|Patience and Concentration will bring the points required, anything else is a bonus!|
If you read our review of the game in Miami you will already know what is required for Indy Eleven to win the Spring Championship. I am not going to dwell on it too much but the simple fact is in order for us to achieve it we must first score four goals in this game. It's a big ask of any team, we have done it once already against Minnesota United but a 4-2 scoreline will not secure us a play of berth.
If you are interested in reading more about the tiebreaker rules within the North American Soccer League CLICK HERE and turn your attention to page TEN. The first tiebreaker in the league is goal difference, Indy would need to win 3-0 just to tie the Cosmos on GD. This would move us to the second tiebreaker which is goals scored, we are currently four behind New York and that is why we must score four and not three.
If we have to use the second tiebreaker this means we still must win by a margin of three to maintain the tie in goal differential. A scoreline of 4-1 would force the Spring Championship to the third tiebreaker which is based on head to head results between the tied teams. Indy Eleven defeated New York in Spring so we would win that. They key element is scoring four goals. The most important thing above all for Indy Eleven is just winning the game and taking the three points from another possible playoff contender.
A win on Saturday night of any kind ties us with the top of the table on points, and as we already know we have beaten the leaders. Getting the the playoffs early would be huge for our team, but I have not seen anything in the spring of 2016 so far that makes me question the ability for our team to make the post-season regardless of scoring 4 goals tomorrow or not. Winning home games is something we need to do more often though, and it's the win that is most important on Saturday not the scoreline.
If You Know The History..........
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two years, you will already know that the Carolina Railhawks are already entrenched in the annals of our young team's history. They are the first team we ever played in the NASL, they also gave us our very first league win. 791 days prior to kick off on Saturday night, Indy Eleven kicked off their Inaugural season in a game that ended in a 1-1 draw on April 12th 2014. Brad Ring, Don Smart and Dylan Mares are the only surviving Boys in Blue who played that night.
In the same year 62 days later Indy Eleven secured their first ever three points in the NASL defeating the Railhawks by 2-1 at WakeMed Park. Dylan Mares supplied the assist for Don Smart who scored the winning goal. It was a night to remember, and a morning to suffer, I vaguely remember turning up at Indianapolis International Airport to greet the team on their return with a raging hangover from hell. As always though, it was well worth it and our boys deserved the reception (watching Tim Regan get lost was also funny)!
The history of our team will forever be intertwined with the Railhawks, mostly for good reasons. The two teams have met on six occasions and the stats are all tied, two draws and two wins for each team. Both sides have won at each others grounds. The highest score in a game between these teams to date has been 3-1 in favor of Carolina in October of last year. The last time Carolina conceded four goals in a league game was also in October of last year when they lost 4-0 to Ft. Lauderdale.
Carolina have only conceded 9 goals in 9 games and the likelihood of them turning up in Indianapolis and rolling over so we can win the Spring Championship is extremely slim. If Indy do manage to pull off the miraculous it will be the best night in our history, celebrate if we win, don't be too disappointed if we don't win the Spring Championship.
Carolina also are chasing combined points and will be aiming for a win to lift themselves onto 17 ps. However, outside of thrashing Charlotte Independence with five goals in extra time in the US Open cup, the Railhawks have failed to win in five consecutive NASL matches now.
Squad is looking healthy.........
|Gerardo Torrado wasted no time getting to know his new team mates.|
Most players were looking sharp in training today, Don Smart is still recovering from injury and Jair Reinoso working back to match fitness. Gerardo Torrado went straight into training but will not be eligible to play in league or cup matches until after July 4th. Brad Ring and Lovel Palmer also took part in scrimmage and looked comfortable.
Indy Eleven have two games coming up this week with the Open Cup match against Chicago Fire on the 15th and it is looking more likely we will have almost our whole squad available before that game but for this Saturday we should see a similar lineup to that which started in Miami.
Likely Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Falvey, Janicki, Vukovic, Gordon, Mares, Larrea, Paterson, Braun, Zayed.
As always Bloody Shambles and Permanent Relegation are supporting Playworks Indiana children's charity with our #EamonZayedRule initiative. We are donating money for every goal Éamon Zayed scores this year and you can choose to play along or just make a one off donation to help us reach our target of $2000. Click Here for More Information.
As Part of that cause and thanks to the Brickyard Battalion a special t-shirt has been issued to commemorate the US Open Cup tie between Chicago Fire and Indy Eleven on June 15th. The Schlabst Cup is a supporters trophy created in honor of Peter Wilt, and is awarded to the supporters of the winning team in any tie between Fire and Eleven.
All proceeds from the sale of this shirt will go to the winning teams supporters charity of choice. The BYB has elected to donate the proceeds to the #EamonZayedRule initiative. If we don't win Chicago Fire Supporters, Section 8, will donate to The LampStrong Foundation, a charity for cancer patients founded by Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson. If we win we are helping people, if we lose we are still helping people! Follow the link below for more info and a better look at the t-shirt design.