Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs. New York Cosmos - #INDvNYC
Saturday, July 8, 2017 – 7:30 P.M. EST
Michael Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
RETURNING TO "THE MIKE"
After a Tuesday evening of nail-biting action, Indy Eleven walked away with a single point after a 1-1 draw on the road against the New York Cosmos. “Indiana’s Team” held the upper hand for the majority of the match after a first half goal from midfielder Ben Speas in the 33rdminute. Eleven defender Marco Franco sent a right flank cross from around the center circle between Cosmos’ defenders David Ochieng and Darrius Barnes. From there, Speas quickly met the ball as it split the defenders before settling and sending the ball behind Cosmos ‘kepper Jimmy Mauer. Victory seemed to be on hand for the “Boys in Blue” before a slight trip was judged a penalty for New York in Indy’s goal box. Indy captain Colin Falvey’s and Cosmos’ midfielder Emmanual Ledesma’s boots crossed as Falvey worked to send the ball out of danger, and as Ledesma went down in the process the head official pointed straight to the spot. In the 86th minute, Ledesma, New York’s leading scorer, leveled the match and saved a point for the home side.
With yet another draw in the books for an Eleven-Cosmos match-up, the “Boys in Blue” now extend their regular season record against New York to 2W-7D-1L. Although, Indy has collected the 2nd highest amount of points against the Cosmos at 13 points; Indy has collected the most points against North Carolina FC with 23 points in all contests.
WHO TO WATCH INDY ELEVEN EDITION: DF DANIEL KELLER
All eyes remain on Indy Eleven midfielder Daniel Keller after earning his 2nd NASL Team of the Week spot in the last three weeks. The former University of Louisville captain has become an integral component of Indy’s defensive strategy. In addition to Jon Busch’s high-performance Tuesday, Keller’s position in the backline with captain Colin Falvey laid the foundation for a fortified wall. Keller’s keen sense awareness made his performance essential as the young defender made 11 clearances, held his own in several duels and won the ball back from the onrushing opposition on three separate occasions. Being at the right place at the right time has become the new norm for Keller as his skills have helped Indy to concede no more than two goals in the last three contests.
WHO TO WATCH NEW YORK COSMOS EDITION: MF JUAN GUERRA
Midfielder Juan Guerra has begun to hit his stride after signing for the Cosmos in January earlier this year. The Venezuelan national star has collected two goals for the Cosmos so far this season and came close to his third against Indy Tuesday evening. In the 68th minute, Cosmos forward Eugene Starikov gained possession within Indy’s box. A quick pass from Starikov met Guerra in the center of the box where he attempted to collect his third goal of the season. However, Guerra’s chances were cut short as his shot was met by Indy’s goaltender Jon Busch just inches in front of him. Guerra ended the evening with five total shots, but each one failing to find the back of the net. Guerra has 17 shots so far in 2017 and more on the way, it’s only a matter of time before his goal count begins to climb.
Prior to joining the Cosmos, Guerra spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. In that time, Guerra scored a total of three goals for the former NASL side and tallied one assist. Before joining the NASL, the Venezuela native enjoyed stints at several top Venezuelan sides. In addition, Guerra has had four caps for the Venezuelan national team, including two call-ups for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
MATCH-UP TO MARK: GK JON BUSCH VS. FW EMMANUEL LEDESMA
A clash of Team of the Week Titans will take place this Saturday as Indy Eleven’s goalkeeping extraordinary Jon Busch stands his ground against Cosmos’ leading goal scorer Emmanuel Ledesma on the pitch once more.
“Buschy” goes 3-for-3 in earning yet another Team of the Week accolade. With another nine saves on the evening, Busch overtook New York’s Jimmy Maurer as the NASL goalkeeper with the second highest saves with 44 to his name. Furthermore, Busch has tallied a total of 20 saves in the last three matches, conceding only two goals in the process. The 40-year-old goalkeeper aims to keep his hot streak as the Cosmos return to “The Mike”; a venue the Cosmos has not seen victory at in the last three seasons.
Busch's opposition, Emmanuel Ledesma, tested the 'keeper seven times on Tuesday night, and his 86th-minute penalty ended up saving a point for the hosts. Ledesma has an impressive scoring record this year, netting four times in just seven appearances (six starts) with two assists, the best goals-to-games ratio among those with at least two goals on the year.