FOR THE RECORD:
Rain delayed win behind them, the Eleven face a rematch with the Loony team they beat at home a week ago. This match, however, will be on Minnesotan turf.
Emerging from the brawl–quite literally–in the last game against Minnesota, the Eleven eked out a close win and clearly left a bad taste in United’s mouth. Little more should be needed to stoke the fire for this tie. Minnesota has intentions for the playoff picture at the end of the Fall. With a game in hand on league leading Cosmos and Eleven, the United will still have to ward off Edmonton and others even just to secure a top four combined placement as the season progresses. As the end of the spring season demonstrated, it gets crowded at the top. Minnesota will have to begin solidifying their position soon.
Having become only the third team in modern NASL history to rack up a thirteen game unbeaten streak, Indy Eleven now have the opportunity to set a stand alone record with fourteen consecutive wins. The history between Minnesota and Indy stands at 4W-0D-4L for each side. Seems like someone will pull ahead this weekend.
KEYS FOR THE ELEVEN:
Passing Play: Last week’s bout with Minnesota featured far too many hopeful crosses and long balls down the field. A lack of precision cost Indy for much of the game even though they dominated possession. Success a few days later against the Strikers came about through a much more aggressive style oriented around low passes and building play in stages up the pitch. The difference between the two games was immense. Minnesota will attempt once again to keep Indy from playing the way it wants to, but the Eleven must work harder to assert itself. An NASL debut by Gerardo Torrado could go a long way to shoring up this aspect of the game.
Standing Tall: They may have held Minnesota to zero goals away from home, but on their own turf the Loons are 5W-0D-1L this year and have graced the back of the net 21 times in all competitions. League leading scorer, Christian Ramirez, likely won’t be held to a goose egg two weeks in a row. With Palmer and Falvey having missed time regularly in recent games, the latter having not started yet this Fall, substitutes Franco and Miller have done splendidly. Whether one or both are called upon this Saturday, a continuation of their stalwart example will be necessary for a win.
Score First and Score Early: Another late-goal-winner will almost surely be an impossible route to victory this time. Indy Eleven must get on the board early because Minnesota will soon send goals their way. Eamon Zayed has the chance to tie or surpass Ramirez for the league lead in goals. Justin Braun exited Wednesday night’s match early, presumably to save leg for Saturday. This one should open up and end as an antithesis to last Saturday’s low scoring scrum.
Head Coach: Carl Craig
NASL record: 6-1-5
NASL Combined table: 4th on 19 points.
NASL fall table: 6th on 3 points.
Previous game: L, 0-1 at Indy Eleven.
Formation: (4-2-3-1) GK, Sammy Ndjock; CB, Brent Kallman; CB, Tiago Calvano; RB, Kevin Venegas; LB, Justin Davis; M, Aaron Pitchkolan; M, Juliano Vicentini; M, Stefano Pinho; M, J.C. Banks; M, Danny Cruz; F, Christian Ramirez.
NASL record: 6-7-0
NASL Combined table: 2nd on 25 points.
NASL fall table: 2nd on 7 points.
Previous game: W, 3-0 v. Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Formation: (4-4-2) GK, Busch; CB, Cory Miller; CB, Greg Janicki; RB, Dylan Mares; LB, Nemanja Vukovic; CM, Brad Ring; Nicki Paterson; RM, Dylan Mares; LM, Duke Lacroix, F, Éamon Zayed; F, Justin Braun.
Colin Falvey (hamstring) out. Neil Shaffer (adductor) out.
Greg Jordan (knee) out. Bernardo Anor (ankle) out.
SUSPENSIONS: Calvano (MNU)