In this edition of Lady Victory and Her Quest for Glory, I will be discussing Indy Eleven’s third match of the season against the New York Cosmos.
PREVIEW: INDY ELEVEN v. NEW YORK COSMOS
All-time series record: 0-6-0 (W,D,L)
5/24/14 Draw, 1-1 at Shuart Stadium. Brad Ring scored for the Eleven.
8/30/14 Draw, 2-2 at Carroll Stadium. Mike Ambersley and Jermaine Johnson scored for Indy.
10/4/14 Draw, 0-0 at Shuart Stadium.
4/11/15 Draw, 1-1 at Carroll Stadium. Brian Brown scored for Indy.
7/5/15 Draw, 1-1 at Shuart Stadium. Wojciech Wojcik scored for the Eleven.
7/25/15 Draw, 1-1 at Carroll Stadium. Dylan Mares scored for Indy.
KEYS TO THE GAME FOR INDY ELEVEN: Fluidity in the final third.
The Eleven struggled at times to link up play from their central midfielders to forward, Eamon Zayed. Nicki Paterson had the most connections to Zayed with 5. Once Jair Renoso came into the match the Eleven had 6 shots on goal, the most than any other part of the game. If Renoso starts on the right, it will allow the Eleven to be more diverse in the attack as Duke Lacroix will be on the left and Mares center. As I stated in the past, if Zayed scores this team will be successful and struggle when he does not. Zayed has not scored in the first two games, but these adjustments should help Zayed get on the stats sheet.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Dylan Mares, midfielder: After scoring his first professional against the Rowdies last May, Mares when on to score 5 goals and record 5 assists in 2015 to become one of the best players for Indy. But when the Eleven signed Siniša Ubiparipović in the offseason, it seemed Mares would be coming off the bench or having the occasional spot start. Now Ubiparipović has a hamstring injury and this is an opportunity for Mares to show new head coach Tim Hankinson that he belongs in the starting lineup every week. Mares only played 28 minutes against the Fury but accumulated 28 touches, completed 14 of 18 passes, and 38% of those passes were forward. (Below is Mares touch map)
New York Cosmos:
Michael Lahoud, midfielder: The fans and media have been raving about Cosmos’s goal scorers, Juan Arango and Adam Moffat. However, I think the player to watch is Michael Lahoud. On loan from the Philadelphia Union, Lahoud has produced for the Cosmos. Against the Armada last week, Lahoud completed 34 of 48 passes for a completion rate of 70%. Out of those 34 passes 35.4% were forward, 27.1% left, and 25% right. Defensively, Lahoud won 2 tackles, and 4 of 7 duals.
Starting lineup prediction:
New York Cosmos:
Head Coach: Giovanni Savarese
Captain: Carlos Mendes
NASL record: 2-0-0
Position in NASL: 1st
Last game: W, 2-0 v. Jacksonville.
Formation: (4-1-4-1) GK, Maurer; CB, Ockford; CB, Mendes; RB, Freeman; LB, Ayoze; DM, Lahoud; CM; Bover; CM; Arango; RM, Guenzatti; LM, Kranjcar; F, Arrieta.
NASL record: 0-2-0 (W,D,L)
Position in NASL: 6th
Last game: D, 1-1 v. Ottawa
Formation: (4-2-3-1) GK, Busch; CB, Falvey; CB, Janicki; RB, Palmer; LB, Vukovic; DM, Paterson; DM, Ring; AM, Ubiparipovic; RM, Braun; LM, Lacroix; F, Zayed.
Siniša Ubiparipović, hamstring.
New York Cosmos:
Ruben Bover, ankle.
Daniel Szetela, ankle.
This is the first match for the center referee since 2014.
QUESTIONS HEADING INTO SATURDAY’S MATCH:
Will we ever see the day the Cosmos and Indy Eleven do not settle for a draw?
Can the Eleven be more consistent in the final third? Can they move the ball quickly and create the combinations that is needed to stretch the Cosmos defense?
How will the back six of Indy Eleven slow down the Arango and Moffat?
Nemanja Vukovic was selected for NASL team of the week for a second week in a row. Last week Vukovic scored the game tying goal for the Eleven.
OPPOSING TEAM PERSPECTIVE: First Team Podcast with John Frusciante