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Three Things: #MIAvIND

Miami FC ends Indy Eleven's 2017 undefeated record in 3-2 stunner
Published May 15, 2017

After every game in 2017, IndyEleven.com’s Trey Higdon will give his three takeaways from the performance of the “Boys in Blue.” This week's edition comes after Indiana's Team fell for the first time this season to the new Spring table leaders Miami FC.

WELCOME BACK TO THE LINE-UP, BEN SPEAS AND DON SMART

After weeks of intense rehab and recovery, Indy “original” Don Smart and Eleven newcomer Ben Speas made their return to the pitch during the second half of the team's visit to Miami. While their minutes were scarce due to the nature of their injuries, Speas and Smart worked to pick up where they left off.

Speas found his first 45 minutes after subbing on for Indy midfielder Jason Plumhoff at the start of the second half. With a close effort just 13 minutes after coming on, Speas came close to putting his name back on the scoresheet with a strike outside of the box, but the ball that would have put the “Boys in Blue” in the lead just missed the top right corner of the box. The former Minnesota United midfielder’s stats continued to climb after winning all of his tackles & duels and completing half of his crosses. The second half return for Speas marks the first minutes for the midfielder after undergoing surgery to repair sports hernia following the club’s home opener. On that April 1 matchup with Puerto Rico FC, he scored his Play of the Month chip over Puerto Rico’s goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg.

Smart found his first post-injury minutes in the 72nd minute, after subbing in for forward David Goldsmith, bringing an end to the new forward's first start of the season. Hitting the ground running, the Jamaican-born “super sub” made his impact just 11 minutes into his game by assisting forward Justin Braun for Indy’s second goal of the night. In 2014, Smart joined Indy Eleven’s inaugural squad originally as an impact sub but found his way into the starting line-up during the team’s 2016 campaign. Smart has played a massive 4004 regular-season career minutes for the “Boys in Blue”, tallying eight goals and 10 assists in that time.

TORRADO’S HIGH PERFORMANCE CONTINUES

For the past few weeks, Indy midfielder Gerardo Torrado has had notably high performances, and this week adds another match to that list. Torrado continued to shine in the midfield during his full 90 minute performance, demonstrating his understanding of situational awareness and defensive dominance. Throughout the night, the former Curz Azul legend collected four interceptions, won half of his duels and completed all but three of his passes, retaining the highest passing accuracy for “Indiana’s Team” with teammate Tanner Thompson following close behind. Torrado also went on to win every tackle he was involved in, most notably his slide tackle against Miami’s Kwadwo Poku in the 42nd minute from inside Indy’s penalty box, further staving-off Miami’s first goal that eventually found the back of the net minutes later in stoppage time.

EARNING THEIR STARTS

Indy Eleven’s line-up saw several key changes during their visit to the Sunshine State. Forward David Goldsmith, midfielder Jason Plumhoff and defender Brandon Poltronieri found themselves in the starting XI with several regular starters still recovering from injury and saving minutes for the next two matches in the week ahead, or in Brad Ring’s case, serving a one-game suspension after being handed a red card in Week 7’s match against FC Edmonton at home.

While not in the starting line-up, Ben Speas, Don Smart and Anthony Manning found their first minutes since return from injury in the second half the of the clash in Miami. As mentioned above, Speas returned to the team sheet after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia following Indy’s home opener against Puerto Rico FC on April 1. Smart picked up a quad strain in Week 3 during stoppage time in the first half of Indy’s visit to Puerto Rico. Manning makes his return to the bench after an accident in training forced the former Portland Timbers defender into concussion protocol.