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PREVIEW | INDY ELEVEN AIMS FOR THREE POINTS AT HOME VS. NORTH CAROLINA FC

By IndyEleven.com, 05/02/19, 7:00PM EDT

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Boys in Blue return to Lucas Oil Stadium for second Week 9 match-up

Indy Eleven Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven vs North Carolina FC - #INDvNC
Saturday, May 4, 2019 – 7 P.M. ET

Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN

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Setting the Table:

 

Last Time Out:

Indy Eleven 0:0 Tampa Bay Rowdies | Wednesday, May 1

The Boys in Blue fought hard to earn a point against a strong Tampa Bay side after losing defender Paddy Barret to a second yellow in the 20th minute. Despite going down a man early, Indiana’s Team didn’t allow any of the Rowdies’ 15 shots on the evening to get on frame. Goalkeeper Evan Newton earned his third clean sheet in a mentally draining match, according to midfielder and captain Matt Watson. Head Coach Martin Rennie was pleased with the result and credited his team’s willingness to battle adversity after the match.

“I don’t really have any question about whether we have a good team or good players,” Rennie said, “but today I got the answer about how much character and fight we have.”

#INDvTBR:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats  |  Post-game Quotes

 

North Carolina FC 4:1 Hartford Athletic | Saturday, April 27

The Cary-based club recorded their fourth victory of the 2019 USL Championship season, and second in a row, after equaling their highest goal scoring total in a match since Week 1 against Louisville City. NCFC conceded just their sixth goal of 2019, tying them for third in the East in goals allowed.

#NCvHFD:  Highlights & Stats  |  Recap

 

 

#INDvNC Storylines

  • Saturday’s match against North Carolina FC marks the second straight for Indy Eleven against a former NASL rival, coming on the heels of Wednesday’s match against Tampa Bay.
  • Indy Eleven has fond memories of meetings against NCFC, collecting a 9W-3L-3D all-time record dating back to 2014, when the Boys in Blue notched their first point (1-1 draw on April 12) and first win (2-1 on July 12) against the squad then known as the Carolina RailHawks.
  • Head Coach Martin Rennie coached the RailHawks from 2009-11, earning a second-place finish his first year with the club, and two first-place finishes in 2010-11 before moving to MLS’ Vancouver Whitecaps.
  • Indy Eleven’s month of May at Lucas Oil Stadium is chock full of marquee match-ups against fellow top of the table squads. Starting with last Sunday’s contest at New York Red Bulls (T-2nd), Indy Eleven finds itself in the midst of five straight games against teams in the top half of the Eastern Conference standings heading into this weekend, including Tampa Bay (T-2nd), North Carolina FC (T-4th), Charleston Battery (T-4th) and Nashville FC (8th).
  • Indy Eleven will face off against a familiar foe Saturday, when Ben Speas makes his return to the Circle City. The 28-year-old attacker, who joined NCFC on a season-long loan in January, notched seven goals and seven assists in 50 appearances for the Boys in Blue between the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
  • The NCFC roster also includes a pair of ex-Indiana University standouts in defender Timmy Mehl and midfielder Austin Panchot. Neither of the rookies, who finished off their collegiate careers last fall helping the Hoosiers reach back-to-back College Cups, have made their pro debuts with the Cary-based club.

 

Indy Eleven Player to Watch | DF Karl Ouimette

We’re down a Paddy Barret. That hurts considering the Boys in Blue are facing the team with the second-highest goal scoring total in the Eastern Conference on Saturday night. On the bright side, the man who is most likely to replace the Irishman, Karl Ouimette, has been labeled by Rennie as someone you would want right next to you if you were going into the trenches.

Captain Matt Watson branded the Canadian as the most competitive person he’s played with and feels at ease when Ouimette’s stationed in the backline alongside him. The 26-year-old Canadian came into the match as a substitute against Tampa Bay after Barret was sent off in the 20th minute and racked up five clearances and one interception and tackle. Ouimette will be a stout presence on the Indy backline against NCFC, but will need to be careful after being sent off for a tussle with NCFC’s Aaron Guillen in the first matchup of 2018 with North Carolina.

 

North Carolina Player to Watch | FW Marios Lomis

First it was Red Bull II’s Tom Barlow. Then Tampa Bay’s Sebastian Guenzatti. Next it will be North Carolina FC’s Marios Lomis. Come the conclusion of Saturday night’s match, the Boys in Blue will have faced a striker in the top three of the Eastern Conference’s scoring chart for three straight game.

The forward is the second-highest scorer in the East with six goals in seven appearances. The 24-year-old is potent when shooting with his right foot, with five of his six tallies coming from his strong foot. He’s also scored a goal from a direct free kick, making the man from the Netherlands a threat from set pieces. Lomis seems to have Indy’s number, considering the last time the sides met he found the back of the net to level the game before now assistant coach Juan Guerra’s 90th minute winner.

 

Matchup to Mark | MF Tyler Gibson vs. MF Tommy McCabe

Saturday night’s fixture will feature a midfield matchup of two passing maestros. Veteran midfielder, and former FC Cincinnati player, Tyler Gibson will go head to head in the middle of the park with a rookie FC Cincinnati midfielder on loan with North Carolina FC, Tommy McCabe.

McCabe, who was drafted 29th overall in the 2019 MLS Super Draft by FC Cincinnati, played collegiately at the University of Notre Dame before turning professional and being loaned to North Carolina. He’s now started six matches for NCFC and is yet to be subbed off in any of his outings. The 21-year-old has moved the ball extremely well through the midfield, averaging an 89 percent pass completion percentage on 336 passes played. He owns the highest completion percentage of teammates who have played more than 300 passes on the Cary-side. In addition to picking out a pass, the American-born midfielder can score as well, netting twice in his six appearances, including the Week 4 Goal of the Week.

McCabe’s counterpart in the midfield in Gibson has also moved the ball well. The first-year Boy in Blue has averaged 85 percent passing accuracy, the highest on the squad, on 313 passes in the seven games he’s appeared in. Gibson is the only field player other than defender Neveal Hackshaw to play every minute of every game and play over 300 passes. The 28-year-old has contributed to the score sheet as well, scoring one goal throughout the start of his 2019 campaign.

 

Indy Eleven is back home again during its month-long homestand this Saturday, May 4, on “Brad Ring Night” against North Carolina FC. Kickoff at Lucas Oil Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m., with the match airing live on WISH-TV and streaming live on ESPN+. Tickets remain available for as little as $15 at IndyEleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.

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