In this addition of Lady Victory and Her Quest for Glory, I will be discussing Indy Eleven hosting the Jacksonville Armada at home for the first time in franchise history.
PREVIEW: INDY ELEVEN v. JACKSONVILLE ARMADA
All-time series record: Jacksonville leads 1-0-0
5/9/15 Armada defeated Indy Eleven, 1-0 in Jacksonville.
Indy Eleven will be coming home after a three game road trip that resulted in only collecting 1 point. For Jacksonville, this will be there first visit to Indianapolis as they are still looking for the franchise’s first road win. Every game is a must win but with both teams still having a realistic chance of making the playoffs regardless of their current position in the standings, this game will have huge implications.
Jacksonville likes to play in a 4-3-3 formation. With the Armada’s Head Coach, Guillermo Hoyos, experience as a coach in Argentina and with Barcelona in Spain his team will present numerous challenges for the Eleven. They are one of the quickest and most talented teams in the league in terms of technical ability. The Armada like to play a very expansive, possession style that allows the players to create several chances in the final third. The back line for Indy Eleven will have their hands full as; Alhassane Keita, Jemal Johnson, Pascal Millien, and Akeil Barrett will lead the Armada’s attack. These four players have combined for 17 of the team’s 25 goals this season. In addition to creating opportunities in the final third, look for the Armada to utilize these four players when counter attacking as the visitors try to expose an aspect of Indy’s game that needs improvement. Another Indy Eleven weakness the away side will look to uncover is scoring from set pieces as the Armada have been very creative in dead ball situations around the 18 yard box and from corners.
Of course, Jacksonville is a different team when playing on the road, as they have allowed 23 goals away from home this season. Compared to only giving up 9 goals at the friendly confines of Community First Park. As for the Eleven, they will be happy to be home after a difficult road trip that resulted in only scoring 2 goals and giving up 9. Indy plays better in front of their loyal fans and I anticipate the Eleven to be aggressive in the attack in the first 45 minutes. To keep the Armada’s speed in check I expect the Eleven to do one of two things to push into the attack. First, sending direct long balls over the top and find their strong physical forward, Wojciech Wojcik to play give and goes with his partner Dane Richards. Second, have their outside backs or outside midfielders play long through balls on the ground to find Richards up top and stretch the Armada’s defensive. This will allow the center midfielders to become involved in the attack or give Richards the opportunity to use his speed to take on defenders in one on one situations.
Head Coach: Guillermo Hoyos
Captain: Miguel Gallardo
NASL fall record: 3-2-5 (W,L,D)
Position in NASL fall/combined standings: 7th/8th
Last game: D, 0-0 v. San Antonio
Formation: (4-3-3) GK, Gallardo; RB, Williams; LB, Rodrugquez; CB, Perea; CB, Ortiz; CM, Castrillón; CM, Flores; Scaglia; F, Millien; F, Barrett; F, Johnson.
NASL fall record: 2-3-6 (W,D,L)
Position in NASL fall/combined standings: 9th/10th
Last game: L, 1-0 at Minnesota United
Formation: (4-4-2) GK, Cardona; RB, Stojkov; LB, Frias; CB, Norales; CB, Miller; RM, Smart; LM, Pineda; CM; Ring; CM, Keller; F, Richards; F, Wojcik.
Goals for: 24
Goals against: 34
Goals: Dylan Mares, 3; Eric Norales, 3; Dane Richards, 3; Brian Brown, Sergio Peña, 2; Victor Pineda, 2; Don Smart, 2; Duke Lacroix, 2; Wojciech Wojcik, 2. Kyle Hyland, 1; Judson McKinney, 1.
Assists: Dylan Mares, 4; Brian Brown, 2; Dragan Stojkov, 2; Wojciech Wojcik, 1; Charlie Rugg, 1; Daniel Keller, 1; Victor Pineda, 1.
Goalkeepers: Kristian Nicht has allowed 22 goals on 44 saves and is allowing 1.37 goals per game in 16 games (all competitions). Keith Cardona has allowed 7 goals on 12 saves and is allowing on average 1.75 goals per game in 4 NASL games.
Goals for: 25
Goals against: 32
Goals: Keita Alhassane, 6; Jemal Johnson, 5; Pascal Millien, 4; Akeil Barrett, 2; Jamie Castrillón, 2; Marcos Flores, 2; Tommy Krizanovic, 1; Joseph Toby, 1.
Assists: Marcos Flores, 2; Jemal Johnson, 2; Pascal Millien, 2; Lucas Scaglia, 2; Matt Bahner, 1; Akeil Barrett, 1; Jamie Castrillon, 1; Bochy Hoyos, 1; Lucas Trejo, 1;
Goalkeepers: Miguel Gallardo has allowed 25 goals on 43 saves and a goals against average of 1.67 in 15 games. David Sierra has allowed 7 goals on 19 saves and a goals against average of 1.40 in 5 games.
GK: Kristian Nicht GK: David Sierra
RB: Marco Franco RB: Tommy Krizanovic
CB: Eric Norales CB: Fabricio Ortiz
CB: Corey Miller CB: Nicholas Perea
LB: Kyle Hyland LB: Lucas Rodriguez
DM: Brad Ring CM: Lucas Scaglia
AM: Marvin Ceballos CM: Marcos Flores
RM: Dragan Stojkov CM: Jamie Castrillón
LM: Duke Lacroix F: Jemal Johnson
F: Dane Richards F: Pascal Millien
F: Wojciech Wojcik F: Akeil Barrett
Dylan Mares had surgery on his torn meniscus on July 31st and has started training. On Friday, Mares was upgraded to doubtful for the game. Sergio Peña (lower leg compartment syndrome) has started working out with the team after surgery.
Marcos Flores (hamstring). Alhassane Keita.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Keith Cardona, goalkeeper: The role of a backup goalkeeper in any sport can be one of the most challenging positions and roles to play in any team. The backup never knows when they may see action during a game and has to be focused at all times. This requires extra work on the training pitch and film room. Keith Cardona has done well in this position this season. He has had to step up in difficult situations and has succeeded. On Wednesday, Cardona was selected to start against Minnesota United and gave Indy Eleven the chance to take home some much needed points. Although the Eleven fell short Cardona made a few incredible saves and showed the future at the goalkeeper position is bright for the Eleven. Very bright.
Alhassane Keita, forward: The 32 year old striker has played in some of the best leagues in the world including; La Liga (Spain) and Swiss Super League (Switzerland). Keita has scored a few important goals during his time in Spain and Switzerland as well. In the 2005-06 season Keita captured the Swiss Super League Golden Boot award by leading the league in goals scored with 20 for FC Zürich. In addition, he scored on two occasions during FC Zürich UEFA Cup campaign that season. In 2008, Keita moved to La Liga side Mallorca where he scored against Real Madrid and Barcelona. This year he has 6 goals to his name and has proven to be one of the best goal scorers in the league. Of course, Keita is doubtful for the game against the Eleven. If he is available expect Keita to use his quickness and superb technical ability to get past Indy Eleven defenders.
The center ref for the Armada- Eleven game has been the center on 11 occasions this year. During those games, the ref has awarded 329 fouls, 37 yellow cards, and 6 red cards.
QUESTIONS HEADING INTO SATURDAY’S MATCH:
Can the Eleven take advantage of Jacksonville’s winless streak on the road and come away with the much needed three points?
After Keith Cardona’s performance on Wednesday night will he be starting between the posts or will Tim Regan start veteran Kristian Nicht?
With Jacksonville playing a very quick, high tempo, possession style will Indy Eleven utilize their outside midfielders and forwards and play the long ball?
Jacksonville forward Chaim Roserie was able to participate in the practice squad during the Argentinian Men’s National Team training sessions that included a scrimmage. Roserie is 16 years old.
Pascal Millien and Shawn Nicklaw will miss the Indy Eleven match because of international duty. Millien represents Haiti and Nicklaw plays for Guam.
This is the inaugural season for the Jacksonville Armada. To start the year the Armada used a unique Co-Head Coach style with Jose Luis Villarreal and Guillermo Hoyos in charge. In June, Villarreal left the club for family reasons and to pursue other interests. Hoyos, who signed a contract extension through 2019, is known for his time coaching Lionel Messi in Argentina and the Barcelona B team.
The mascot of the Armada is a squid named, Squid Vicious.