PREVIEW: INDY ELEVEN v. JACKSONVILLE ARMADA
All-time series record: Series tied at 1-2-1 (W,D,L).
5/9/15 Armada defeated Indy Eleven 1-0 in Jacksonville.
9/5/15 Eleven beat Armada 3-0 in Indianapolis. Zach Steinberger scored two goals and Marvin Ceballos had one.
10/3/15 Armada and Eleven draw 1-1 in Jacksonville. Brian Brown scored for the Eleven.
5/28/16 Armada and Eleven draw 1-1 in Jacksonville. Justin Braun scored for Indy.
The Eleven come home to their favorite place to play soccer against a team, who in their second year existence, has yet to win on the road. In addition, Jacksonville is riding a four game losing streak in which they have conceded 7 goals and notched 0. As for the Eleven, it will be interesting to see if coach Hankinson switches the starting lineup for a game that is sandwiched between games on the weekend. A key to this match and the one on Saturday could be fresh legs.
KEYS FOR THE ELEVEN:
Go for a first round knockout: As I stated in the previous post; “When teams lose it’s because of poor play or they are inadequately unable to handle their opponent tactically. But not this Indy Eleven team. They always out produce their challenger and Indy players are able to have profounder and deeper connection to the game; physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually than the rest of the NASL. A loss only makes these connections stronger which is why those adversaries traveling to The Mike on Wednesday and Saturday should fear a first round knockout.” An early goal for the Eleven in front of their supporters against a team that has never won on the road will go a long way in simply reiterating how deep these players can connect to the game. By showing how deadly they can be in the final third early on in this match will help some players earn a much needed break.
Finish in front of goal: By this point fans of the Eleven know how dominate the ‘boys in blue’ were this past Saturday in Miami. Unfortunately, they hit the post twice and fell short 2-1. The Eleven have been clinical in the final third and the only thing left to do is finish. At this point it does not matter how the Eleven score, a goal is a goal, the earlier the better.
Rotation: We have seen a lack of rotation that most fans, media, and bloggers did not expected to see with this Indy Eleven squad. This can account for the injury bug that has plagued some players and why the coaching staff has been forced to play the same group of players’ week- in- and- week-out. Now that Siniša Ubiparipović, Jair Renoso, Duke Lacroix, Lovell Palmer and captian Colin Falvey look fit to return, they may be expected to start or see significant minutes on Wednesday night. One player that desperately needs some R & R is Justin Braun. He has been so close to scoring this fall that rest maybe the right formula for him to get back on track. Sometimes taking a step back and watching the game from a distance is what is needed for a striker to get back on the scoring sheet.
Head Coach: Tony Meola
Captain: Matt Bahner
NASL record overall: 2-5-9
Combined table: 11th on 11 points.
Fall table: 12th on 4 points.
Previous game: L, 1-0 at Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Formation: (4-2-3-1) GK, Sean Lewis; CB, Mechack Jerome; CB, Tyler Ruthven; RB, Patrick Otte; LB, Anthony Wallace; DM, Nicklas Maripuu; DM, Lucas Scaglia; AM, Junior Sandoval; AM, Jason Plumhoff; AM, Pascal Millien; F, Alecander Anderson.
Head Coach: Tim Hankinson
Captain: Colin Falvey
NASL record overall: 7-7-2
Combined table: 3rd on 28 points.
Fall table: 5th on 10 points.
Previous game: L, 1-2 at Miami FC.
Formation: (4-4-2) GK, Cardona; CB, Cory Miller; CB, Greg Janicki; RB, Marco Franco; LB, Nemanja Vukovic; CM, Brad Ring; CM, Gerardo Torrado; RM, Dylan Mares; LM, Omar Gordon, F, Éamon Zayed; F, Justin Braun.
Eleven: Duke Lacroix (sprained ankle) questionable. Neil Shaffer (adductor) questionable.
Armada: Matt Bahner (calf strain). Alex Dixon (arm).
PROJECTED STARTING LINE-UP
Nicki Paterson Junior Sandoval
15 Games 15
1 Goals 2
3 Assists 0
958 Minutes 1088
523 Total passes 403
69.2% Passing accuracy 76.2%
20 Chances created 17
59 Total crosses 54
17 Tackles won 25
18 Interceptions 7
49 Duals won 79
13 Aerial duals won 27
4 Yellow cards 0
0 Red cards 0
The center ref for Indy v. Jacksonville has done one previous NASL match this year. In that game the ref awarded 25 fouls, 5 yellow cards, and 0 red cards. The center ref for Wednesday’s match has also done three USL matches this season but there stats were inadequate to submit.
QUESTIONS HEADING INTO SATURDAY’S MATCH
Can the Eleven finish in front of goal? More importantly, can the Eleven put the game away early to allow the Eleven to rest key players?
Will we see Indy Eleven’s coaching staff rotate players for a match that is sandwiched between games on the weekends?
Zach Steinberger, who was on loan with the Eleven last year from the Houston Dynamo, is now with the Jacksonville Armada until the end of the end of the NASL season.
Today Jacksonville released Sebastian Evers and was picked up by Miami FC. Evers only start for the Armada came in a 1-1 draw against Indy Eleven in May.