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PREVIEW | INDY ELEVEN CONTINUES HOME STAND VS. CHARLESTON BATTERY

By IndyEleven.com, 05/16/19, 8:15PM EDT

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Boys in Blue resume USL Championship regular season play coming off U.S. Open Cup victory

Indy Eleven Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven vs Charleston Battery - #INDvCHS
Saturday, May 18, 2019 – 7:00 P.M. ET

Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN

Follow Live:

  • Local/National TV: MyINDY-23 TV
  • Streaming Video: ESPN+ (free 7-day trial)
  • Radio (Spanish): Exitos 1590 AM

 

Setting the Table:

 

Last Time Out: U.S. Open Cup Edition

 

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.

 

#INDvLANHighlights  |  Recap   

 

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.

 

Last Time Out: USL Championship Edition

 

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.

#INDvNCHighlights  |  Recap  |  Stats  |  Post-game Quotes

 

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.

#CHSvSTLHighlights & Stats  |  Recap

 

#INDvCHS Storylines

  • Two current Boys in Blue used to wear the Black-and-Gold in “Chucktown” – defender Neveal Hackshaw and forward Dane Kelly. Hackshaw suited up for the Battery the last three seasons from 2016-18 and kept plenty busy, making 75 USL Championship appearances. Kelly began his record-breaking USL Championship tenure with four seasons in Charleston from 2011-15, scoring the first 21 of his regular season career league-record 71 goals in that time.
  • Indy Eleven will look to leapfrog Charleston in the standings with a full three points on Saturday. The Boys in Blue enter the battle with the Battery on 14 points from eight contests (4W-2L-2D), two points behind the Battery (4W-1L-4D), who come in tied for 5th on the East table with Louisville City FC on 16 points.
  • Evan Newton’s setting of the USL Championship career shutout streak has been well documented, but one additional fun fact – the record he broke was previously held by former Charleston netminder Odisnel Cooper, who backstopped the Battery from 2013-18.
  • Saturday’s game is smack in the middle of a month of marquee match-ups against fellow top-half squads in the Eastern Conference. The last three games out saw Indy fall at New York (T-1st) to end April play before starting a stretch of five straight home games with nil-nil draws against Tampa Bay (T-1st) and North Carolina FC (7th). Games against Charleston Battery (T-5th) and Nashville FC (4th) round out a busy month of May against tough competition.
     

Indy Eleven Player to Watch | DF Ayoze

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.

 

Charleston Battery Player to Watch | FW Ian Svantesson

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.

 

Match-up to Mark | Indy Defense vs. Charleston Defense

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.

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