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GAMEDAY | #SFDvIND

Indiana's Team takes to the west coast for their second visit to the San Francisco Deltas
Published Jun 2, 2017

PREVIEW:

Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven at San Francisco Deltas - #SFDvIND
Saturday, June 3, 2017 – 10:00 P.M. EST

Kezar Stadium – San Francisco, CA


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BACK IN THE BAY AREA

“Indiana’s Team” makes their return to the Bay Area this Saturday to square-up against the San Francisco Deltas for the third time in the Spring Season. Both teams struggle to find a stable place in the NASL Spring standings as each club has collected mix results.

Moving forward, the “Boys in Blue” will work towards their first three points after slipping into 7th place on the NASL table. Indy Eleven fell 2-1 last week to FC Edmonton after a second half goal from Indy’s Jason Plumhoff couldn’t keep his new club in contention for points. The loss last Saturday marks the third consecutive defeat after falling twice to league-leaders Miami FC. Looking ahead, Indy hopes to return to winning ways as more players begin to find their fitness after returning from injury. With the Delta’s ending a three-game-week run this Saturday, Indy will look to capitalize on the host’s weary squad to climb the table once more.

In similar fashion, the once top-of-the-table contenders San Francisco Deltas have fallen from grace. The Deltas have slipped from the upper rungs of the table into 5th place after a string of mixed results. The NASL newcomers have gathered seven out of a possible 15 points since our last match against the Californian side. While the Delta’s record currently sits at 3W-4D-2L, it hasn’t been enough to keep up with the likes of Miami FC, who tower ahead with 18 points thus far. Delta’s confidence will be high Saturday after a U.S. Open Cup win against USL’s Phoenix Rising FC on Wednesday. However, will that confidence provide enough fuel for the Deltas’ tired legs?

 

WHO TO WATCH INDY ELEVEN EDITION: MF TANNER THOMPSON

The return to Kezar Stadium will mark the return to where Indy XI midfielder Tanner Thompson opened his NASL account. The Indiana University Alum found his first minutes of professional play at the Deltas’ stadium during the host’s inaugural home match. Thompson made good on his attempt to make a good first impression among the Indy faithful. In the 58th minute, a cross from Indy’s Ben Speas found Thompson, who used his head to send the equalizing ball into the back of the net. Fast forwarding to now, Thompson has continued to flex his ability to find his teammates deep in enemy territory in his 413 minutes of play.

Prior to signing for Indy, Thompson helped to lead IU to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and a Conference Tournament Championship in his collegiate career. Additionally, he picked up NSCAA First-Team-All-American, Big Ten Midfielder of the Year and First-Team-All-Big Ten honors along the way.

 

WHO TO WATCH SAN FRANCISCO DELTAS EDITION: MF CRISTIAN PORTILLA

Hitting the ground running, Deltas midfielder Cristian Portilla has begun to rise through the NASL ranks. The Spanish-born midfielder joins the Deltas for their inaugural season after making 19 appearances for Mensajero, a second division side in Spain. While he has only scored once, Portilla’s assists place him among the best of the playmakers in the NASL. Additionally, the former Spanish Team youth standout is ranked third in the League for the most chances created.

Before signing with San Francisco, Portilla has played for several first division squads across Europe. His playing career as also seen him compete against European legends such as Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and David Villa. With a wealth of experience and innate playmaking abilities, Portilla will need a staunch defending side to keep him from finding his mark. 

 

MATCH-UP TO MARK: FW EAMON ZAYED vs GK ROMUALD PEISER

It will be a contest of true grit when Indy’s leading goal scoring forward Eamon Zayed faces off against Deltas’ goaltender Romuald Peiser.

Zayed flew to the top of the NASL goal scoring chart during his first season with Indy Eleven. The Irishman netted 15 goals and six assists in 31 appearances for his new club. Furthermore, Zayed’s performance put him in close contention for the NASL’s Golden Boot but fell just behind Minnesota United’s Christian Ramirez for the top honor (18).  After being plagued with injuries, Zayed is hungry to restart his goal scoring ways. With just a goal and assist under his belt, the former Libyan National Team star will continue to find his way to the back of the net.

Zayed’s goal scoring trials will prove to be more troublesome with Deltas’ Romuald Peiser between the posts. The Paris Saint-Germain youth product joined the Deltas after a success three-season stint with former NASL side Ottawa Fury FC. In 2015, Peiser finished his Fall Championship winning season as the NASL’s Golden Glove honoree. The honor was bestowed upon Peiser after setting a League record 648-minute shutout streak across eight matches. So far in 2017, Peiser sits among the top three goalkeepers with the most saves, making him a tough target to strike through.