|Brad Ring and Nicki Paterson in action against FC Edmonton in Spring|
Indy Eleven equalled a modern day NASL record of being undefeated for thirteen games but fell short of breaking it in Minnesota. At the end of the day however, records and streaks are only as good as they last but as is sometimes said in this sport, you're only as good as your last game and the next is more important.
Sometimes the weight of an undefeated streak can be as much of an albatross or a pressure as it is fun. Indy Eleven have far exceeded our expectations thus far in 2016 and I am certainly far from despondent about losing our first NASL game last weekend. We will lose, and may lose again but people will remember Indy Eleven for their achievements in 2016.
The fact that it happened to one of the best teams in our league away from home is no shame at all. Had we lost at home or away to a struggling team or a new team just finding their way, then yes I may have been a little disappointed.
The one thing we know about our team is they went in wanting to win and knowing they could win, not as a team unsure of themselves and just hoping they could win. Form is temporary but quality endures.
Indy Eleven return to Carroll Stadium this week and face FC Edmonton for the second time this year. Indy were unable to break down the Eddies for a win in Spring, a first half goal by Greg Janicki was quickly cancelled out before the end of the half when Jake Keegan scored for Edmonton.
To date Indy Eleven have only managed to beat FC Edmonton on two occasions, once in 2014 1-0 thanks to an opportunistic goal from Kléberson, and more memorable the 3-0 win in June of 2015 with goals from Brian Brown, Dylan Mares and Duke Lacroix.
There are reasons why wins against this team have been difficult in the past, and I have said it before, FC Edmonton are a tough outfit, Colin Miller the FCE coach likes it that way and he always builds a strong physical side and they should never be underestimated at any time.
FC Edmonton have a defensive headache ...
|Papé Diakité suspended this week|
Thanks to Adam Huber of Loyal Company of The River Valley for some chat on FC Edmonton and Indy Eleven this week.
Due to unforeseen circumstances FC Edmonton will field a barely recognizable back line in Indianapolis this Saturday. Team captain Albert Watson has been given compassionate leave after the passing of his father and will not travel. Papé Diakité is suspended for the match after a red card against OttawaFury.
Eddie Edward transferred to Ottawa so none of the back four that played against Indy in spring will play at the start of this game unless Johann Smith is picked. The back line for Edmonton will likely be Adam Eckersley, Karsten Smith, Marko Aleksic and Shawn Nicklaw, with doubts over the overall fitness of Aleksic. Nikolas Ledgerwood will likely take the captains armband in the absence of Watson.
An untested back line is a window of opportunity for Indy Eleven if they exploit it, Nicklaw and Eckersley are experienced in those back positions currently, it will be in front of the middle of defense where we could cause most problems in this situation. Of course that does not mean these are weak players, but it is a big adjustment for Edmonton.
Update: Aleksic not traveled with the rest of the team
Indy should be in relatively good shape. Duke Lacriox's injury is not as bad as first suspected but probably bad enough to see him not start the game. Jair Reinoso is in full training now and is an option to pick for the 18 man roster.
Colin Falvey still working his way back to full match fitness, but I doubt he will be risked at the start of this game, possibly on the bench. Youla still working his way towards 90 minute fitness so may not be ready to start a game yet but should see time in the second half.
Hankinson may decide to use the option of rotating a few players to increase their minutes knowing we play a depleted side and have a play off berth. I suspect we may see a rotation in center midfield and possibly in defense gain, possibly with Torrado coming in to start a game possibly alongside Paterson and Franco in again to share time with Palmer.
Possible starting lineup: Busch, Franco, Miller, Janicki, Vukovic, Gordon, Torrado, Paterson, Mares, Zayed and Braun. Bench: Cardona, Palmer, Ring, Lacroix (or Keller), Youla, Smart, Ubiparipović
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.
If you feel like a road trip this Friday, Indy Eleven NPSL will compete in the NPSL Midwest Championship finals for the second year running and are defending champions. The finals will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan (4 hour drive) on the 22nd and 23rd. On Friday Indy Eleven NPSL will play top seed Grand Rapids FC at 7.30pm after Ann Arbor play Cleveland. If Indy succeed on Friday they will play in the final on Saturday at 7.30pm. If you are interested in attending you can purchase one or two day passes by CLICKING HERE . Bloody Shambles will be there to bring you updates.