PREVIEW: INDY ELEVEN v. OTTAWA FURY
All-time series record: Fury lead 5-1-1 (W,D,L).
5/17/14 Fury over Eleven 4-2 in Indianapolis. Indy Eleven goals by Mike Ambersley and Ben Spencer.
8/23/14 Fury over Eleven 2-1 in Indianapolis. Indy Eleven goal by Don Smart.
10/26/14 Eleven over Fury 2-1 in Ottawa. Indy Eleven goals by Jhulliam and Victor Pineda.
5/23/15 Fury over Eleven 1-0 in Ottawa.
7/19/15 Fury over Eleven 4-2 in Ottawa. Indy Eleven goals were scored by Don Smart and Judson McKinney.
8/8/15 Fury over Eleven 4-1 in Indianapolis. Indy Eleven goal by Duke Lacroix.
4/9/16 Eleven and Fury draw 1-1 at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis. Nemanja Vukovic scored for Indy.
The Fury and Eleven are two completely different teams since the last time they squared off in April. The Fury only captured 9 points during the 10 game spring and head coach Paul Dalglish struggled to adjust to the NASL. Now 6 games into the fall and the Fury have doubled their points after beating Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Carolina in their last three games after starting the fall with 3 loses. This coming after the Fury allowed Marcel de Jong and Idan Vered contracts to expire, traded Paulo Jr. for Giuseppe Gentile, and transferred Jonny Steele to Miami. Then, the Fury acquired defender Eddie Edward, forwards Danny Mwanga, Thomas Stewart, and midfielder Maxim Tissot.
The Eleven were still trying to figure themselves out as Tim Hankinson was implementing a 4-2-3-1 style of play against the Fury last time out. It took the Eleven 70 minutes against Ottawa before they figured how to work within the formation and steal a point at home off a Nemanja Vukovic equalizer. Although Ottawa is still a work in progress they will be tough for the Eleven to break down on Saturday night. Expect a completely different game than Wednesday night’s thumping of Jacksonville as Ottawa has had the Eleven’s number since these clubs came into the NASL together in 2014.
KEYS FOR THE ELEVEN
Finish the week on a high: Wednesday night’s match felt like a relief and reassurance that the Eleven are back on track after coming up short against Minnesota United and Miami FC while struggling against FC Edmonton. Capturing 6 points in a week will be another notification the NASL will receive from the Eleven about how serious they are about their fall campaign after taking the spring. Taking max points against Ottawa will go a long way in giving the club and fans confidence that they can beat a team that has owned them these last three years.
Handle the 3-5-2: Since implementing the 3-5-2 Paul Dalglish’s side is starting to hit their stride as they are on a 3 game winning streak. This will be the first time Indy Eleven will face this formation so it will be interesting to see how they handle being in a numbers down situations in the center of the field but a numbers up scenario on the flanks. Once again the success of the Eleven will be on their outside midfielders and backs to overload the flanks to stretch the three man back line of the Fury to open space for Justin Braun and Éamon Zayed to run onto. Therefore the Eleven must receive consistent crossing and penetrating passes into the eighteen from their wing players.
Agent 86: Yes that is a Get Smart reverence and in this case it applies to Don Smart of Indy Eleven. After coming on as a second half sub against Miami and starting Wednesday night, Smart has generated at total of 12 crosses. Out of those 12, Smart has recorded 2 assists. In addition to crosses, Smart had three penetrating passes to Zayed inside the eighteen against the Armada on Wednesday night. It will be up to Smart and Dylan Mares to determine how successful the Eleven will be on Saturday night against the Fury Formation.
Falvey and Miller, LLC: Captain Colin Falvey is now back from injury and made his first start Wednesday night since the Eleven’s US Open Cup match on June 15th. Falvey set the tone for the Eleven after recording a yellow card in the first minute of the match and his presence was felt throughout the 90 minutes recording; 2 tackles, winning 7 duels, 2 interceptions, and cleared the ball from danger on 4 occasions. Now Falvey will have to work with Cory Miller after Greg Janicki received a red card against the Armada. Falvey and Miller will have to iron out who goes to pressure the ball and which one stays back to sweep it way?
Head Coach: Paul Dalglish
Captain: Julian de Guzman
NASL overall record: 5-3-8 (W-D-L)
Combined table: 9th on 18 points.
Fall Table: 6th on 9 points.
Previous match: W, 2-0 v. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Formation: (3-5-2) GK, Romuald Peiser; CB, Rafael Alves; RB, Mallan Roberts; LB, Lance Rozeboom; CM, Mauro Eustaqio; CM, Julian De Guzman; CM, Bryan Olivera; RM, Jamar Dixon; LM, Maxim Tissot; F, Carl Haworth; F, Thomas Stewart.
Head Coach: Tim Hankinson
Captain: Colin Falvey
NASL overall record: 8-7-2
Combined table: 1st on 31 points.
Fall table: 1st on 13 points.
Previous match: W, 5-2 v. Jacksonville Armada.
Formation: (4-4-2) GK, Busch; CB, Colin Falvey; CB, Greg Janicki; RB, Lovell Palmer; LB, Nemanja Vukovic; CM, Brad Ring; CM, Nicki Paterson; RM, Dylan Mares; LM, Don Smart; F, Éamon Zayed; F, Justin Braun.
Eleven: Duke Lacroix (sprained ankle) questionable. Neil Shaffer (adductor) questionable. Both Lacroix and Shaffer trained a full 90 minutes on Thursday.
PROJECTED STARTING LINE-UP
In two NASL games, the center referee for Indy Eleven v. Ottawa Fury, has awarded 50 fouls and 10 yellow cards. This center ref has been in charge of three USL games this year but the stats were insufficient to submit in this blog.
QUESTIONS HEADING INTO SATURDAY’S MATCH
Can the Eleven finish the week capturing 6 points?
How will the Eleven handle Ottawa’s 3-5-2 formation? How will the Eleven play in numbers down situations in the center of the field and numbers up on the flanks?
Will Don Smart’s play get noticed if he puts in a solid performance for a third game in a row?
How will Colin Falvey and Cory Miller work together in the back line?
The Ottawa Fury have more Canadians on their first team (11) than any other professional soccer team (MLS or NASL) in Canada.
Featured photo by Trey Higdon.