Sunday, May 5, 2024

Indy Eleven vs Monterey Bay FC - 11.09


- Opponent: Monterey Bay FC
- Location: Cardinale Stadium
- Attendance: 4,504
- Final Score: 1-0 W

- Starting XI: Sulte, O'Brien, J., Ofiemu, Diz Pe, Stanley, Lindley (C), Blake, Guenzatti, Mines, Martinez, Williams

- Substitution: Collier 64' (Guenzatti); Ikoba 64' (Williams); Gibson 76' (Martinez); Wootton 90'+2' (Blake)

- Unused: Oettl, O'Brien, E., Schneider

- Scoring Summary:
IND - Collier 88' (unassisted)

- Bookings:
IND - Stanley 71' (Yellow)
IND - Diz Pe 74' (Yellow)
MB - Archimede 75' (Yellow)
MB - Fehr 87' (Yellow)
IND - Blake 90'+2' (Yellow)

- Referee: Corbyn May
- Adage goals: None

Thoughts and Opinions

A 10:00 Eastern start time for Indy Eleven meant that I had time to watch the new episodes of season 3 of Welcome to Wrexham. My only concern about watching it before Indy played is that I already feel like I temper some of how I write depending on my mood. When I watch a couple hours of Phil Parkinson saying "f**k" a couple dozen times, I had to make a more conscience effort to not let Phil's favorite word slip into what I write about Indy. Let's be honest, Indy has been deserving of some of Phil's four-letter fury at times this year. Against Monterey Bay the past two seasons, Indy have deserved an absolute Parky drubbing, beating Indy in both of their matches, by a combined 8-2 score. So as I watched Wrexham's early season struggles as they began their foray into League Two, I couldn't help but think that Indy needed to show fight and get something positive out of their west coast trip to continue their recent two-game undefeated streak.

The first 15 minutes of this game was back-and-forth, but slightly tilted towards Indy's favor with 4 shots for Indy and 1 for Monterrey, none of which really bothered either goalkeeper. However, the game was not lacking for action. It also saw Diz Pe continue his early season trend of bombing forward from his centerback position. Something that Ofeimu did in the next 15 minutes. Watching Indy's two centerbacks go forward is a surprising effort for this Indy team, particularly considering that Indy has yet to keep a clean sheet. Getting your centerbacks that far out of position forcing other players to cover for them, is a bold choice. Whether that's a practiced tactical decision or just player decisions is unknown, but it's not a decision that immediately jumps to mind as a good one.

For all the attacking Indy had in the first half, they were credited with just 1 shot on target and that didn't happen until the late minutes of the half. They were getting into good positions to score, but there seemed to be a hesitation to put balls on frame unless there was a wide opening. Unless, of course, your name is Blake and he finished the half with 1 shot, 1 shot on target, and 3 blocked shots (though to be fair, I think the shot on target should have been credited to Guenzatti). Regardless, possession was basically equal, but both team's possession was in Monterey Bay's defensive half of the field. Indy will be happy to feel like they dominated the half, but they needed to come away with more for their effort. Monterey Bay played for the counterattack, and had their fair share of shots, but it still feel like Indy were the better side. Given Indy's recent results against MB, that was good to see.

If I could offer some constructive criticism for the Monterey Bay telecast and/or the Monterey Bay operation crew? Figure out how to show the game without the sign board washing out the action on the field. The game looked like it was being played in haze any time the game was anywhere in the midfield.

Now back to our regularly scheduled game discussion. 

Everything I said about the first half applied to the second half. Back-and-forth. A significant portion of the game in MB's defensive half. Poor final product from both teams in their final decision in the opposing boxes. 


In the 88th minute, Indy worked the ball around through the midfield to Stanley on the left side. Stanley put a ball across the face of goal, which Siaha felt he needed to parry, but it was a weak clearance that proceeded to bounce around off players. The ball eventually landed in front of Collier, who proceeded to blast it over Siaha and in the process gave Indy all three points on the road and their first clean sheet of the season. 

The teams finished with nearly equal shots on target, and I think a draw would have been a fair result given the poor effort from both team's around the opposition's goal. Given Indy's propensity to concede poor goals this season, the clean sheet feels more impressive to me than the goal and the win. I question some of the defensive decisions, but they were able to get it done tonight (and this morning for those of us in the Eastern time zone).

Indy stay on the road next week against Miami, but have a midweek game against league foe San Antonio in the U.S. Open Cup at Butler. When Indy return home to play Hartford on the 18th, the club will have four games to watch as the women will start their home games that week with a game on Monday and a game on Wednesday, bookended by the men's game against Hartford and a game against Phoenix. Plenty of soccer to watch in the coming weeks for the club.

The Game Beckons Game Ball
It pains me a little to give the GBGB to a person who had 4 passes, completing just 2 of them, lost more duels than they won, and lost more aerial duels than they won given their height, but when you make the most of your 1 shot on goal by scoring it in the 88th minute, and give the team a win when it looked like a draw was going to be the extent of the game's effort, then I'll give you the GBGB. Collier found himself in the right spot and took a shot. He didn't look to pass. He didn't blast it over the top of the goal. He purposefully, and forcefully, shot the ball into the goal in a way that Siaha didn't have time to react. In a game where players struggled to do that, Collier gets the edge on tonight's GBGB. 

No comments: