Indy Eleven Match Preview
Indy Eleven @ New York Red Bulls II - #NYvIND
Sunday, April 28, 2019 – 5:00 P.M. ET
MSU Soccer Park – Montclair, New Jersey
Indy Eleven closes out a three-game road stretch Sunday at New York Red Bulls II with the potential for a fifth straight win since a closely contested season-opening loss. The Boys in Blue ride their club-record four-game winning streak into New Jersey for one of the Eastern Conference’s top early-season showdowns against an NYRBII side looking to rebound from their first taste of defeat.
Indy Eleven (4W-1L-0D) travels to New Jersey coming off back-to-back wins in Week 7 at Swope Park Rangers (3-1) and Bethlehem Steel FC (3-0) last Monday and Saturday, respectively. It was a productive week for Indiana’s Team as midfielders Neveal Hackshaw and Tyler Pasher and forwards Dane Kelly and Thomas Enevoldsen contributed to the six-goal haul, giving Indy 11 goals (how fitting) on the season so far. Indy’s backline was just as formidable during two stout defensive outings, allowing just a combined four shots on target and helping goalkeeper Evan Newton to his second clean sheet on the season the last time out.
Hackshaw’s Zlatan Ibrahimović-esque goal against Bethlehem was his second on the season, tied with Enevoldsen for second most goals on the team this year. While other players extended their scoring record, Pasher netted his first of the season, his first since scoring on the road against North Carolina FC on April 7, 2018. But it was Kelly’s name that made headlines, as the Jamaican scored his 68th, 69th and 70th USL Championship career goals, earning the Championship’s Player of the Week accolade. The two victories vaulted Indy into fourth place (12 pts.) on the Eastern Conference table, nipping at New York’s heels (13 pts.).
New York Red Bulls II (4W-1L-1D) take on Indy Eleven in Week 8 after suffering their first loss of the season against D.C. United (MLS) affiliate Loudon United, 3-1. The highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference was unable to put more than one past Loudon after forward Mathias Jorgensen opened the scoring in the fourth minute. The high-flying (presumably from Red Bull consumption) New York offense, who have scored 14 goals through six games, was held to one goal for the second time in 2019. The three goals conceded to Loudon were the most that Red Bulls II had given up in the regular season since their 3-3 draw to Toronto FC II on September 13, 2018, bringing their concession total to eight in 2019. The New Jersey based squad has also only kept one clean sheet so far through the season, holding off last placed Hartford Athletic in a 4-0 win two matches prior.
Saturday’s fixture has the potential to move Indiana’s Team up to second place if the squad can tame the Red Bulls. The potential to rise to first in the East can become a reality as well if Saint Louis FC falls to Swope Park Rangers this Saturday.
Hackshaw’s impact has been felt all over the pitch since signing with the club. The 23-year-old has made five appearances for Indiana’s Team, scoring twice and leading the squad in nearly every defensive category. Don’t believe us? Hackshaw ranks first in clearances (21), shots blocked (5), and interceptions (8) and has won just over three-fourths of his aerial duels (14).
Hackshaw’s two goals have come from set piece corner kicks in 2019, which makes him a goal scoring threat against a Red Bulls II squad that surrendered a goal and two chances off the crossbar on corner kicks against Loudon. While Hackshaw seems to be at the right place at the right time, it’ll be up to the likes of set piece expert Ayoze Garcia to provide quality service to finish off.
Louro has made five appearances in Red Bulls II’s first six games, but has yet to keep a clean sheet during his time between the sticks. His last time out against Loudon was his roughest game to date in the early season, saving just two of the five shots on frame during the 90-minute stretch on home turf. The American-born goalkeeper now faces a streaking Indy Eleven offense that has tucked away six goals in the last 180 minutes. Louro will need to be on his toes if he hopes to stem the tide against a fleet of red-hot attacking talent led by Kelly and Enevoldsen.
Indy Eleven goalkeeper Evan Newton recorded nine clean sheets last season on his way to clutching the 2018 USL Championship Golden Glove award in the palms of his gloves. Five games into the 2019 USL Championship season, Newton has racked up two clean sheets and could easily surpass his previous season’s record if he keeps up his current form.
The primary man aiming to keep Newton from celebrating another brick is New York Red Bulls II leading goal scorer Tom Barlow. Barlow has netted six goals in six appearances in the 2019 season, positioning him atop the Eastern Conference scoring chart. The University of Wisconsin product managed three shots on target and was able to create one goal scoring chance in Week 7, but ultimately failed to find the back of the net.
Newton will need to be wary of the goal poacher, as all six of Barlow’s goals have come inside the opposition’s 18-yard box. Indy Eleven’s new netminder has been stellar the last three weeks, racking up two shutouts and allowing just one goal in the last 15 shots on target he’s faced.
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