touch anybody between Quinn's corner kick and Chapman-Page's touch. Finally, Boudadi sent a ball through the lines for second half substitute Martinez to run onto and toe-touch another ball under Diaz for the game winning goal.

The game finished as a 3-2 win for Indy Eleven with Trilk being credited with zero saves. ELP had 2 shots on target and two goals. Indy had 7 shots on target and three goals. Indy went into the halftime locker room with 1 shot on target and no goals. The difference in attack from Indy between halves was stark. It's almost like Indy was saving themselves in the first half knowing that if they could weather ELP's first half attacks, then Indy could throw the kitchen sink at the game to get the three points in Coach Lowry's first trip back to El Paso. 

I would have preferred to see more of the second half effort from Indy in the first half, but they managed to get the result. With the win, and the other results around the league for the night, Indy maintain their position on the table, but are now, amazingly, within 3 points of Louisville City for 5th place, and a win on Wednesday against Memphis would put Indy tied on points with MEM and needing tiebreaker levels to figure out who is above the other on the table (admittedly with MEM still having games in hand). I said it on Reddit this week, but a win against ELP and a good showing against MEM and I would have to reconsider my pessimism on this team's chances to make, and succeed in, the playoffs. Indy upheld the first part of that scenario tonight with the win.

Indy return to action on Wednesday against Memphis and then return home to face Loudoun who have lost 17 of the 27 games they have played. Indy squeaked by Loudoun in May thanks to a 73rd minute goal from Guenzatti and a 90th minute goal from Tejada. The teams are currently on different trajectories, but it's a game that Indy needs to win at home. 

The Game Beckons Game Ball
In a game that went the way that this one did, there are a few guys who I think could get the GBGB. There were three goals scored from three different players, with each goal being assisted by three different players. Six different players were involved in the 3 Indy goals. The midfield trio of Blake, Lindley, and Quinn were pretty good too. I think, though, that I'm going to give Martinez the GBGB for the game-winning goal where he had to time his run well to get behind the defense and then get the ball past the keeper. The run was perfect, the shot wasn't ideal, but it was effective. His goal brings Indy home on a legitimate win streak. That's worthy of the GBGB.

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