Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs Puerto Rico FC - #INDvPRFC
Saturday, October 21, 2017 – 3:00 P.M. EST
Carroll Stadium - Indianapolis, IN
ELEVEN REWIND vs MIAMI FC:
“Indiana’s Team” fell 0 : 3 to Miami FC in a Saturday afternoon showdown with all three goals going to way of the visitors in the first half.
Forward Stefano Pinho gave the league leaders an early advantage in the 4th minute before doubling his tally exactly 30 minutes later to put his side two-up. Then, Dylan Mares beat Jon Busch from close range for a third inside the half.
A few chances would fall Indy’s way in the second half but Miami FC would prove to be too strong to beat and collect all three points, placing Indy out of playoff contention.
HOSTING PUERTO RICO FC FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THREE WEEKS:
Truly into the home stretch, Indy Eleven hosts Puerto Rico FC at Carroll Stadium in a match relocated to Indianapolis due to damage on the island following Hurricane Maria.
Both teams have been knocked out of the race for the 2017 Playoffs but with two games left in the year, Indy is looking to finish the year strong against an opponent they have typically had good success against.
Playing hosts to PRFC just a few weeks ago, Indy Eleven knocked off “La Naranja,” 2-1, at “The Mike” thanks to two goals from forward Eamon Zayed. The team looks to replicate their success this Saturday against the only NASL club to have never beaten the “Boys in Blue.”
INDY ELEVEN PLAYER TO WATCH: MF DON SMART
Midfielder Don Smart will be the first Indy Eleven player in history to register 100 appearances across all competitions for the club when he lines up on Saturday against PRFC. One of two "Indy originals" alongside Brad Ring, Smart has featured in 95 league matches and 4 USOC fixtures leading up to the afternoon clash and will be honored at season's end for his feat.
Missing the Miami match due to injury, Smart's return to the line-up will be welcomed one as Indy looks to balance attack and defense from a wide position. Someone who can create on one end with the ability to track back and hold down the fort, the Jamaican's influence was missed last week and there's no time like a 100th cap to be an impact player.
PUERTO RICO FC PLAYER TO WATCH: FW JAIRO PUERTO
Forward Jairo Puerto is the one to watch this weekend with the attacker's three goals and one assist in 22 league appearances.
Puerto is a threat both in the air and on the ground with his stature working to his advantage against defenders of all kinds. A physical presence in aerial duels, Puerto also has a knack for coming in behind a play to finish off a move. Indy Eleven defenders Colin Falvey and Cory Miller, should they start, will be tasked with limited Puerto's chances.
MATCH-UP TO MARK: MF MICHAEL KAFARI vs MF BRAD RING
An entertaining battle last time these two met, it's a midfield showdown between PRFC's Michael Kafari and Indy's Brad Ring this weekend.
Kafari has a knack for breaking through the midfield lines and creating opportunities for his side moving forward while Ring is typically tasked with being the one to stop players like Kafari as they look to ignite an attack. Look for the "Indy original," who is fresh off serving a suspension due to yellow card accumulation, to be the stopper on Saturday.