In this addition of Lady Victory and Her Quest for Glory, I will be reviewing Indy Eleven’s midweek game in Edmonton and preview Saturday night’s show down with league leaders Ottawa.
Indy Eleven faced the difficult challenge of traveling some 1,500 miles Wednesday to Alberta after their 0-1 loss to Atlanta at home last Saturday. Unfortunately, FC Edmonton came away with the 2-0 win over Indy Eleven. Tim Regan made eight changes to the starting lineup as Keith Cardona, Jamie Frias, Judson McKinney, and Daniel Keller cracked the starting lineup. Duke Lacroix started for the first time since coming back from a hip injury. The Eddies drew first blood in the 16th minute as captain Albert Watson was able to get up and over Greg Janicki to head the ball in the goal off a corner. In the 70th minute Judson McKinney was called for a hand ball inside the box and Tomi Ameobi converted from the penalty spot.
Indy Eleven had a few opportunities to score but could not find the back of the net. Right after Watson scored for the Eddies the Eleven was awarded a free kick. Jamie Frais played the ball to Don Smart who was able to whip in a cross to Wojciech Wojcik. But his header floated over the cross bar. In the 60th minute Charlie Rugg came up with the loose ball at the top of the eighteen but his low shot went wide left. In the 64th minute Charlie Rugg took Watson on one-on-one. As the ball came up Watson’s arm made contact with the ball but the referee allowed play to go on. The Eleven’s final chance came in stoppage time as Charlie Rugg once again had an opportunity to score with a wide open shot from 20 yards out. However, Rugg’s his shot sailed over the cross bar. Both teams had legitimate arguments for several penalties to be awarded in their favor. But the center referee allowed both teams to play physical with the game sometimes getting out of hand. Regardless of the lack of calls, FC Edmonton was able to secure 3 points and moved to 3rd in the fall standings just 5 points away from first place Ottawa. Indy Eleven sit 8th in the fall and combined standings.
PREVIEW: INDY ELEVEN v. OTTAWA FURY
All-time series record
5/17/14 Fury over Indy Eleven 4-2 in Indianapolis. Indy Eleven goals by Mike Ambersley and Ben Spencer.
8/23/14 Fury over Indy Eleven 2-1 in Indianapolis. Indy Eleven goal by Don Smart.
10/26/14 Indy Eleven over Fury 2-1 in Ottawa. Indy Eleven goals by Jhulliam and Victor Pineda.
5/23/15 Fury over Indy Eleven 1-0 in Ottawa.
7/19/15 Fury over Indy Eleven 4-2 in Ottawa. Indy Eleven goals were scored by Don Smart and Judson McKinney.
The hottest team in the league comes to Indianapolis on Saturday night and it is not the New York Cosmos. Rather the Ottawa Fury. That’s correct! The Fury are currently on an eleven game unbeaten streak and sit atop the fall table and one point back of first place in the combined standings. During this unbeaten run, Ottawa has only conceded five goals and at one point had a streak of over 630 minutes without conceding a goal. The Fury have only allowed their opponents to score on them a total of 13 times in the spring and fall seasons. Only the Cosmos are better with 12. Ottawa’s offensive struggled in the spring season only finding the back of the net on 5 occasions in 10 games. But now that the scoring has come full circle, the Fury have scored 12 goals in their last 6 matches.
Head Coach: Marc Dos Santos
Captain: Richie Ryan
NASL fall record: 5-1-0 (W,D,L)
Position in NASL fall/combined standings: 1st/ 1st
Last game: W, 1-0 at FC Edmonton (played in Fort McMurray).
Formation: (4-3-3) GK, Peiser; CB, Alves; CB, Falvey; RB, Trafford; LB, Richter; CM, Ubiparipović; CM, De Guzman; CM, Ryan; F, Heinemann; F, Minatel; F, Haworth.
NASL fall record: 1-2-2 (W,D,L)
Position in NASL fall/ combined standings: 8th/ 6th
Last game: L, 0-1 v. Atlanta.
Formation: (4-4-2) GK, Nicht; CB, Miller; CB, Janicki; RB, Franco; LB, Hyland; DM, Ring; AM, Steinberger; RM, Stojkov; Pineda; F, Brown; F, Richards.
Goals: Dylan Mares, 3; Brian Brown, Erick Norales, 2; Sergio Peña, 2; Victor Pineda, 2; Don Smart, 2; Wojciech Wojcik, 2. Kyle Hyland, 1; Duke Lacroix, 1; Judson McKinney, 1.
Assists: Dylan Mares, 4; Brian Brown, 2; Wojciech Wojcik, 1; Charlie Rugg, 1, Dragan Stojkov, 1.
Goalkeepers: Kristian Nicht has allowed 18 goals on 38 saves and is allowing 1.28 goals per game in 14 games (all competitions). Keith Cardona has allowed 6 goals on 8 saves and is allowing on average 2 goals per game in 3 NASL games.
Goals: Tom Heinemann, 4; Rafael Alves, 3; Ryan Richie, 3; Carl Haworth, 2; Nicki Paterson, 2; Brandon Poltronieri, 1; Mason Trafford, 1;
Assists: Sinša Ubiparipović, 3; Paulo Junior, 2; Rafael Alves, 1; Brandon Poltronieri, 1; Ryan Richter, 1;
Goalkeepers: Romuald Peiser has allowed 13 goals on 43 saves in 16 games. Peiser is allowing 0.81 goals per game in the NASL this year.
Eleven: Sergio Peña, out (foot). Dylan Mares, out (knee).
Fury: Nicky Paterson (ACL) out for the remainder of the season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Marvin Ceballos: Indy Eleven official signed Marvin Ceballos from Guatemala side, CSD Communicaciones, this week. The 23-year-old striker scored 8 goals in 69 appearances for Communicaciones. In 2011, Ceballos scored the only goal for his native Guatemala during the FIFA U20 World Cup. It was also the team’s only win in group play against Croatia.
The newly signed playmaker will be available for selection in Tim Regan’s side on Saturday night. Ceballos’s natural position is a striker but with his quickness he will most likely receive playing time as an outside midfielder. This position has typically seen Dragan Stojkov, Victor Pineda, and Don Smart in that role. As Dylan Mares recovers from meniscus surgery Ceballos could also feature as the number 10 and share time with Zach Steinberger. Regardless, of where Ceballos plays the opposition will have difficulty containing his speed along with Brown, Lacroix, Pineda, Richards, and Smart.
Tom Heinemann: The 6’4 striker leads the Fury with 4 goals this season. He has scored 2 goals against Indy Eleven since the series between the Fury and Indy Eleven began. He recorded the opening goal in a 2-1 win for Ottawa the last time the Fury visited the Circle City. Then, scored when these teams met this past July as Ottawa won 4-2.
The center referee for this match has been the center on four previous NASL games this year. In those four games the center ref has awarded 100 fouls, 14 yellow cards, and 2 red cards.
QUESTIONS HEADING INTO SATURDAY’S MATCH:
Can Indy Eleven turn around their recent dip in form and take 3 points from league leaders Ottawa or will the Fury extend their unbeaten streak to twelve?
With the Eleven playing three games in eight days and traveling round trip 3,183 miles to Edmonton (5,123 km) what changes will interim head coach Tim Regan make to the starting eleven on Saturday?
The Eleven have gone scoreless in their last two matches. How will Indy Eleven score against the best defensive team in the league?
Ottawa Fury signed German striker Ugur Albayrak this week. Albayrak appeared in 162 games and scored 58 goals for Eintracht Frankfort II. Albayrak will be available for selection against Indy Eleven on Saturday.