The Eleven were on their way to collecting 3 points for the first time this season in San Francisco with a 2-0 lead late in the match. Then, in the 85th minute the wheels fell off as the Deltas found the net twice, completing the comeback in the 3rd minute of stoppage time. But it was not all lost in the City by the Bay as the Eleven came home with a crucial road point.
It’s all part of the process for any team struggling. A plan that needs to be established for a team to hit minor benchmarks instead of aiming for the jackpot and falling well short. Progress and growth has made against the Deltas. The first game of the season was in San Francisco and even though fans and the media were unsure what to expect from the Eleven, most were please with a 1-1 draw. The second match against the Deltas was at Carroll. The Eleven boosted a strong home record, but was lucky to come away with a point as the team’s shape and organization was lost in the White River. Last week the Eleven found themselves with a 2-0 lead with only three attacking players but fell in a spell of defending a lead instead of attacking it, something the Eleven have not been used to doing this year. Now the attention, progress, and growth looks to be made against an Armada team that’s also hungry for a win.
KEYS FOR ELEVEN v. ARMADA
Get out to a good start: The Eleven must, have to, and need to get out to a good aggressive start against the Armada. This means creating an environment that shuts down the Armada and establishes a possession for progression style within the first 10 minutes of the match. The following 10 minutes must consist of creating scoring opportunities to take an early lead. Once the Eleven hit those bench marks they cannot fall off in the middle of the first half, only to scramble before halftime.
Finish the half stronger: Regardless if it’s before halftime or the final whistle, the Eleven must finish the half stronger than the beginning. If the Eleven need a goal they must be aggressive in chasing the game by having those key players anticipate a Jacksonville counter. If the Eleven are protecting the lead, they must find a balance in not chasing the game, managing the clock, gamesmanship, and still attack the Armada.
Contain Steinberger: Teams have tried to stop the former Butler men’s soccer and Indy Eleven loan player. The NASL Player of the Month for May and the league’s leading scorer with 6 goals still finds a way to score or creates opportunities for his teammates to score. The Eleven cannot allow Steinberger to get to the second level (Falvey’s line) as it will be up to Ring, Keller, or Palmer to control Steinberger any way possible before he reaches the box.
POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UPS
Indy in blue. Jacksonville in white.
The center referee for this match has only been the center for one NASL match this year. In that match, the ref awarded 15 fouls and 3 yellow cards. This ref served as the center for the final 13 minutes of the Colorado Rapids- Vancouver Whitecaps match on May 5th.
Indy leads the series against Jacksonville with a 2-4-1 record.
Armada midfielder Kevan George will be with the Trinidad and Tobago national team for their World Cup Qualifiers.
Jacksonville welcomes ECHL hockey team, Jacksonville Iceman, to their city. A rival of the Indy Fuel the Iceman have relocated from Evansville, Indiana as they have been looking for a new home since the completion of the 2015-2016 season.