Preseason Recap - IND 0 : 1 POR
Preseason Recap – Indy Eleven 0 : 1 Portland Timbers FC
Despite Defeat, Indiana Squad Continues to Show Cohesion in Arizona Training Camp Finale
TUCSON, ARIZ. (Wednesday, February 12, 2014) – Indy Eleven closed out the scrimmage portion of its first training camp against Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers FC, which used a goal by midfielder Ben Zemanski in the 75 th minute to post a 1-0 victory over the expansion North American Soccer League side. Tonight’s scrimmage was a 90-minute affair contested at the Kino Sports Complex.
Despite its first ever preseason camp going on the record as winless at 0-3-0, Indy Eleven again showed more signs of progress against a game Portland side which, like the Eleven, used the match to get one last look at trialists and younger players hoping to make an impact on their squad.
“We stayed competitive for most of the 90 minutes out there. There were some slumps from time to time, but we were really pleased with what we saw tonight,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Juergen Sommer. “We set up the group to get a look at a certain amount of guys that we really wanted to give some extra time to and get a good last impression in our mind before we have some final conversations. Tonight’s game really served its purpose, and for most of the game we were there on Portland’s level or pretty close to it.”
In similar fashion to its scrimmages against Vancouver and Kansas City last week, some nervous moments in the Indy Eleven back half allowed the Timbers some early chances. Unlike previous matches, however, the Eleven backline shored things up quickly and allowed the attack to possess and create with greater frequency.
As the first 45 minutes went on the Hoosier State squad ratcheted up the pressure, alternating shots from outside the area with multiple dangerous crosses off of set pieces that, despite providing plenty of danger, would fail to find the target. On the other end of the field, Indy Eleven would post its first shutout half of the preseason, frustrating Portland by keeping the score at 0-0 heading into the break.
Indy Eleven would see all but one starter come to the bench by the 62 nd minute, as Sommer continued to put a premium on rotating his squad over chasing a result. The game’s lone goal would come when an Eleven trialist committed a foul 25 yards straight out from goal, setting up a free kick opportunity that the fifth-year MLS veteran Zemanski curled outside the Indy wall and into the right side netting, putting the MLS’ers up 1-0. Indy Eleven would have a few quality chances to equalize down the stretch, but several saves by Timbers ‘keeper Jake Gleason in the final 15 minutes would keep Indy scoreless for the first time in three matches.
With tonight’s final whistle comes the end of Indy Eleven’s work trip in Arizona, which began back on Feb. 1. The squad will return to Indianapolis Thursday and settle down in the Hoosier State for nearly two weeks before beginning its next spring training camp in the Orlando area on Feb. 25. The club will release full details on its trip to the Sunshine State in the coming days once the scrimmage portion of the training camp has been finalized.
“I think we’re going to come away with at least five signings out of this trip, which will give our squad a real firm foundation to build on as we go down to Florida,” explained Sommer. “We hope to do more of the same down there, and if we can find some new talent to fold into the group in Orlando we should be in pretty good shape as we head deep into March and prepare for April 12 th .”
Indy Eleven Preseason Scrimmage #3 (90 minutes)
Indy Eleven (NASL) 0 : 1 Portland Timbers FC (MLS)
Kino Sports Complex – Tucson, AZ
Wednesday, February 11, 2014
POR –Ben Zemanski (unassisted) 75’
Indy Eleven Line-up (4-3-3): Kristian Nicht (*D. Jasper 46'); *E. Cass (Chris Wey 62'), *S. Allen (Baba Omosegbon 62'), *F. Jefferson (*P. DuBois 62'), Kyle Hyland (*R. Gibson 46'); *M. Crawford, *M. Morgan (*B. Jennings 21') (*A. Whitley 62'), Don Smart (*S. Monroe 62'); Mike Ambersley (*S. Jay 46'), *B. Elkhart (Pedro Mendes 62'), Walter Ramirez (*M. Shelby 46')
* Denotes trialists/guest player (aliases used)
Portland Timbers FC line-up (4-3-3): Jake Gleeson; Jorge Villafana, Taylor Peay, Rauwshan McKenzie, Alvas Powell; Aaron Long, Michael Nanchoff, George Fochive; Nikita Koltov, Victor Chavez, Dadzie