Sunday, May 15, 2016

Indy Steals Another Road Point - Ft Lauderdale Strikers V Indy Eleven (0-0) REVIEW (5/14/2016)

Busch won the point for Indy!
By: James Cormack

I am not going to lie, outside of a fine performance by goalkeeper Jon Busch, there is nothing much positive to write about with this game other than we took a point and didn't lose. When the biggest cheers during a game come from saves and the game ends 0-0 you have to feel fortunate.

Undefeated runs are great, but sometimes I'd rather see us pick up 3pts in two games than drop four against teams we should beat, and to be fair we should have beaten Ottawa Fury, FC Edmonton and the Strikers.

Due to recovering from illness Éamon Zayed could not start the game meaning another change on top of losing Brad Ring in the center of the field. As I thought Ubiparipović was moved into the center but to my surprise started along side Gorka Larrea instead of a Paterson which would be a more familiar pairing.

Dylan Mares started on the unfamiliar left side of midfield with Omar Gordon again getting the nod at right midfield with Jair Reinoso and Justin Braun in the front. Some of these changes were due to circumstances, and that can't be helped, but I feel it definitely affected our rhythm, we never really seemed to settle in the game and for the most part seemed disjointed.

As Coach Hankinson pointed out last week the team is very much a "work in progress" and that has not changed, no forward progress was made in relation to our biggest problem, our lack of productivity in the final third. Indy Eleven has to "progress" from being a team that is just hard to beat into a team that is feared, a team that nobody looks forward to playing and a team who can punish their opponents.

The match was ugly for the viewer to be honest, I remember while watching thinking about the game we played in Edmonton in 2014, one of the least pretty games I have ever seen and I kept hoping this game would end the same with a late ridiculous goal as scored by Kléberson in that match. The opportunistic goal I was hoping for never came though, and to be honest both sides struggled a lot in this game.

Indy did manage to get the upper hand in the second half as the game wore on, but our finishing and ability to even create chances was woeful. Attempts on goal were few and far between. Ft. Lauderdale were not much better and of the good chances they had they were not able to pick their spot and were also thwarted by a huge performance from Jon Busch.

At the end of the day, as tired of a cliché as it is, one point on the road is always better than zero!

I am not a huge fan of stats, but sometimes you can't ignore them. Eleven shots in the match, five defensively blocked, of the six shots not defensively blocked, only two were on target and again one of them was at distance from defender Nemanja Vukovic, the other from Braun, so one shot on target from an attacker in 90 minutes of play. Five of our eleven shots were from distance. It is an serious issue now and there is absolutely no avoiding that.

Our performance in the last two games is not going to stand up against a Minnesota United side that have won 13pts from their last five matches. Having said that, we know we have it within us to perform in the big games as we did against the Cosmos. Player availability and starting lineup will be very important. I can't help feeling this was in the mind of Hankinson before the start of this weekends game. We have the option to play a somewhat rested Paterson and Ring and a healthier Zayed and Reinoso against the Loons.

Results have been somewhat kind to us again, Minnesota winning puts them top but not out of reach, we play them at home and by winning that game we can control our own destiny. The other big result of the weekend as far as Indy are concerned comes from the game I just finished watching. FC Edmonton pulls off a win at home over the Cosmos. For now it bumps us down to to fifth place, but had the Cosmos won it would have put them on 15 pts atop the table. As it was they were defeated leaving only three points between 5th and 1st place.

Indy Eleven still has a game in hand over three of the opponents above them in FC Edmonton, NY Cosmos and Carolina Railhawks. Next week the Eddies will face off against Carolina and the Cosmos will face a Tampa side who are so far under performing and needing at least a point to stay relevant in the chase for the Spring Championship. It's going to be a crazy and possibly crucial weekend for our Boys in Blue.

The one thing that can be said after this weekend, the NASL Spring Championship of 2016 is hugely exciting, and it is looking set up to be an absolute nail biter over the next few rounds for many teams. Let's hope Indy Eleven can take control and upset everyone!

Current top 5 in the standings - Table from NASL.COM


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!

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!

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