Indiana’s Team Aims for Nine-point Week Against New Rival
Indy Eleven at Detroit City FC
Saturday, September 3, 2022 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Keyworth Stadium – Hamtramck, Mich.
Local TV: WISH-TV
Streaming Video: ESPN+ (click to subscribe)
Radio (Spanish): N/A
In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers
Live stats: #DETvIND MatchCenter on USLChampionship.com
2022 USL CHAMPIONSHIP REGULAR SEASON RECORDS
Indy Eleven: 8W-14L-4D (-11 GD), 28 pts.; 9th in Eastern Conference
Detroit City FC: 11W-6L-9D (+10 GD), 42 pts.; 7th in Eastern Conference
COMMUNITY HEALTH NETWORK SPORTS MEDICINE INDY ELEVEN INJURY REPORT
OUT: FW Manuel Arteaga (R knee), FW Aris Briggs (R shin), DF A.J. Cochran (hamstring), GK Bryan Meredith (R hand fracture)
QUESTIONABLE: MF Ayoze (R adductor), GK Sean Lewis (L hamstring), DF Jared Timmer
IND: MF Neveal Hackshaw (caution accumulation)
A week ago, Indy Eleven was carrying the weight of a 12-game winless streak and staring down two home games against conference leaders in San Antonio FC and Louisville and a rivalry row at Detroit City FC within an eight-day span. You couldn’t be blamed for thinking a nine-point week was out of the question at that time, but after grinding out wins in the first two tilts that’s where Indiana’s Team sits heading into its first meaningful match at Keyworth Stadium.
While Head Coach Mark Lowry’s side left every ounce of effort on the field to achieve those first two results, he’ll look to rally his depleted corps one more time to keep the slimmest of postseason hopes alive against a DCFC side clinging to the seventh and final playoff position.
So how did the Boys in Blue record two of the most unlikely wins of the entire 2022 USL Championship four days apart? According to Lowry it boiled down to hustle and determination, but timely goalkeeping from Tim Trilk (9 saves, 1 GA in last two outings) and Stefano Pinho’s brace out of nowhere on Wednesday – following a nearly three-month goal drought – certainly helped. With minutes leader Jared Timmer leaving Wednesday match at halftime and Neveal Hackshaw out due to a caution accumulation suspension, the Boys in Blue will have to dig even deeper to bring a favorable result back down I-69 on Saturday.
In a vacuum, capturing a point on the road against a new regional rival above you in the standings would be counted as an impressive result, but against the backdrop of the last week it likely won’t satisfy Lowry & Co. That’s especially the case on Saturday, as anything but a win dashes hope of a miracle playoff run if not mathematically, then realistically, with Detroit having a nearly insurmountable 14-point gap and both teams with seven games left to play.
The Eleven’s bounceback week not only snapped that 12-game overall winless stretch, it broke a six-match run without a win at home, its prior triumph at The Mike coming on May 21. That’s also the last time Detroit City FC tasted victory at home in Hamtramck, following a 5-0-2 start at Keyworth with a six-game home drought of its own (0W-2L-4D). That’s been part of an overall average summer for the Rouge-and-Gold, who have registered a 4W-4L-6D mark since Memorial Day weekend after racing out to a 7-2-3 start to the first campaign in the Championship.
A middle of the pack scoring attack (34 goals, T-16 in USLC) is led by Pato Botello Faz’s eight goals, followed by five goals each by Maxi Rodriguez and longtime Eleven foil Antoine Hoppenot, who also leads DCFC with eight assists. Detroit has led with its defense through the season, with its 24 goals allowed ranking third best across the league – although that’s nothing new for Indy Eleven, which faced the only two teams above Detroit in that category the last two times out. Goalkeeper Nathan Steinwascher has been a rock in goal for Detroit, playing every minute thus far in regular season action en route to posting a sparkling 0.92 goals against average.
LAST TIME OUT
Indy Eleven shocked the league for a second time in less than a week by coming back to take down the Eastern Conference’s top side on Wednesday night.
Indy Eleven took an early punch on the chin when Ray Serrano’s skimming header off a Amadou Dia cross put the visitors up just eight minutes in. However, the home side equalized through Stefano Pinho’s hustle play just prior to the hour mark, the Brazilian poking an ill-weighted back pass towards Kyle Morton and rounding the keeper to poke home and even the proceedings.
A back-and-forth second half tilted when Juan Tejada was taken down by a pair of LCFC defenders in the 77th minute for an unquestionable point to the spot. Pinho’s low finish inside the left post past a diving Morton made the difference and allowed Indiana’s Team to take the storied Louisville-Indianapolis Proximity Association Football Contest for a second season in a row when combined with their 1-1 draw at Lynn Family Stadium back in March.
LOU – Ray Serrano (Amadou Dia) 8’
IND – Stefano Pinho (unassisted) 28’
IND – Stefano Pinho (penalty kick) 78’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-4-2): Tim Trilk; Robby Dambrot, Jesus Vazquez, Mechack Jerome, Jared Timmer (Alex McQueen 45’); Neveal Hackshaw (captain), Justin Ingram, Samuel Asante (Ayoze 91+’), Raul Aguilera (Wilfredo Rivera 71’); Juan Tejada (Rodney Michael 80’), Stefano Pinho
IND substitutes: Sean Lewis (GK), Ecris Revolorio, Diego Sanchez
Charleston Battery 0 : 3 Detroit City FC
Saturday, August 27 | Stats & Highlights
After a scoreless first half in Charleston, Detroit City FC jumped on the home side with two early second half goals that helped it cruise to an important road win at Patriots Point. DCFC’s attack stepped on the gas after the break, with leading scorer Pato Botello Faz striking for both game-changing tallies in the 48th and 53rd minutes, while an own goal in the 65th minute helped cement the victory. Nate Steinwascher had to make only two saves in goal for DCFC, which posted a victory in Trevor James’ 100th game at the held of the Rouge-and-Gold.
IXI SERIES VS. DCFC
USL Championship regular season: 0W-1L-0D
Home record: 0W-1L-0D
Away record: First meeting
Saturday’s match will mark the first of consequence at Keyworth Stadium between the two sides, who met in an exhibition match during Detroit City’s NPSL era back on Aug. 13, 2019. In that friendly, Eugene Starikov’s 71st minute goal was the lone tally in the Eleven’s 1-0 victory.
The first meeting between the new regional rivals in official competition went down on July 9 at Carroll Stadium, where DCFC rode a Connor Rutz goal five minutes all the way through for a 1-0 win to the visitors. Detroit City FC is spending its first season in the USL Championship after playing in the NPSL from 2012 through 2019 and NISA from 2020 through 2021.
Detroit was the eighth of 10 new opponents in league play this season, eight of which comprise the entirety of the club’s cross-conference opposition from the West. So far this season, Indy Eleven is 3W-4L-2D in its first-time matchups, with only a “USL After Dark” meeting later this month at Monterrey Bay F.C. to go …
vs. LA Galaxy II (1-1 D on April 2)
at Rio Grande Valley FC (2-1 W on April 9)
vs. Orange County SC (3-1 W on April 30)
vs. New Mexico United (1-2 L on May /28)
at The Miami FC (1-1 D on June 8)
at Colorado Springs Switchbacks SC (3-4 L on 6/18)
at San Diego Loyal (0-5 L on June 25)
vs. Detroit City FC (0-1 L on July 9)
vs. San Antonio FC (1-0 W on Aug. 27)
at Monterey Bay F.C. (9/17)
#DETvIND FAMILIAR FACES: There are two common links between the Indy and Detroit rosters, both residing on the DCFC sideline. Karl Ouimette is the most well known commodity, as the Canadian defender sits even with Ayoze as the Indy Eleven career leader with 101 starts and ranks third on the club’s all-time appearances list beyond only Ayoze (117) and Brad Ring (115). Ouimette began the season in the Eleven roster before being sent on loan to DCFC for the remainder of the 2022 season on May 2.
In addition, Detroit Head Coach Trevor James – who coached his 100th game for DCFC their last time out in a 3-0 win last Saturday at Charleston Battery – served as Indy Eleven’s Technical Director and Assistant Coach across the 2017-18 seasons.
While no current Eleven players have suited up for DCFC, there are three native Michiganders on the roster in GK Sean Lewis (Rockford), DF Jared Timmer (Hudsonville), and MF Sam Brown (Ann Arbor).
ELEVEN PLAYER TO WATCH: MF SAM BROWN
We’ve gone 2-for-2 in our “picks to click” in the last week, and we’ll choose one of the native Michganders to try and round out the trifecta on Saturday. Why, you ask? Mark Lowry’s buzzwords in the last week have been along the lines of toughness … gritty … digging deep … fighting. Sounds like exactly what you want out of your #6, and throughout his first season with the Boys in Blue, Sam Brown has shown he’s not afraid to set the tone in the middle of the field. Plus, after sitting out his caution accumulation suspension on Wednesday night against Louisville City FC, Brown will perhaps be the freshest set of legs on the field for Indiana’s Team.
It will be a no-holds barred type of affair in Hamtramck, and with the three players that have served in the captain’s role this season – Ayoze, Neveal Hackshaw, and A.J. Cochran – either limited due to injury or suspended, Lowry will need to find other sources of leadership on the field. Even if he’s not donning the armband, you can expect Brown to step up into this role more and be in the middle of everything – both literally and figuratively – on Saturday.