Indy Eleven Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven at Memphis 901 FC - #MEMvIND
Saturday, June 8, 2019 – 8:30 P.M. ET
AutoZone Park | Memphis, TN
Setting the Table:
Indy Eleven: 6W-2L-3D, 21 pts., T-4th in Eastern Conference
Memphis 901 FC: 2W-6L-4D, 10 pts., 15th in Eastern Conference
Click here for the full USL Championship standings
Indy Eleven 2:1 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC | Saturday, June 1
A pair of goals from Indy Eleven midfielders Kenney Walker and Tyler Pasher secured three points at home for Indiana’s Team in a game Head Coach Martin Rennie labeled “the most exciting game of the year so far.” Indy conceded its first goal at home in over 500 minutes (515, to be exact) dating back to last October when Robbie Mertz snuck the ball around goalkeeper Evan Newton in the 15th minute. The Eleven comeback began in the 71st minute when Walker nullified Pittsburgh’s lead with a left-footed rocket from just outside the 18-yard box. Ten minutes later Pasher fired home the winning goal via a close-quarters, tight angled strike, extending Indy’s home regular season undefeated streak to 14 games (8W-0L-6D).
Swope Park Rangers 2:2 Memphis 901 FC | Wednesday, May 22
An eventful 90 minutes between Memphis 901 FC and Swope Rangers saw the game feature two lead changes and the scores leveled twice. Memphis struck first when midfielder Dan Metzger netted the young team’s quickest-ever goal, and his first of the season, three minutes into the match. Swope Park’s Camden Riley tied the match from the penalty spot in the 34th minute and Mark Segbers gave the home side the lead in the 68th minute, but the advantage was short-lived as defender Tristan Hodge nodded in the equalizer five minutes later.
Memphis’ scheduled Week 13 clash at Saint Louis FC last Saturday evening was postponed due to severe weather, giving the expansion an impromptu weekend off before the visit from Indiana’s Team this Saturday.
Cometh the moment, cometh the man – and Pasher has been the man late for his squad recently, scoring two game-winning goals within the last ten minutes during two of Indy’s last three home matches. The first came in the 84th minute against Charleston Battery on May 18, when the Canadian made a streaking run down the left flank and rocketed a shot off the ‘keeper and into the net for the 1-0 win.
“My job is to get the ball, turn, and start running at people,” Pasher said of his goal against Charleston. “If I go nine times and I miss, but go a tenth time and we get a goal then it gets the job done.”
Then two weeks later, he scored nearly an identical game-winner against Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (also in the 84th minute), putting the Boys in Blue up 2-1 in the dying moments with another near-post screamer. The former Newcastle United youth product brought his goal tally to three on the year, now sitting a goal behind team scoring leader forward Dane Kelly.
Collier made 11 appearances for Indy Eleven in 2018 after arriving to the Circle City on loan from Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire, scoring a single goal during stay. The New Zealand native now finds himself on loan again, but this time with Memphis 901 FC.
The lanky striker has been productive in front of net for Memphis, tied as the team’s leading goal scorer with two goals in 10 appearances – the first of which came in the team’s inaugural match season on March 16 after losing a close friend in New Zealand’s Christchurch shootings the day before. Indy’s back third will need to keep the 24-year-old striker off his left foot, as he’s scored both goals with his stronger side.
Indy Eleven has turned Lucas Oil Stadium into a fortress, failing to drop a result on the corner of Capitol & South Streets in nearly a calendar year (last July 4, to be exact). The opposite can be said about Memphis 901 FC when playing at AutoZone Park.
Home field advantage has yet to kick in for the expansion team, the side going 0W-3L-2D record while allowing seven goals and scoring just thrice. The Tennessee side hasn’t kept a clean sheet at home either, conceding at least one goal in every game. The man tasked with keeping the net empty is Memphis goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, who has kept only one shutout (on the road) in 2019 and has saved just under two-thirds of the shots he’s faced.
Indiana’s Team has claimed 9 of 15 possible points from five away games so far in the 2019 USL Championship regular season. The Boys in Blue have scored 11 goals and allowed seven on the road, including three games with three goals scored in each. In addition, the side has kept one clean sheet on the road as Rennie’s squad will play its first match away from home since April 28.