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GAMEDAY: #INDvPRFC

PREVIEW: Indy looking to stay unbeaten at home for record 18th straight game
Published Oct 21, 2016

PREVIEW: #INDVPRFC

Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs Puerto Rico FC
Saturday, October 22, 2016 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Carroll Stadium - Indianapolis, IN


Watch/Listen Live:


Follow Live:

  • Facebook pre-game live at 7:00 p.m. w/ Greg Rakestraw and Brad Hauter
  • In-game updates: Follow @IndyElevenLive on Twitter
  • Lineups & live stats: Visit the NASL.com MatchCenter for in-depth Opta statistics
  • Vote for the Indy Eleven “Man of the Match” on the @IndyEleven Twitter feed immediately following the match

 

Team Records

Indy Eleven:​

  • ​Fall Season: 10W-4D-6L, 34 pts, 2nd place
  • Combined Season: 14W-10D-6L, 52 pts., 2nd place

Puerto Rico FC: ​

  • Fall Season: 4W-9D-7L, 21 pts, 11th place
  • Combined Season: 4W-9D-7L, 21 pts, 12th place


Click here for the complete NASL Fall Season standings


Media Game Notes:

Last Time Out –  Tampa Bay Rowdies 2 : 3 Indy Eleven

The hex was lifted off Indy Eleven in a number of ways after Wednesday night's 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida.

First off, it was their first road win of the Fall Season - really the only box they had not ticked to that point - and was a major momentum boost as the season shifts back to "The Mike" for the 2016 home finale against Puerto Rico FC. Another monkey off their back, though, was the result coming in the Sunshine State, where they had taken just five points out of seven contests prior to the dramatic late win.

With Duke Lacroix opening the scoring and setting up Jair Reinoso for the second, it looked as if Indy had pumped the gas extra hard in pressing down on the Rowdies. However, Joe Cole was a difference maker in the match and scored the first of his two goals off a rebound on Georgi Hristov's shot, the second goal coming in wonderous fashion on a strike from outside the area following a free kick.

However, as Tampa Bay pushed forward, they left one too far players at the back - and they paid for it. In the 85th minute, Gerardo Torrado opened the field with a ball from the left side to the center of the park into the path of Nicki Paterson. Given too much space, the Scotsman took two touches towards the area and rifled an unstoppable shot past Rowdies 'keeper Matt Pickens to give Indy Eleven the lead for good.

The win moved the "Boys in Blue" back into second place in both the Fall and Combined Season standings, while dampening the Rowdies' hopes of a postseason push as they now sit sixth in the combined table, three points off the fourth place spot. 

 


Last Time Out - Ft. Lauderdale Strikers 2 : 0 Puerto Rico FC 

For the visitors Puerto Rico FC, their last match was a difficult one against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, who have also been streaking as their own run at the postseason continues.

After a scoreless first half that dragged well into the second half, the Strikers took advantage of an opportunity at the feet of midfielder Geison Moura, and the Brazilian made no mistake in directing his effort past Puerto Rico 'netminder Trevor Spangenburg to open the scoring. As the traveling side attempted their comeback, they also left one too many short at the back and, after collecting a pass from substitute forward Ramon Nunez, fellow substitute Jose Angulo found the second goal of the match and pushed Fort Lauderdale to the three points.

The win keeps Fort Lauderdale's dreams of November alive, while the loss for Puerto Rico FC only sinks them to 11th place in the Fall Season as they now have the chance to dash Indy's dream at the NASL record for games unbeaten at home.

 

One Record Left

While the postseason is approaching shortly, sights for Indy Eleven are still set on closing out the 2016 regular season in strong fashion. For Indiana's Team, this means one thing - leaving Carroll Stadium on Saturday night without a loss. 

It's been a magnificent run since mid-October 2015. Two wins at the end of the regular season last year were added on to the incredible slate of wins Indy has brought to "The Mike" in 2016, with wins against the New York Cosmos, Minnesota United FC, FC Edmonton, and the Carolina Railhawks to win the Spring Season all standing out. 

The New York Cosmos, who still hold the joint-record with the Carolina Railhawks for different stretches, also have the opportunity to get to that same number in their home against Miami FC on Saturday night, but like Indy, with a postseason spot locked up earning a point to keep the streak alive may be their biggest motivation.

Though the "Boys in Blue" are aware of their semifinal opposition (FC Edmonton - Nov. 5) they must first look for revenge against a sneaky good Puerto Rico FC team that earned a point in their season opener back on July 2.

 

Who to Watch, Indy Eleven edition: FW Eamon Zayed

He's been part of the major focus all year alongside Justin Braun in attack, and now he has just two games left to add to his scoring tally this season. 

Zayed, who has been tightly in the race with Minnesota United FC forward Christian Ramirez, now sits four goals back off the top of the charts but has shown his flair for scoring at home. It's no secret that Indy's No.9 knows how to find the back of the net with hat-tricks against the Carolina Railhawks and Jacksonville Armada FC in the Spring and Fall Season still fresh of mind, but if he is to keep himself in the running for the Golden Boot, he'll need a big game on Saturday night.

Working in his favor is the attacking talent placed around him, with players like Braun, Dylan Mares, Don Smart, and more readily setting up the Irishman when possible. As Indy pushes for magic #18 at home, Zayed will surely be a focal point.
 

Who to Watch, Puerto Rico FC edition: FW Hector Ramos

For the visiting side PRFC, forward Hector Ramos is the name to know in 2016.

Scoring seven goals while registering four assists in 18 appearances, the Puerto Rican talent has demonstrated his ability to play in between the lines and work out space for a shot. Impressively, his seven goals on just 15 shots gives him a monsterous conversion rate of 17.5%, and he has scored those goals in a number of ways, one with the left foot, four with the right, and two with his head. 

However, having not scored since August 20, he will be looking to put his name back up in lights this weekend in the Circle City. Despite that, though, the forward has still contributed with three assists in his last five games and will be the main threat for PRFC.
 

Match-up to Mark: MF Brad Ring vs. MF Paulo Mendes

Having not played midweek against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, it can be expected that Brad Ring will return to the starting XI for the home season finale, and he'll likely be going head-to-head with PRFC midfielder Paulo Mendes in another battle of defensive vs. attacking midfielders.

Ring has effective in his 26 appearances for the club this year, working as the glue in the center of the park with one of the highest pass completion percentages (81%) on the team. Also noteworthy is Ring's ranking in pass attempts (2nd - 881) on the team and how efficient he has been in the opposition half, completing 71.8% of passes in the opponent's area. 

Paulo, meanwhile, brings a creative dynamic to the PRFC attack and has scored one goal with four assists in 19 games played this year. Also completing a high percentage of his passes (82.4%), the Brazilian attacking midfielder has created 27 chances for his side and will be one to stop for Ring and co. when they meet at Carroll Stadium.