In this addition of Lady Victory and Her Quest for Glory, I will be previewing Indy Eleven’s match against FC Edmonton.

PREVIEW: INDY ELEVEN v. FC EDMONTON

All-time series record: Tied at 2-1-2 (W-D-L)

5-10-14 FC Edmonton over Indy Eleven 2-1 in Indianapolis. Ambersley scored for Indy.

7-27-14 Eleven over FC Edmonton 1-0 in Edmonton. Kleberson scored for Indy.

9-13-14 Eleven and FC Edmonton draw 1-1. Pineda scored for Indy.

6-13-15 Eleven over FC Edmonton 3-0 in Indianapolis. Brown, Mares, and Lacroix scored for Indy.

8-5-15 FC Edmonton over Eleven 2-0 in Edmonton.

The previous two matches between Indy Eleven and FC Edmonton this season needs to be disregarded because neither team played at full strength. In the first match in June, the Eddies were without Lance Laing and Mallan Roberts as they were on international duty with their respected countries. In the second meeting this season, Indy Eleven’s interim head coach Tim Regan, left a noticeable amount of the starting players on the bench or back in Indianapolis for the midweek match. Both of these games resulted in the home side winning in dominating fashion.

When it comes to playing on the road or in the friendly confines of home both Indy Eleven and FC Edmonton are two different teams. All three of Indy Eleven’s three wins have come at home and they have outscored their opponents 7 to 1 when collecting three points. Away from home has been a different story for the Eleven. They have gone 0-2-4 (W-D-L) and have been outscored 16 to 5. FC Edmonton have a record of 1-3-1 in five road games this fall, scoring 5 and conceding 5. While at home the Eddies have won 4 games. Hopefully, for Indy Eleven, their trend at home continues.

For the Eleven to be successful on Saturday night the partnership of Zach Steinberger and Dane Richards will be crucial, as it has been for the last few games. This partnership has been successful for three reasons. First, Steinberger slotting behind Richards and playing as a number ten has been able to find gaps and space in the opponents back line to play Richards the ball. Second, Richards’s ability to use his speed and beat defenders in one on one situations in front of goal. Third, the opponents back line is stretched when Richards moves out wide, creating an ample amount of space for Steinberger and the outside midfielders to expose. Of course, Dylan Mares is healthy after recovering from a torn meniscus and should see serious minutes in this game. If that is the case, Steinberger will not have to drop deep into the midfield and Mares would take over the number ten role.

Indy Eleven will have their hands full with outside FC Edmonton’s midfielder Lance Laing on Saturday night. The Jamaican international has scored 7 goals and 6 assists so far this season. Since Eddies Head Coach Colin Miller switched Laing to the midfield from an outside back, he has scored 13 goals and recorded 11 assists times in 38 games. Victor Pineda and Kyle Hyland (if healthy) will be occupied on the left wing containing Laing’s speed, his dangerous crosses, and his ability to create scoring opportunities. If Laing does beat defenders in one on one situations look to see how deep the defensive midfielders drop to add support for the back line and pick up attacking players. Winning the possession percentage battle is not a strength of Indy’s. But if the Eleven wants to keep Laing in check they will have to keep possession in the middle to their final third. Therefore, it will be crucial for the defensive midfielders to not drop to deep in the defense. When it comes to fouls around the eighteen yard box, Indy Eleven has to be careful giving up fouls as Laing has a reputation of striking the ball with pace and accuracy. If the Eddies are in a position where Laing does not have a chance to have a shot on goal, Albert Watson is also a threat from set pieces.

EDMONTON:

Head Coach: Colin Miller

Captain: Albert Watson

NASL fall record: (W-D-L)

Position in NASL fall/combined standings: 5th/6th

Last game: W, 1-0 v. Tampa Bay

Formation: (4-5-1) GK, VanOekel; CB, Roberts; CB, Watson; RB, Edward; LB, Zebie; CM, Raudales; CM, Smith; CM, Corea; RM, Cruz; LM, Laing; F, Fordyce.

INDY ELEVEN:

NASL fall record: 3-3-7 (W-D-L)

Position in NASL fall/combined standings: 9th/10th

Last game: L, 0-2 at San Antonio

Formation: (4-4-2) GK, Cardona; RB, Franco; LB, Frias; CB, Norales; CB, Miller; RM, Smart; LM, Pineda; CM, Ring; CM, Keller; F, Richards; F, Steinberger.

STATS:

Eleven:

Team

Goals for: 27

Goals against: 37

Goal difference: -10

Goals scored per shots taken: 26%

Average possession per game: 47%

Yellow cards: 31 (Miller, 5)

Red cards: 4 (Norales, 2)

Individual

Goals: Dylan Mares, 3; Eric Norales, 3;  Dane Richards, 3; Brian Brown, 2; Sergio Peña, 2; Victor Pineda, 2; Don Smart, 2; Duke Lacroix, 2; Zach Steinberger, 2; Wojciech Wojcik, 2; Marvin Ceballos, 1; Kyle Hyland, 1; Judson McKinney, 1.

Assists: Dylan Mares, 4; Brian Brown, 2; Don Smart, 2; Dragan Stojkov, 2; Kyle Hyland, 1; Daniel Keller, 1; Victor Pineda, 1; Charlie Rugg, 1; Wojcik Wojciech, 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 9 goals on 19 saves and is allowing on average 1.50 goals per game in 6 NASL games.

Edmonton:

Team

Goals for: 32

Goals against: 34

Goal difference: -2

Goals scored per shots taken: 28%

Average possession per game: 48%

Yellow cards: 37 (Cristian Raudales, 7)

Red cards: 3 (three players with 1 each)

Individual

Goals: Tomi Ameobi, 7; Lance Laing, 7; Daryl Fordyce, 4; Ritchie Jones, 4; Albert Watson, 2; Hanson Boakai, 1; Sadi Jalali, 1; Kareem Moses, 1; Michael Nonni, 1; Sainey Nyassi, 1; Cristian Raudales, 1.

Assists: Lance Laing, 6; Tomi Ameobi, 2; Sainey Nyassi, 2; Johann Smith, 2; Chad Burt, 1; Daryl Fordyce, 1; Sadi Jalali, 1; Michael Nonni, 1; Albert Watson, 1.

Goalkeepers: Matt VanOekel hass allowed 25 goals on 40 saves and is allowing 1.35 goals per game in 19 NASL games. John Smits has allowed 6 goals on 12 saves and is allowing 1.50 goals per game in 4 NASL games. Tyson Farago has allowed 2 goals on 4 saves in 1 NASL game.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Indy                                        Edmonton

GK: Cardona                          GK: VanOekel

RB: Franco                              RB: Zebie

CB: Miller                               CB: Watson

CB: Norales                            CB: Roberts

LB: Hyland                             LB: Edward

DM: Keller                              CM: Raudales

DM: Ring                                CM: Corea

RM: Stojkov                           CM: Granitto

LM: Pineda                             RM: Nyassi

F: Steinberger                          LM: Laing

F: Richards                              F: Fordyce

INJURIES:

Eleven: Charlie Rugg (Sports hernia) out.

Edmonton: Tomi Ameobi. Ritchie Jones.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Eleven:

Daniel Cuevas, midfielder: The newly signed midfielder previously played for Lobos BUAP of Mexico’s second division, Club Santos Laguna U20 side and United States National Team U20. While playing for the USMNT U20 under Head Coach Tab Ramos, Cuevas scored against France in the group stage of the FIFA U20 World Cup. He has been training with Indy Eleven for a few months now but has not played in a competitive game since last October.

Edmonton:

Matt Vanoekel, goalkeeper: In the four wins this fall for FC Edmonton Matt Vanoekel has been between the posts for the Eddies, recording four clean sheets. Edmonton has improved dramatically from the spring season defensively, and has a positive goal differential this fall. Vanoekel is only allowing 1.35 goals per game so it will be crucial for the Eleven to test the Eddies goalkeeper frequently.

REFEREE:

The referee for this game is typically a fourth official in the MLS.

QUESTIONS HEADING INTO SATURDAY’S MATCH:

Can Indy Eleven continue their good run at home and capture the victory against the Eddies?

Will the Eleven stay with their new formation and have two defensive midfielders against a high powered offense in FC Edmonton?

The Eleven have not won the possession battle since their August 5th game in Edmonton. Will the Eleven continue to place nine to ten players behind the ball and use the counter attack or will they find a way to hold onto the ball for long periods of time?

FC Edmonton are specialists when it comes to set pieces. Who will mark Albert Watson on corners and free kicks? More importantly, how will the Eleven set up defensively when Lance Laing has the ability from a set piece to have a shot on frame with his left foot?

FUN FACTS:

FC Edmonton have played two home games this year in Fort McMurray.

This past week FC Edmonton re-signed striker Tomi Ameobi, midfielder Ritchie Jones, and goalie Tyson Farago.

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