Boys in Blue look to push unbeaten streak to five against defending USLC champs
Indy Eleven vs Orange County SC
Sunday, April 24, 2022 – 5:30 p.m. ET
IUPUI Michael A. Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
Faith & Family Night, presented by He Gets Us
Click here for details on pre-game & post-game festivities
Local TV: MyINDY-TV 23
National TV: ESPN Deportes
Streaming Video: ESPN app
Radio (Spanish): Exitos 94.3 FM/exitos943.com
In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers
Live stats: #INDvOC MatchCenter on USLChampionship.com
2022 USL CHAMPIONSHIP REGULAR SEASON RECORDS
Indy Eleven: 2W-2L-2D (-1 GD), 8 pts.; 8th in Eastern Conference
Orange County SC: 1W-2L-2D (-1 GD), 5 pts.; 11th in Eastern Conference
COMMUNITY HEALTH NETWORK SPORTS MEDICINE INJURY REPORT
OUT: MF Sam Brown (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DF Bryam Rebellon (L knee contusion)
Indy Eleven will contest the middle match of a three-game homestand on Sunday evening, when Indiana’s Team plays host to defending USL Championship title holder Orange County SC. The match-up at “The Mike” will mark Indy Eleven’s lone USL on ESPN appearance of 2022, with the 5:30 p.m. kickoff airing live on ESPN Deportes.
Indy enters the match riding a four-game undefeated streak that includes two wins on the trot, resulting in the team’s longest unbeaten run in regular season action since a seven-game stretch spanning the 2019 and 2020 campaigns. While OCSC enters on a three-game winless streak in league play, don’t let that fool you as those results include a pair of 1-1 draws against upper-half Western Conference sides New Mexico United and Sacramento Republic FC and a narrow 0-1 defeat to a red-hot San Antonio FC side.
LAST TIME OUT
Indy Eleven 2 : 1 Atlanta United 2
Indy Eleven captured the first home win of the Mark Lowry Era last Saturday against Atlanta United 2, as Aris Briggs’ 92nd finish lifted the Boys in Blue to a dramatic victory at Carroll Stadium.
The match was open from the get-go, and it was the Eleven getting on the board first just 12 minutes in through midfielder Nicky Law’s perfectly-placed free kick from inside the arc that nestled into the right side netting. While the Indy attack was clicking in the first half, it had only Law’s effort to show for it at the end of 45 minutes.
In the 68th minute, ATL UTD 2 striker Jackson Conway atoned for a miss just minutes earlier by tying the game with a first-time redirect of Grant Howard’s low cross. The insertion of Ayoze and Manuel Arteaga by Lowry in the 78th minute spurred the Eleven to life, their first meaningful minutes of the season paying dividends and sending the Indy faithful home happy. It was Arteaga’s 1-2 with Law that put the Englishman into the right side of the area, where his cutback found a streaking Briggs for the deserved winner – and the forward’s second game-winning contribution to the scoresheet in as many weeks.
Orange County SC 1 : 1 Sacramento Republic FC
In about as statistically even an affair as you’ll find, Orange County and Sacramento split their all-Golden State affair at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine.
Sacramento made an ideal start as they took the lead after just 78 seconds as a piercing pass by Dan Casey played Damia Viader in behind the OCSC defense, and the 2021 USL League One Defender of the Year cut past the onrushing goalkeeper before finishing into an open net. Orange County got the chance to level from the penalty spot midway through the half, however, after Milan Iloski was brought down in the box, and Torres delivered with a powerful finish from the spot to equalize The visitors had a chance to quickly regain the lead as a good piece of interplay by Keko and Rodrigo Lopez set up the Spaniard for a shot from the right side of the penalty area to the far corner that was well saved by OCSC’s Patrick Rakovsky.
The game remained even into the second half, however, where chances became few and far between. The hosts almost grabbed the lead with 13 minutes to go when Iloski got into the left side of the penalty area, only for Sacramento’s Danny Vitiello to come off his line sharply to make the save. Orange County threatened again with five minutes to go as Kobi Henry had a header kept out by Vitiello, and in the late going it appeared the hosts were more likely to grab a winner as Iloski volleyed wide of the right post in stoppage time.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: The first month and a half of the season for Indy Eleven and Orange County SC have been practical mirror images as reflected not just in their records, but in their results as well. Of their 11 combined matches, only one has been decided by more than a one-goal margin, setting up a likely close encounter at The Mike on Sunday evening …
Week 1 0-1 L @ LDN 1-2 L @ COS
Week 2 0-2 L @ TBR 2-1 W vs. RGV
Week 3 1-1 D @ LOU 1-1 D @ NMU
Week 4 1-1 D vs. LA bye
Week 5 1-2 W @ RGV 0-1 L vs. SA
Week 6 2-1 W vs. ATL 1-1 D vs. SAC
IND: 2W-2L-2D, 6 GF/7GA, -1 GD
OC: 1W-2L-2D, 5 GF/6 GA, -1 GD
#INDvOC SERIES HISTORY
Despite this being Indy Eleven’s fifth season in the USL Championship and Orange County being an original member of the then USL Pro’s “Inaugural Class of 2011,” Sunday’s match marks the first meeting between the two sides.
OCSC will be the third of seven new opponents for Indy Eleven in 2022. Indiana’s Team has collected a draw with LA Galaxy II (1-1 on April 2) and a win at RGV FC Toros (2-1 on April 9) in its pair of debut meetings thus far.
Fans of OCSC will recognize Eleven defender Noah Powder, who played on the West Coast with the club in 2018, making 21 appearances and scoring three goals.
Indy Eleven will be welcoming back Kevin Partida to Carroll Stadium on Sunday, as the midfielder appeared in six matches for the club late in the 2021 campaign. An additional connection to the Hoosier State on OCSC’s roster is midfielder Tommy McCabe, who played his collegiate ball up north in South Bend for the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish from 2016-18.
ELEVEN PLAYER TO WATCH: FW MANUEL ARTEAGA
This is one we’ve been chomping at the bit to get to! While the minutes of el arquero will still be limited as he continues to regain full match fitness following a preseason injury, Arteaga’s influential quarter-hour cameo last Saturday proved he needs little time to make a massive impact.
In his first meaningful minutes of the season, last season’s leading scorer (10 goals in 2021) and shot-taker (68) picked up where he left off, putting two of his four shots on target and creating another two. It was his “hockey assist” on a deftly played 1-2 with Nicky Law that set up Aris Briggs’ eventual game-winner in the 92nd minute, and he set-up a second for Briggs minutes later that would have truly put the nail in the coffin.
Perhaps the biggest proof of his stamp on the match? After his insertion – along with Ayoze, who also had plenty to do with fueling the Indy attack – in the 78th minute, the Boys in Blue registered 11 of their season-high 21 shots, turning a fairly tight contest into a carnival shooting game towards the ATL UTD 2 goal for the final 15+ minutes.
Between his willingness to shoot, ability to create, and a relentless energy that both provides space for others and puts exhausting pressure on the opposition in Indy’s high press, even 30 minutes of Arteaga could pay massive dividends down the stretch on both sides of the ball against the defending champs.