RECAP: Indy Eleven Stays Unbeaten at Carroll Stadium for 19th Consecutive League Match

"Boys in Blue" Draw 3-3 with Puerto Rico FC in Home Opener; First Sellout of 2017 Season
Published Apr 1, 2017

(Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski)


INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, April 1, 2017) – An action-packed affair, Indy Eleven drew even with Puerto Rico FC in a six-goal thriller at Carroll Stadium. Played in front of a crowd measuring just over 9,000 in total, it marked the first sellout of the 2017 season in the first opportunity at “The Mike.”

The “Boys in Blue” were quick off the mark, opening the scoring in the fifth minute of play. Winning a free kick on the near side, Indy Eleven left-back Nemanja Vukovic delivered a peach of a pass that planted directly on the head of forward Justin Braun, and the forward scored his first goal of the season with a powerful header that beat PRFC ‘keeper Trevor Spangenberg from close range.

Continuing their prolific attack, Indy doubled their lead just five minutes later thanks to midfielder Ben Speas. Amidst confusion among the Puerto Rico FC back line, Speas slipped in behind to catch a bouncing pass from Braun to then chip Spangenberg from ten yards out for the second goal of the game. The goal was Speas’s first of his Indy Eleven career after making the switch from Minnesota United FC in the offseason.

As the Indy attack poured on, another chance fell their way in the 18th minute, again from Ben Speas. The midfielder curled in an out-swinging corner into the middle of the box, but like last week against San Francisco, fellow playmaker Brad Ring was on the end of it but could not produce the power necessary to beat the ‘netminder.

Against the run of play in the 24th minute, Puerto Rico FC would get on the scoresheet with their first opportunity of the half after combination play by forwards Conor Doyle and Hector Ramos. Doyle laid off for Ramos near the edge of the box, and the No.9 produced a clever flick back towards Doyle to open the opportunity. Doyle would then beat home past Indy Eleven goalkeeper Jon Busch at the far post to pull one back, with the ‘keeper in the right position but unable to make the save.

“La Naranja” attempted to turn up the heat as the half wore on with Ramos remaining the target man. In the 45th minute, consistent pressure turned opportunity when PRFC midfielder Yuma launched a high ball into the box on a free kick. Indy defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe and defender Cristiano Dias went up for the ball but clashed hard in the penalty area, and the head official pointed to the spot to award the visitors a penalty. Stepping up, the forward Ramos failed to beat ‘keeper Jon Busch on the first try, but he slammed home the rebound to level the score at two just before the half.

Eamon Zayed entered the fray for Tanner Thompson just after the halftime break and made an almost immediate impact, slipping in forward Justin Braun in the 47th minute only for the flag to go up for offside. Zayed was again in the thick of the action after playing in Speas a minute later, but the goalscorer on the day could not keep his chance on frame and his shot flashed wide of Spangenberg’s near post.

After a back-and-forth opening 10 minutes in the second half, the visitors were awarded their second penalty on the day after ‘keeper Jon Busch clipped midfielder Jairo Puerto on a counterattack. Midfielder Walter Ramirez stepped up to the spot in the 57th minute and sent “Buschy” the wrong way to give “La Naranja” their first lead of the game.

Indy would continue their press, and the introduction of midfielder Craig Henderson in the 73rd minute gave Indy a pair of fresh legs to up the tempo. Two minutes after his introduction, Henderson was involved in the build-up to Justin Braun’s 75th-minute chance, which he would then bury, scoring his second of the day on an effort lashed past Spangenberg in front of the Brickyard Battalion.

More chances and more drama ensued in the final three minutes of the match when Zayed and Braun were back to their old tricks, playing off one another and nearly creating the fourth goal of the game. The Irishman broke past Dias on a ball played over the top, but his touch to Braun was judged to have played in the attacker in an offside position and the flag went up after the forward had already buried the chance.

The contest saw ended and Indy Eleven earned another important point in their march through the Spring Season.

Indiana’s Team will hit the road against Puerto Rico FC next weekend, but return home to IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium for the second time on Saturday, April 22, when the “Boys in Blue” host the San Francisco Deltas for another 3:00 p.m. ET kickoff. Tickets for the game – and all remaining 15 NASL matches at “The Mike” in 2017 – can be purchased for as little as $11 online at or by phone at 317-685-1100. 

NASL Spring Season
Indy Eleven 3 : 3  Puerto Rico FC
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Michael A. Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
Scoring Summary:
IND – Justin Braun 5’ (Vukovic)
IND – Ben Speas 10’ (Braun)
PRFC – Conor Doyle 24’ (Ramos)
PRFC – Hector Ramos 45’
PRFC – Walter Ramirez 57’
IND – Justin Braun 75’
Discipline Summary:
IND – Tanner Thompson 44’
IND – Jon Busch 55’
Indy Eleven line-up (4-4-2, L-->R):  Jon Busch (GK); Nemanja Vuković, Daniel Keller (Lovel Palmer 80’), Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Marco Franco; Ben Speas, Gerardo Torrado, Brad Ring (Craig Henderson 73’), Don Smart; Tanner Thompson (Eamon Zayed 46’), Justin Braun

IND bench: Keith Cardona (GK), Colin Falvey, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, David Goldsmith


Puerto Rico FC line-up: Trevor Spangenberg (GK); Kyle Culbertson, Cristiano Dias, Rudy Dawson, Tyler Rudy (Ramon Soria 41’); Jairo Puerto (Giuseppe Gentile 62’), Walter Ramirez (Sidney Rivera 82’), Michael Kafari, Yuma; Conor Doyle, Hector Ramos

PRFC bench: Austin Pack (GK), Jorge Rivera, Michael Ramos