Friday, May 13, 2016

Time to Exorcize Some Demons in Florida - FTL Strikers V Indy Eleven Preview (5/14/2016)

It was a long and difficult night for Indy in Ft. Lauderdale last time out.

By: James Cormack

The last time Indy Eleven traveled to Fort Lauderdale it was a night all supporters would love to forget. As it was we suffered the biggest defeat in our history and came very close to supplying the NASL with a record breaking game score.

Allowing seven goals against the Strikers in August of 2015 was painful, defeating them in the return game in October by 2-1 was small consolation for an already failed season in which that eight goal game typified the inconsistency and unpredictability of our 2015 team.

Much has changed for both teams. Indy Eleven are on an unbeaten run of five games, sit three points from the top, and have already proven they can win on the road. Up until last weekend the Strikers had taken only two points from four games, with draws against the bottom two side Miami FC and Jacksonville Armada.

Just as it looked like Fort Lauderdale were going to be everyone's whipping boys, they pulled off a surprise win in North Carolina against the league leading Railhawks. A result which was also very useful to Indy Eleven as they dropped two points at home to FC Edmonton.

Before the match against Rayo OKC I felt that Indy could get 7 to 9 points from their next three games, I still think this is possible. Despite an upturn in the fortunes for the Strikers they can still be beaten. Indy will be disappointed at not taking a win last weekend and will be looking to make amends.

"Our team is better than yours!"
"We dropped the baton tonight in not getting three points, but we're still undefeated. On to the next!" - Lovel Palmer

As Lovel Palmer is always reminding us and the rest of the teams in the league, our team is better than yours. Pretty sure he means it and the team bonded well in a short space of time, we are going to need that belief in the push for the Spring Championship.

A win in Florida would put Indy Eleven on 12 points, with four games remaining after that, two of them at home to teams above us with Minnesota and Carolina and two away to the bottom two sides of Jacksonville and Miami, you'd have to believe we can top this table after ten games.

The run in for the Spring Championship will also include a Wednesday night Open Cup game against either Detroit City FC or Louisville City FC, this match will fall in between two trips to Florida to face Jacksonville and Miami.

Although this is a much changed team it should be noted that to date Indy Eleven has only ever won one game in Florida in the NASL and that was against the Strikers. Three draws in Tampa, one win and two losses in Ft Lauderdale and a draw and a loss in Jacksonville (1-4-3). This is also a good time for another Indy Eleven 'first', if they don't lose this game it will be the longest undefeated streak within a single season.

It's tough to tell how we will start, but it is a road game and like we did in Oklahoma I think we need to pressure and strike as early as we can. Coach Hankinson mentioned the problems we have in the final third and our lack of goals, if we start the same will will it make any difference?

Indy will be without the services of Brad Ring for this game so we will see changes in the middle of the field. Gorka Larrea is unlikely to be fit enough to start a game so it is likely Dylan Mares will start, but will he start in the middle?

Call it a gut instinct but I think Dylan will start on the right of midfield with Paterson to the inside, Omar Gordon may be switched to the left and Ubiparipović moved inside. Other option would be starting Duke Lacroix on left, probably won't happen but I have a feeling Vukovic and Gordon may not work well together.

Outside of Busch in goal and our regular starting back four I think Zayed and Reinoso will start up front and Indy will look to take the game to Ft. Lauderdale early. On the bench I think we will see Cardona, Keller, Franco, Larrea, Braun, Wojcik and either Lacroix or Gordon.

We shall see? All we know is we want three. Indy Eleven can do this, and if they do it will be a huge three in terms of winning the Spring Championship! 


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!

Thanks to donations so far from Union Jack and Tailgates we stand at $186 on the target, this does not include season long pledges or the Blue Bucket donations from Chatham Tap yet.

Indy Eleven dominated the #NASLmap last week, keep tweeting about @IndyEleven #IndyEleven wherever you may be, protect our territories and win new ones! Watch out for a map update on Monday!

No comments:

Post a Comment