I started this blog in April 2015 as a way to express my love for the game. Unfortunately, this will be my last post. I want to thank everyone who has supported me along this journey as it has been more than I ever imagined it would be. I ask that you continue to support Trey Higdon and Jordan Kalt as they continue the blog.

 

PREVIEW: INDY ELEVEN v. OTTAWA FURY

All-time series record: Fury lead 5-2-2 (W,D,L).

5/17/14 Fury over Eleven 4-2 at Carroll Stadium. Indy Eleven goals by Mike Ambersley and Ben Spencer.

8/23/14 Fury over Eleven 2-1 at Carroll Stadium. 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 at Carroll Stadium. Indy Eleven goal by Duke Lacroix.

4/9/16 Eleven and Fury draw 1-1 at Carroll Stadium. Nemanja Vukovic scored for Indy.

8/6/16 Eleven defeated Fury 1-0 at Carroll Stadium. Dom Smart scored the game winner for the Eleven.

All you can ask for in a team that is trying to find their first road win since April is to lead at halftime. Last Saturday, the Eleven went into the break with a 2-1 lead at Wakemed against the Railhawks. They were halfway there. Unfortunately, the Eleven came away with a 3-2 loss and will have to turn their attention north of the boarder when they face the Fury in Ottawa this Sunday. Although the Eleven have taken 4 points in their series against the Fury this season, they have only taken 3 points in 3 matches in the Canadian Capital since these teams came into existence in 2014.

Similar to Indy Eleven, the Ottawa Fury are one of the best teams in the NASL at home this season. Out of the 19 points the Fury have collected, 15 have come at TD Place. On lookers may think this will not bode well for the Eleven since they have yet to win on the road in some time. However, one advantage the Eleven do have is in the final third. The Eleven have 66 successful crosses compared to Ottawa’s 47, have put the ball on frame exactly 100 times to the Fury’s 66, and are well ahead in goals scored at 32 to the Fury’s 18.

Stats and empirical data aside, the Eleven will actually have a huge advantage over the Fury during this Sunday’s matinee match. In fact, if the Eleven lose it could be the most disappointing match for Indy this year. I’m sure that statement will put me on the bizarre list but here me out for three reasons. First, the Fury will be without defenders Rich Balchan, Onua Obasi, Kyle Porter, Fernando (Timbo) Sanfelice, Kyle Venter; midfielders, Julian de Guzman, Mozzi Gyorio; forward Gerardo Bruna as they recover from their injuries. Second, the Fury also come into Sunday on short rest after playing a match on Wednesday against Miami with the minimum requirement of field players and a few call ups from the reserve team. Third, Carl Haworth is the only real threat the Fury possess in the final third with 7 goals to his name this season.

INDvOTT_FALL-39
Don Smart picked up a well deserved brick after scoring the game winner against Ottawa earlier this month. Photo by Trey Higdon.

KEYS FOR THE ELEVEN

O Captain! My Captain! Must start: When the Eleven are without their captain Colin Falvey the Eleven play a different game. Whether it be short of leadership, familiarity with the back line, or a breakdown in communication- the Eleven are a different side. Falvey’s role and style is that of an old school sweeper that allows Greg Janicki or Cory Miller to play to their strengths by being aggressive towards the ball. This is not intended to be a knock on Miller who has improved game to game this season when Falvey has been out with injury nor projected towards Janicki’s ability. But if Falvey is able to be selected, then Indy Eleven’s coaching staff must pick him especially with Sunday’s match in Ottawa and a potential playoff matchup in New York on Wednesday night. This past Saturday Falvey was on the bench with a hamstring strain which begs the question: If Falvey comes in after Miller levels the match for the Railhawks does Indy leave Carolina with a point? In addition, is the confidence and reflection on the match within the team and fan base is different?

Rotation up front: Éamon Zayed has gone above and beyond his play making ability in taking the Eleven into unchartered territory with his club record 12 goals this season. But the 32 year old needs some rest after accumulating over 1,700 minutes in 20 games. In addition, Zayed has yet to score from open play since his hat trick on August 3rd against Jacksonville. Once the match in Ottawa is over the Eleven will head to Long Island for a weeknight match before facing Tampa Bay at home over Labor Day weekend. This game against the Fury will feel like 6 points for the Eleven if they can win on the road for the first time since April, rest key players such as Zayed for the highly anticipated match against the Cosmos, and try new combinations up top that the league has yet to see.

INDvOTT_FALL-17
Eleven captain Colin Falvey (center) has the look of a determined champion against his former club. Photo by Trey Higdon. 

 

OTTAWA FURY

Head Coach: Paul Dalglish

Captain: Julian de Guzman

NASL overall record: 5-4-11 (W-D-L)

Combined table: 10th on 19 points.

Fall Table: 9th on 10 points.

Previous match: L, 1-3 at Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

Formation: (3-5-2) GK, Marcel Debellis; CB, Rafael Alves; RB, Mallan Roberts; LB, Eddie Edward; CM, Lance Rozeboom; CM, Ryan Williams; CM, Mauro Eustáquio; RM, Jamar Dixon; LM, Maxim Tissot; F, Bryan Olivera; F, Danny Mwanga.

INDY ELEVEN

Head Coach: Tim Hankinson

Captain: Colin Falvey

NASL overall record: 10-7-3

Combined table: 3rd on 37 points.

Fall table: 3rd on 19 points.

Previous match: L, 2-3 at Carolina Railhawks.

Formation: (4-4-2) GK, Busch; CB, Cory Miller; CB, Greg Janicki; RB, Lovell Palmer; LB, Nemanja Vukovic; CM, Brad Ring; CM, Gerardo Torrado; RM, Don Smart; LM, Dylan Mares; F, Éamon Zayed; F, Souleymane Youla.

INJURIES

Eleven: Justin Braun (MCL sprain right knee) out. Marco Franco (bone bruise right knee) out.

Ottawa: Carl Haworth, ankle (game time decision). Kyle Porter, groin (questionable). Fernando Timbo, head (questionable). Rich Balcchan, hamstring (out). Gerardo Bruna, groin (out). Julian de Guzman, knee (out). Mozzi Gyorio, foot (out). Onua Obasi, Achilles (out). Kyle Venter, Knee (out).

PROJECTED STARTING LINE-UP

projected line up at OTT

QUESTIONS HEADING INTO SATURDAY’S MATCH

Will the Eleven treat this as a 6 point game in Ottawa (win and rest players for Cosmos match)?  

Does Éamon Zayed get the day off against Ottawa and try new combinations in Jair Reinoso, Omar Gordon, Siniša Ubiparipović or Justin Braun (if healthy) start alongside Souleymane Youla?

Will Indy Eleven captain Colin Falvey get the start against his former team?

FUN FACTS

The rivalry between these two cities extends back to 1993 when Ottawa had a triple-A baseball team in the Lynx. They played the Indianapolis Indians until 2007 when the Lynx moved to Pennsylvania to became the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. It is unknown if the Indians played the Ottawa Giants or Athletics in the 1950s.   

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