Indy Eleven Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven vs Charleston Battery - #INDvCHS
Saturday, May 18, 2019 – 7:00 P.M. ET
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
Indy Eleven 1-0 Lansing Ignite FC | Wednesday, May 15
Down a man for much of the match, Indy Eleven was still able to down the USL League One side from Michigan in the Second Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Butler University’s Sellick Bowl, marking the first USOC win for the Boys in Blue since defeating Louisville City FC in 2016. Forward Thomas Enevoldsen scored the goal that advanced the 10-men Boys in Blue to the Third Round against Pittsburgh Riverhounds on May 29. Jordan Farr received his first competitive minutes for the Boys in Blue after goalkeeper Evan Newton was sent off early in the match, and officially notched 69 minutes of shutout soccer in his pro debut.
Charleston Battery 2:1 Greenville Triumph | Wednesday, May 15
Charleston defeated USL League One side Greenville Triumph in their Second Round matchup of the U.S. Open Cup. A late brace from Ian Svantesson sent the Battery to the Third Round, overcoming a 1-0 Greenville lead. Svantesson nullified the lead in the 79th minute and scored the goal to bury Greenville one minute into stoppage time.
Indy Eleven 0:0 North Carolina | Saturday, May 4
The Boys in Blue claimed a point for the second match in a row after a nil-nil finish against North Carolina FC. Indy goalkeeper Evan Newton recorded his fourth clean sheet of the season while on his way to logging the 41st of his career, landing him the top spot for most clean sheets recorded in USL Championship regular season play. His performance earned him Player of the Week in Week 9.
Charleston Battery 0:0 Saint Louis FC | Saturday, May 11
Charleston earned its third clean sheet of the 2019 USL Championship season after drawing with Saint Louis FC nil-nil last Saturday. While the Battery’s stellar defensive performance held Saint Louis to only four shots on goal on the evening, it was also the first time all year that Charleston was unable to find the back of the net.
Ayoze scored two epic goals in the first ever meeting meeting Charleston Battery that nearly sealed a comeback win for the Boys in Blue in 2018, if not for a frustratingly late Charleston equalizer. The Spaniard scored a penalty in the 86th minute, followed by an incredibly well-placed free kick from just outside the Battery’s 18-yard box as time eclipsed into the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
The 33-year-old playmaker is eager to help find the back of the net – or even open his 2019 scoring account – as his side marches into its first clash of the season against Charleston Battery. He’s started and appeared in six matches so far in 2019, with around 80-percent of his passes finding their mark. While he is officially credited with just one assist, Ayoze would have at least three more “hockey assists” should the pass that set up an assist be counted, proving that playmakers can reside elsewhere than in the middle of the pitch.
Svantesson has the hot hand after netting twice against Greenville Triumph in U.S. Open Cup play. The second-year forward currently leads the Battery in scoring this season with three goals from five games.
The 6’5” striker has been lethal with his right foot, as all three of the goals he’s scored in league play have come from his stronger foot. The 25-year-old has also been a poacher, scoring his trio from inside the opposition box.
Saturday night’s fixture will feature two strong defenses as Indy Eleven’s backline goes head-to-head (back-to-back?) against Charleston Battery’s at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Boys in Blue enter Saturday’s match having conceded only seven goals in eight games, tied with Ottawa Fury FC for the third fewest in goals allowed in the Eastern Conference. Even more impressive is the defense Head Coach Martin Rennie’s side has played when inside Lucas Oil Stadium. The Scotsman’s squad has yet to lose a match, let alone allow a goal, on Circle City turf against the likes of Hartford Athletic, Tampa Bay Rowdies and North Carolina FC (in that order). Indy’s spotless home record also accounts for three of Newton’s four clean sheets this season.
Charleston Battery’s defense seems to have trouble on the road as the side has allowed four goals in three away games throughout the start of the 2019 season. The side has only allowed more than one goal in one road fixture, as Charleston gave up three against Bethlehem Steel FC. The Battery’s back third kept a clean sheet in their most recent road match against Memphis 901 FC and gave up a single goal to North Carolina FC in their first road match of this season. The Battery have allowed just two goals more than Indy in 2019, conceding nine, and kept one less clean sheet through their first nine games of the season.
There’s no rest for the weary as it’s back to USL Championship action for Indy Eleven (4W-2L-2D, 14 pts.) this Saturday, May 18, when it welcomes the Charleston Battery (4W-1L-4D, 16 pts.) on “Armed Forces Night” at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. kickoff remain available for as little as $15 at IndyEleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.