Friday, July 24, 2015

The Clash of the Tight Ones! (Indy Eleven V New York Cosmos 7/25/2015 Preview)

It's Ladies Night!!!
The two teams in the NASL that are destined to draw forever and ever line up again at Carroll Stadium this weekend.

While Indy Eleven suffered a demoralizing defeat in Ottawa last weekend, New York Cosmos were also beaten for the first time in 2015 by Jacksonville Armada.

Indy's defeat was the first since the loss to Louisville City FC in the Open Cup, the Cosmos have failed to win either of their first two fall games, they sit bottom of the fall table with a solitary point that they picked up from .... you guessed it, Indy Eleven.

This will be the 6th tie between the two clubs, all five previous match ups have ended in a tie. Both of these team would love to take first blood and win this tie.

Will either team ever win.... ?

Unless you have been living under a rock in Patagonia for over a year, then you will be aware that these two teams have drawn against each other in all five meetings. On 24th May 2014 these two teams met for the very first time in Indy Eleven's seventh game in their NASL history. Only 4 of the starting lineup on that night remain in the team today, Brad Ring, Kyle Hyland, Kristian Nicht and Erick Norales. The match ended 1-1 and set up a pattern of draws between the sides.

The form of both sides has been quite different in 2015, as mentioned earlier Cosmos have only been defeated once in 12 games in the NASL this year. Add to that they also had a great US Open Cup run as well.

All the hype is about Raul of course, who despite playing 90 minutes against Jacksonville last week could not get on the scoresheet. I know it's a big deal for many fans of the game to see him in Indy again, but I hope he has an absolutely miserable evening.

New York are by no means infallible, outside of the one defeat they have drawn 6 of their matches this year, one interesting thing to note that since playing Indy Eleven here on April 11th in Spring, the New York Cosmos have not won a single game on the road since then (DDDDL)

Under Tim Regan's control, Indy Eleven have lost one game, against Ottawa last weekend. Tim has not had many games but at least he has found that ability to win at home that we have lacked so much. However we have only been beaten once at home in NASL this year. We lost 3-1 to Minnesota United in Spring. In our last three home games we have two wins and a draw. (Indy's 2015 home record DDLDWW)

I know it sounds like I am trying to give everyone reasons not to worry, but I don't need to, there is no reason for Indy Eleven to fear any team in this league nor any reason not to believe we can beat any team. We can!

I think it will be an interesting game, we do have players coming back into the fold, and both teams are smarting after a defeat and will want to win, it is a home game for us so maybe a little more pressure on Indy to give a good showing.

As said in previous previews, we have to start being a formidable team at home, and the best we can on the road, this one is no different, we need to win this game. Our best chance could be once again to pinch the first goal and work on keeping a clean sheet.

Players to watch......

Kristian Nicht probably was not a very happy bunny last week, I am sure he will be out to make sure he has a good game, in a fixture that is always tight, Nicht could be the difference maker on Saturday. If we do have the personnel to go back to a more normal shape for the team, I expect to see Dylan Mares cause more trouble if he plays in his normal role. Dane Richards has the big game experience and if he gets time again, maybe we will see a little more from him in front of the home crowd for the first time.

It would be easy to make the assumption Raul is the danger man for Cosmos, but as we saw last time out Restrepo caused us all kinds of problems after he came on. Raul played 90 last week as did Restrepo but New York failed to find the net, but Indy's ability to find a winning formula in this fixture may well depend on how they handle those two players.

Injury/Health update......

Dragan Stojkov should be available this week. Duke Lacroix is listed as doubtful. Brad Ring, Victor Pineda and Daniel Keller are questionable but may each see game time at some point. As usual Kleberson and Pena are long term injuries.

Cory Miller is suspended this week so we will likely see Greg Janicki start the game.

Marcos Senna will not be available for New York and also it is likely too early a return for Roversio. Otherwise the Cosmos will be pretty much unchanged from the last round.

My hunch for the starting lineup would be Nicht, Hyland, Janicki, Norales, Franco, Richards, Keller, Mares, Stojkov, Wojcik and Brown (this is considering I do not know if Pineda is 100% fit to start) Subs: Cardona, Smart, McKinney, Ring, Pineda, Rugg, Frias. I suspect we may see Keller and Ring share time on the field.

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