#INDvATL Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven vs. Atlanta United 2
Saturday, June 22, 2019 – 7:00 P.M. ET
Lucas Oil Stadium | Indianapolis, IN
Local/National TV: My-INDY TV23
Radio (Spanish): Exitos Radio 1590 AM
In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Honda
Indy Eleven: 8W-2L-3D, 27 pts., 4th in Eastern Conference
Atlanta United 2: 3W-7L-4D, 13 pts.,12th in Eastern Conference
Indy Eleven 2 : 1 Loudoun United | Saturday, June 15
Indy Eleven defeated Loudoun United 2-1 to earn their second consecutive road win. Midfielder Tyler Pasher scored the game’s winning goal, and his fifth of the season, in the 89th minute after forward Dane Kelly’s shot was redirected by Loudoun’s goalkeeper. The victory over Loudoun is the Boys in Blue’s seventh in a row.
Atlanta United 2 0 : 5 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC | Saturday, June 15
Atlanta United 2 lost their second match in a row after a thrashing by Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC saw five goals find the back of the Atlanta net. The defeat is the worst of the 2019 USL Championship Season and the most goals the MLS feeder team has allowed. The defeat resulted in a drop in the table for Atlanta, as Pittsburgh was able to jump into 11th in the Eastern Conference as Atlanta 2 fell to 12th.
With Indy Eleven defender Neveal Hackshaw summoned to international duty, Head Coach Martin Rennie has called upon Mitchell Osmond to take the place of the Trinidad and Tobago international. The Australian has performed well since Hackshaw’s departure, recording seven tackles, eight interceptions, and 13 clearances in the last three matches, during which Indy has allowed only two goals – one each versus Pittsburgh and Loudoun and a clean sheet at Memphis.
His next task will be to man the middle of the back third, his natural position, as he attempts to slow down an Atlanta United 2 offense that has scored the third fewest goals in the Eastern Conference at 13.
Atlanta United 2 hasn’t found the back of the net often during the 13 games played so far in the 2019 USL Championship season, averaging only one goal per game. Despite the lack of offensive proficiency, one forward has stood out for Atlanta 2, Romario Williams. The Boys in Blue will need to keep an eye on the 24-year-old in the box, where he’s scored all three of his goals.
Williams leads the team in scoring, netting three times in five appearances. The Jamaican holds a 27 percent conversion rate through the five appearances with three out of the eleven shots he’s taken finding the back of the net. Williams made 17 substitute appearances for Atlanta United FC during its MLS Cup winning campaign last season and has also made two cameos off the bench for the MLS outfit so far in 2019.
Forward Dane Kelly continues to put himself in the right positions in recent matches, but during his seven-match goalless streak he just can’t seem to crack the code that allows him to put the ball in the back of the net. However, that doesn’t mean his efforts have been totally fruitless.
Discrediting Kelly’s impact on recent games would be an ill-advised move. Maybe Kelly hasn’t scored since defeating Bethlehem Steel FC nearly a month ago on April 20, but the Jamaican has been in large part a reason for the recent success on the pitch, especially against Loudoun United FC last weekend.
Kelly created the equalizer against Loudoun after playing a driven pass that ideally would’ve found fellow forward Thomas Enevoldsen back post, but instead ricocheted off a defender and into the net. Then it was Kelly’s powerful, low effort in the 89th minute that forced Loudoun’s ‘keeper into a save he would parry, the rebound ultimately finding the feet of midfielder Tyler Pasher for the game’s winning goal.
Maybe Kelly hasn’t been netting regularly, but he’s due for a goal – and his first at Lucas Oil Stadium. After creating both goals last game and assisting on another Pasher tally the week prior at Memphis, Kelly should have a boost of confidence going into a match against an Atlanta 2 defense that has conceded 26 times, the fifth most goals allowed in the league. Then again, confidence does not seem to be lacking for Kelly, whose 43 shots are the second most taken in the USL Championship and eight ahead of anyone else in the Eastern Conference.
After wins on the road the last two weekends, Indy Eleven will look to continue its hot hand at home this Saturday when it hosts Atlanta United FC 2 for the first of three games at Lucas Oil Stadium within a week’s time. Kickoff for Grateful Dead Night next Saturday is set for 7:30 p.m., and details on special Grateful Dead themed scarves, posters and shirts and ticket packages are available at indyeleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100. Tickets beginning at just $15 are also available for the rest of Indy Eleven’s week-long homestand for games on Wednesday, June 26 (Pride Night versus Birmingham Legion FC) and Saturday, June 29 vs. Louisville City FC.