Eleven and NCFC will play home and home the next two weeks
The day after a disappointing effort in a 4-1 loss to the Armada, those faithful to the Eleven were reminded that just one year ago the Boy’s in Blue clinched the NASL Spring Title with a 4-1 over the Railhawks at Carroll Stadium. How times have changed. It seemed progress was being made two weeks ago against the Deltas but after last week’s substandard performance, the Eleven have to find ways to push forward against their MLS bidding counterpart, now called North Carolina FC.
KEYS FOR THE ELEVEN
Combine effort and playing smart: The effort and fight from Indy Eleven was there against the Armada last weekend as the ball nor game was going their way. Although their fight was there, the Eleven still had major communication and marking break downs that saw the Armada pick apart the midfield and backline as if the Eleven were playing school yard defense. The Eleven will be without Lovell Palmer do to a red card suspension and it will be up the rest of Tim Hankinson’s squad to anticipate, mark and force the Railhawks into numbers down situations. The good news for the Eleven is, the Railhawks will be coming to Indianapolis on short rest after their US Open Cup match this past Wednesday against MLS side Houston Dynamo, falling 3-2. The bad news is the Eleven will still have to find ways to shut down Austin Da Luz, Matt Fondy, Nazmi Albadawi, Tiyi Shipalane, and the formidable Lance Laing. Going with the theme of playing smart the outside mids and backs have to be up for a challenge against Laing and Da Luz.
Video of Jacksonville playing the long ball. Although the pass is on target, the Eleven should not have pressured the long ball, rather dropping to defending it. Then, the Eleven lose Banks and do not close down on the shot.
Response from the outside backs: Marco Franco and Nemanja Vukovic will have their hand full against Da Luz and Laing. These outside mids have combined for 7 goals, 5 assists, 28 shots, and 18 chances created. Da Luz leads the team in total passes with 570 while Laing has an astonishing 68 crosses. Franco and Vukovic have to do their job first in defending and only go deep into the final third when the Eleven are in a numbers up situation. In addition, the Eleven cannot afford to give up 9 fouls in their own half as Laing make opponents pay from his dead ball expertise. Fast Forward below to the 2:26 mark in the video below to see what Laing can do.
POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UPS: Indy on the left and NCFC on the right.
The center ref for Indy Eleven v. NCFC was the center for the Wednesday, June 6th match between FC Edmonton and New York Cosmos in Brooklyn, NY. That game saw 6 goals and 2 red cards.
PHOTO OF JON BUSCH BY MATT SCHLOTZHAUER