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PREVIEW: Indy Eleven at University of Louisville

Indiana's Team heads south for the third of four preseason matches
Published Mar 9, 2017

PREVIEW:

Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven at University of Louisville
Friday, March  10, 2017
 - 7:00 PM
Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium - Louisville, KY


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Keep the Ball Rolling

After a win over local university Butler and a draw with USL team Swope Park Rangers, Indy Eleven continues their 2017 preseason tour with a trip to Lynn Stadium to face the Cardinals. The match, which features the return of Daniel Keller to his old stomping grounds, will be a good test for Indy as they face one of the NCAA's most consistently top programs.

"They play with the modern trends of pushing wingbacks high and have wingers that tuck in and create problems all over the park. But, this is something we've seen before against other teams in our league. This is a good chance to be refreshed on how to deal with those situations and solve that kind of problem," said Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson. "The main thing is that we stay focused on our concepts. I'm not concerned about a result, but more on creating those scoring chances and working as a defensive unit."

 

Who to Watch, Indy Eleven edition: MF Ben Speas

As preseason drags on, one pivotal player in the center of the midfield is newcomer Ben Speas. Arriving in Indianapolis by way of Minnesota United FC, Speas has mainly featured in a role directly behind the forward pair of Braun and Zayed. Though his versatility and ability to play out wide was on display during the 2016 season with the Loons, Speas has yet to be deployed out wide. Factoring in Friday's opposition and coach Hankinson's willingness to experiment with line-ups, however, that may change this weekend.

Despite sticking in one role thus far, Speas's challenge will be to propel the attack both out wide and centrally as he looks to spur on the attack on Friday. The "Boys in Blue" haven't bum-rushed the back of the net in the preseason so far - a Nemanja Vukovic free kick against Butler and a cool, right-footed finish from Eamon Zayed against SPR the only goals - so adding a final attacking punch in the final two games would be exactly what coach Hankinson wants to see.

 

Match-up to Mark: FW Eamon Zayed & Justin Braun vs. UofL DF

Zayed got his 2017 goal tally up and running with a calm finish against Swope Park Rangers last Thursday, and now it may be Justin Braun's turn to do the same on Friday.

The pair collectively scored 23 goals and notched 11 assists in the whole of 2016 and after a full year of work, they feel their partnership will only yield more when the 2017 NASL season starts away to San Francisco. But first, Friday's match will emphasize building up time on the park as they seek their first full 90-minute outing of the preseason. How they work in tandem with the midfield and against the Cardinals' defense will be a determining factor.