Recap - Indy Eleven vs. Sporting KC
Preseason Recap – Indy Eleven 2 : 4 Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
Pair of Tallies by Pedro Mendes Not Enough to Overcome Claudio Bieler’s Hat Trick
KISSIMMEE, FLA. (Wednesday, February 26, 2014) – Indy Eleven used a pair of goals by forward Pedro Mendes to carry a lead into halftime of its preseason rematch with Sporting Kansas City, but the defending MLS Cup champions pulled away in the second half to record a 4-2 win in a scrimmage contested at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Midfielder Claudio Bieler was a menace once again against Indy Eleven, as the “Designated Player” netted Sporting KC’s first three goals before playing provider on its final tally in the 90-minute affair.
“Giving away a couple of penalty kicks is unfortunate, but we’re learning and moving forward and creating opportunities in front of goal and scoring some goals against quality competition,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Juergen Sommer. “Even in the second half when we lost the lead there were some good signs, some long spells where we had a number of consecutive touches and were able to move it around the park effectively. I think this game – and the previous games – will really help our guys prepare mentally and physically for our challenge in the league starting in April.”
In stark contrast to its Arizona camp earlier this month, Indy Eleven brought a limited roster to Florida that, for today’s match, featured only 13 available field players. The Eleven coaching staff’s plans to spread out minutes as widely as possible took a detour after just 15 minutes, when newly-signed center back Andrew Stone was forced from the match with an apparent right hamstring strain and replaced by Baba Omosegbon.
In the 22nd minute, it was Bieler putting Sporting KC up from the penalty spot, set up after a shot through traffic was handed down by an Indy Eleven defender. The Argentine would finish to the left of Eleven goalkeeper Kristian Nicht to put the MLS outfit up 1-0, but Indy would bounce right back through Mendes just two minutes later. A through ball down the right flank by midfielder Don Smart found another of yesterday’s new signings, defender Chris Estridge, whose service into the area was finished off by Mendes for the quick equalizer.
After a couple of big saves by Nicht kept things level over the next 15 minutes – including a 1-v-1 stop on Bieler in the 28th minute – another play down the right channel would push Indy into the lead. It was Mendes finishing off Smart’s low cross with a first-time re-direct from eight yards out, his shot bouncing off the hands of SKC goalkeeper Devala Gorrick and giving the Eleven a 2-1 advantage it would bring into the halftime break.
Indy Eleven nearly increased its lead right after the sounding of the second half whistle when DF Kyle Hyland connected on a snap header that beat Gorrick to the far right post, but his shot bounced off the woodwork and right to the thankful KC ‘keeper.
Three minutes later it was Bieler finishing from 12 yards out to even things up at 2-2, and the Argentine’s second finish from the penalty spot in the 68th minute, set up by another handball in the Indy Eleven area, would give Kansas City the lead once again at 3-2. After finishing off his hat trick, Bieler would provide the assist on KC’s final tally in the 72nd minute, when he slipped Mikey Lopez behind the Eleven backline for a 1-v-1 finish past Nicht from 12 yards out.
Indy Eleven will train at the University of Central Florida for the next two days before getting back to scrimmage action this Saturday, March 1 against the Columbus Crew. Indy Eleven fifth consecutive contest against Major League Soccer competition is set for a 10:00 a.m. ET kickoff back at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and can be followed via the team’s @IndyElevenLive in-game update Twitter feed.
Indy Eleven Preseason Scrimmage #4 (90 minutes)
Indy Eleven (NASL) 2 : 4 Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – Kissimmee, Fla.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
SKC – Claudio Bieler (penalty kick) 22’
IND – Pedro Mendes (Chris Estridge) 24’
IND – Pedro Mendes (Don Smart) 38’
SKC – Claudio Bieler (Adnan Gabeljic) 49’
SKC – Claudio Bieler (penalty kick) 68’
SKC – Mikey Lopez (Claudio Bieler) 72’
IND – Pedro Mendes (caution; reckless challenge) 15’
Indy Eleven Line-up (4-2-3-1): Kristian Nicht; Chris Estridge, *J. Foyt, Andrew Stone (Baba Omosegbon 15’), Kyle Hyland; Brad Ring, *C. Unser (Chris Wey 56’); Don Smart, Mike Ambersley (Pedro Mendes 72’), Walter Ramirez; Pedro Mendes (*B. Andretti 46’)
* Denotes trialist (aliases used)
Sporting Kansas City Line-up (4-3-3): Devala Gorrick; Mechack Jerome, Ike Opara, Erik Palmer-Brown, Josh Gardner (Trialist #2 80’); Lawrence Olum (Alex Martinez 68’), Christian Duke, Mikey Lopez; Jacob Peterson, Claudio Bieler, Adnan Gabeljic.
Indy Eleven 2014 Preseason Schedule (scheduled matches subject to change)
Feb. 5 – Indy Eleven 2 : 3 Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS)
• Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Feb. 7 – Indy Eleven 1 : 3 Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
• Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
Feb. 12 – Indy Eleven 0 : 2 Portland Timbers FC (MLS)
• Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
Feb. 26 – Indy Eleven 2 : 4 Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
• ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
Mar. 1 – Indy Eleven vs. Columbus Crew (MLS)
• 10:00 a.m. ET at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
Mar. 22 – Indy Eleven at University of Louisville (NCAA)
• 7:00 p.m. ET at Cardinal Park in Louisville, KY
Apr. 4 – Indy Eleven vs. Indiana University (NCAA)
• 7:30 p.m. ET at Michael A. Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis