Saturday, August 12, 2023

Indy Eleven vs Miami FC - 10.24


- Opponent: Miami FC
- Location: Riccardo Silva Stadium
- Attendance: -
- Final Score: 1-0 W

- Starting XI: Trilk, Boudadi, Jerome, Chapman-Page, Blake, Lindley, Quinn, Velasquez, Robledo, Martinez, Guenzatti (C)

- Substitution: Diz Pe 45' (Jerome); Dambrot 64' (Velasquez); Asante 64' (Robledo); Pinho 82' (Martinez); Reveno 90'+1' (Blake)

- Unused: Crawford, Molina

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Diz Pe 51' (assist Quinn)

- Bookings:
MIA - Akinyode 12' (Yellow)
IND - Boudadi 47' (Yellow)
MIA - Rivas 62' (Yellow)
IND - Lindley 66' (Yellow)

- Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

Indy and Miami come into this contest with identical results from their previous game; Miami beat El Paso 4-nil last Saturday and Indy beat Birmingham 4-nil on Wednesday. Miami benefitted from an El Paso red card in first half stoppage time to get to their 4 goals, whereas Indy had to deal with a 2.5-hour rain delay and a full Birmingham squad to get to their 4 goals. In theory, Miami came into this game as the more rested team, but Indy started the game with some early possession to help them control the tempo of the game, forcing Miami to chase the ball and allowing Indy to save their effort in the hot 98-degree Miami weather.

Martinez - 1st Half Distribution
With some squad rotation due to this game against Miami being Indy's third game in eight days, Martinez dropped back to the wing back role he has played for a good portion of this season. I don't know if it was his most recent turn in his more comfortable role as a forward against Birmingham, but to me, Martinez looked like he had a different mindset in this game. He looked to attack more than than what I recall him doing in his other recent wing back games. Once he received the ball in the attacking half, he mostly did just that. Attack. 

At the hydration break in the first half, Lowry pulled out the tactics board as he is want to do this season. I don't recall a previous coach, himself included, making those kinds of tactical discussions using the board. Lowry indicated during an early game post-game that soccer is different than many other sports where it's difficult to make many adjustments from the sideline during the run-of-play. However, and it's a bit surprising to me given the talent level on this team, Lowry barks changes during the entire game and uses every hydration break or extended injury stoppage to move the little magnets around to talk about what he wants done. 

Indy nearly had a couple goals in the first half, but a fortunate bounce for Miami after a deflection kept the ball from closing the line in the 17th minute, a deflection from a Miami defender that pushed a Blake shot just over the goal in the 41st minute, and a shot from Velasquez that rattled the crossbar in the 42nd minute kept the game tied going into the halftime locker room break. Indy wasn't officially created with a single shot on target in the first half, but they were the more dangerous team from a possession standpoint and from dangerous opportunities on goal.

Diz Pe replaced Jerome at halftime and within six minutes found his head to an Aodhan Quinn corner kick to finally put Indy ahead on the scoreboard. Quinn's assist allows him to join his teammate Asante in the 50 goal/50 assist club in the USL Championship record books, who put himself into that position with his 3 assist game against Birmingham. Quinn and Asante are the first two players in the history of the league to reach the milestone.

After a 66th minute scare from Miami when Salazar managed to get the ball into Indy's goal, but was deemed to have handled the ball before getting his foot to it, Indy was willing to concede some possession to Miami as they remained compact and disciplined in their defense to see out the game. It wasn't quite a park-the-bus situation, but with the lead, three games under their belts, and the Miami heat, Indy took the remaining air out of the stadium and forced Miami to try and break down the defense. Miami managed to get a couple shots off late, but Indy held on for their first win streak of the season, and their second consecutive clean sheet. Don't give up an early goal, score first, and hold on with good team defense. Seems like an effective strategy to push themselves higher up the table. Which it did, as the win pushed Indy up to 6th place on the table. 

Indy now head to Lowry's old stomping ground when they travel to El Paso. With the 11:00 ET start time, tonight's result for ELP isn't included in this, but after a 12 game undefeated streak for ELP in the middle of the season (7 wins in a row), they haven't been able to win since the undefeated streak ended. ELP are 0W-2D-5L in their last seven games (again, not counting whatever happens tonight against Phoenix). So they're susceptible to another poor performance when Indy visit, with a coach who knows the intricacies of Southwest University Park. If Indy can continue their recent run-of-form (minus the Louisville game), I might have to take back some of the things I've said about them recently.

It would be nice, though, if the guys that are near the yellow card accumulation suspension level would stop picking up yellow cards. Both Boudadi and Lindley picked up cards against tonight, and it's going to cost the team, again, if they're not careful.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
Picking a winner for Wednesday's game was easy. Avoiding picking a winner on losses is easy too. Tonight it's a little harder because I thought a lot of guys played good, solid games. Quinn is edging his way towards Top 10 status in points in club history with his assist tonight. However, I think I'm going to give it to Diz Pe for his first goal of the season after coming in at halftime. Lowry doesn't often make a change with the CBs midway through a game so I don't know if it was a planned substitution at halftime because of the minutes on Jerome's legs, or if Jerome picked up a knock during the first half, but Diz Pe immediately fell into the rhythm of the game and was rewarded with a goal. Admittedly, not his best header in his career, but he directed it the right direction and it gave Indy the lead and the eventual win. So Diz gets the GBGB tonight.

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