|Only one coach on the bench this week!|
Too many times we have dropped points in games we definitely should have won, and apart from one win in Carolina, it seems to happen all too often against the Railhawks. I actually think our Spring match with them was the game that broke our morale this year.
In a game that ended 1-1 where Carolina scored both goals, we really let ourselves down and pretty much switched off and went to sleep in the last ten minutes of the game.
It felt like a loss, and from that game we went on to lose to Jacksonville, Minnesota, Ottawa, and Louisville at home in the US Open Cup!
It was a downward spiral that started in the 85th minute of that game and ended with the team and the supporters saying their goodbyes to coaches Juergen Sommer and Paul Telfer.
If Indy Eleven want to show they are better than that now, and can be a big player in the fall season, then they need to win these games.
Carolina are not a bad team, I would not underestimate them, they are six games undefeated now in the NASL and look like a better more settled team than the one that played against us in Spring.
Are they better than us though? I don't think so!
How they match up...... Indy Eleven V Carolina Railhawks
The two teams have met each other four times now and both are 1-2-1. Eleven's only win against the Railhawks came in North Carolina, likewise Carolina's only win happened in Indy last fall.
Carolina have twice came back to steal a point in Indianapolis after being a goal down, drawing 1-1 in our inaugural match in 2014 and here again in Spring.
Since both being knocked out of the US Open Cup by USL teams, each side has won two and drawn two games.
Indy (DWWD) have drawn with Tampa before defeating Ft Lauderdale and Edmonton to close Spring and opened fall with a 1-1 draw in New York.
Railhawks (WDWD) after losing to Charlotte Independence in the Cup went on to defeat Jacksonville 4-0, and then drew with Minnesota United to close out Spring, they then opened fall season against Minnesota with a win before drawing against Ft Lauderdale on Wednesday
This also brings up the point that Indy Eleven has almost a full week of rest from competitive play and does not have to travel whereas the Railhawks had to play Wednesday evening in a game that was rain delayed at the start and after 75 minutes of play, play resumed around 11pm.
Carolina will only have two days with some travel before kicking off again at Indy.
Indy will be missing one key member of personnel for the game however, Tim Regan who was sent out of the game against New York next week will not be in the technical area because of suspension.
This will leave Kléberson as primary coach on the bench. Not sure how much this will be a factor in the game, I am sure Tim will have the team well prepared but we will miss his passion on the touchline, hopefully the boys will step up and win for him.
Players to watch....
For Carolina one of the players who really makes things tick for them is Tiyi Shipilane, Railhawks have a hard working midfield, but any time you can make the game hard for Shipilane you'll have a better chance of shutting them out.
Carolina have okay forwards, but they are not really known for creating their own goals. Shipilane came off the bench in the last game here and he was a game changer, setting up the equalizer in the match.
Tiyi has also has been key in their last two games, a great playmaker who also can score as he did against Minnesota last weekend. We need to keep on top of him in the game.
For Indy Cory Miller could be the difference for us this time around, he was not in the first team when we drew 1-1 in spring and is in great form right now.
Both Miller and Norales will have a tough shift, if our back line plays to their best, it most likely will be a lean night for the Railhawks.
I will also be interested to see if Lacroix get's more time, he will be dissappointed at not getting a goal last week, but I feel the more time he gets the better he will become.
Carolina's back four are not the most mobile, I think he could cause real problems for them and hope that he starts again.
If it were up to me I would not really change anything from last week as far as starting lineup goes, maybe start Pineda if he is 100% rather than him coming off the bench. Otherwise I would just "suck it and see" I think the front pairing of Lacroix and Wojcik could provide us more goals if allowed to develop.
Kléberson and Sergio Pena remain long term injuries, however there is no change in the status of probable players from last week so we have a full compliment to choose from otherwise.
For Carolina striker Nacho Novo returned to the roster last week but made only three minutes in the game, most likely will be on the bench again but will get more time. I pretty much expect the same squad and starting lineup as played against the Strikers on Wednesday.