Indy Eleven gained a point at home Saturday after an aggravating draw against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Omar Gordon put the “Boy in Blue” on the scoreboard in the 34th minute, equalizing after a goal from Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Justin Chavez, assisted by Joe Cole’s free kick in the 28th minute.
The night started off with a few changes to the Eleven’s starting XI, namely, Daniel Keller getting his first start of the season as center back in place of Cory Miller. In addition to Keller, Lovel Palmer started in place of Greg Janicki due to his injury sustained in training and Duke Lacroix took Dylan Mares’ place in the starting XI. Coach Tim Hankinson offered little variation as he ultimately decided on yet another 4-4-2 line-up, with our recently baby-faced captain Colin Falvey leading the squad.
Tampa Bay dominated in terms of possession with 60 percent and 480 passes, a total of 173 more passes than Indy with an accuracy rate of 79 percent over the Eleven’s 65 percent. Indy, to no surprise, walked away with the most crosses (21), but with a low success rate of 33 percent.
In terms of attack, Indy had a hard press with 13 total shots, but only three of which were on target (33 percent). Seven out of the 13 shots were taken outside of the box and the remaining six were taken within. Majority of the shots from outside the box either ended up being blocked or soaring out of bounds, as a result of heavy defensive strides from the Rowdies, forcing sloppy attempts. Bringing another player up front (4-3-3) might help to create more attacking options while leaving enough of a wall in the midfield in the event the ball slips away. Fortunately for us, Justin Braun made his way back to the pitch as a late substitution. Braun’s style of play works best with Zayed up front, which has become apparent from the lack of goals during Braun’s injury absence.
Our Spring Champs have started to steadily decline in the fall season, slipping from the top of the table and struggling to remain in the top three this past weekend. The New York Cosmos now lead the way with 27 points, with FC Edmonton in second with 24 points, leaving us in third with 21 points. What could be the cause of our toppling from the top? Are our players tired? Have we become predictable? Or have we lost our magic? (<- Impossible). I wish I had the answers to these questions, but alas, I don’t. Fortunately, our “Boys in Blue” remain undefeated at home, but will that be enough? Only time can tell.
NASL Fall Season
Indy Eleven 1 : 1 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Michael A. Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
Fall Season: 6W-3D-4L, 21 pts., 3rd place
Overall Season: 10W-9D-4L, 39 pts., 3rd place
Tampa Bay Rowdies:
Fall Season: 3W-3D-6L, 12 pts., 10th place
Overall Season: 7W-7D-8L, 28 pts., 6th place
TBR – Justin Chavez (Joe Cole) 28’
IND – Omar Gordon (unassisted) 34’
IND – Nicki Paterson (caution) 29’
TBR – Martin Vingaard (caution) 42’
IND – Don Smart (caution) 45+’
IND – Nemanja Vukovic (caution) 88’
TBR – Michael Nanchoff (caution) 88’
IND – Gerardo Torrado (caution) 89’
Indy Eleven line-up (4-4-2, L–>R): Jon Busch; Nemanja Vuković, Daniel Keller, Colin Falvey (capt), Lovel Palmer; Duke Lacroix (Dylan Mares 83’), Nicki Paterson (Gerardo Torrado 62’), Brad Ring, Don Smart; Eamon Zayed, Omar Gordon (Justin Braun 68’)
Indy Eleven bench: Keith Cardona (GK), Neil Shaffer, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Souleymane Youla
Tampa Bay Rowdies (4-2-3-1): Matt Pickens; Darnell King, Tamika Mkandawire (c), Stefan Antonijevic, Walter Ramirez; Justin Chavez, Martin Vingaard; Eric Avila (Michael Nanchoff 59’), Joe Cole (Keith Savage 93+’), PC (Carlos Preciado 77’); Georgi Hristov
Rowdies bench: GK Chris Glodack (GK), Junior Burgos, Juan Guerra, Tommy Heinemann