|Now is the time Éamon, find the net!|
I honestly don't think I have been more nervous in the approach to a game than this one. It's a strange feeling this season knowing that your team is more solid than it has ever been, but still have that little bit of apprehension that Indy Eleven supporters have become used to in the last two years.
It is fair to say Minnesota are on a hot streak, but it is also wise to remember that when we won our first home game in October 2014 against the Loons they came into the game on the back of four straight wins and a draw before that, and we won 2-0!
The last time the two teams met in October of 2015, Minnesota were on the back of an incredible ten game undefeated streak which included 8 wins and 2 draws, and we won 3-1! Hopefully we see a repeat of a goal such as Brad Ring scored to finish that game, and another crowd jump goal celebration wouldn't go amiss.
If ever there was a game this Spring for our attack to come up with the goods, this is the one. So far the supply and the finish from our attackers has been lacking. Éamon Zayed scored two against New York, but none since. The issue of our final third famine was brought up after the match against Edmonton, but nothing seemed to have changed in the match at Fort Lauderdale. In order to reap the rewards of a solid back line, we must find the net more often.
A win in this game is vital if Indy wants to remain in the running for the Spring Championship and grab an early playoff spot. A loss in this game could see Minnesota unstoppable for the rest of the run in. For the last two Spring seasons 20pts has been enough to win and 21pts in 2013. Things are tighter this season and that number may drop, but 20pts would seem like a good benchmark. Draws are not going to win the Spring. (see our breakdown of the spring run in here)
I am hoping we see our strongest possible team on the field for this game, although the midfield is still an uncertainty to me. I don't think playing Ubiparipović in a wide role has done us any good, I am also still unconvinced by Omar Gordon, he needs to have a big game if he starts and be more of a provider and more of a threat on goal.
I feel we will start with Reinoso and Zayed in front this week. If Ring is not 100% ready to start then we will likely see a similar lineup to last week with the exception of Paterson starting instead of Larrea, alongside Ubi with Mares and Gordon (or possibly Lacroix) supplying the width in front of our regular back four and Jon Busch in goal!
Winning at home is not just a must for the Spring Championship, but it is something we need to do more if we want to make the playoffs after fall. Draws alone are not going to get us to the Soccer Bowl. Undefeated runs are great, but you can remain undefeated and still not make post season. We want wins!
If you can't wait until tomorrow to watch Indy play, come out tonight and support Indy Eleven NPSL at Grand Park as they mark their home opener for the NPSL season against Rochester River DogZ (that is not a typo unfortunately). Entry to the game is only $5, if you bought a season ticket there will be ticket and scarf pickup tonight. Find out more info here.
Don't forget to help Bloody Shambles and Permanent Relegation raise money for Playworks Indiana children's charity with Éamon Zayed. Pledge an amount for every goal he scores this season or make a one time donation and help us towards our $2000 season goal. Find out more here! Our direct DONATION LINK now shows our target and running donations, help us reach it!
Watch out for #NASLmap update this coming Monday, back after a week out @soccerbits was in Nevada investigating a Strikers state fixing scam.