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PREVIEW | INDY ELEVEN RETURNS HOME IN SECOND MATCH-UP VS. SAINT LOUIS FC

By IndyEleven.com, 08/15/19, 6:15PM EDT

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The Boys in Blue Look to Extend Year-Long Home Undefeated Streak to 19 Sunday Night

#INDvSTL Gameday Preview
Indy Eleven vs. Saint Louis FC
Sunday, August 18, 2019 – 6:00 P.M. ET
Lucas Oil Stadium  |  Indianapolis, IN       

 

Follow Live:

Local/National TV: MyINDY-TV 23

Streaming Video: ESPN+ (click for a free 7-day trial)

Radio (Spanish): Exitos Radio 1590 AM 

In-game updates: @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Honda

 

Setting the Table:

Indy Eleven: 12W-4L-4D, 40 pts., 5th in Eastern Conference

Saint Louis FC: 6W-7L-8D, 26 pts., 11th in Eastern Conference

Click here for the full USL Championship standings 

 

First 2019 Meeting:

Indy Eleven 1 : 2 Saint Louis FC | Saturday, March 9

A lone goal from defender Neveal Hackshaw wasn’t enough to garnish any points in Indy Eleven’s 2019 USL Championship season opener. Despite scoring first in the 61st minute, the Boys in Blue surrendered goals to Saint Louis’ Phanuel Kavita (69’) and Russell Cicerone (76’) resulting in a win for the home team.  

#STLvIND:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats 

 

Last Time Out:

Indy Eleven  2 : 1  North Carolina FC  | Saturday, August 3

Indy Eleven left it late again, defeating North Carolina FC on the road 2-1 courtesy of forward Ilija Ilic’s 87th minute goal, the Serbian’s first of the season. Ilic’s game-winner came 72 minutes after midfielder Matt Watson opened the night’s scoring with his first goal of the season in the 15th minute. Indy’s early lead was nullified in the 69th minute when NCFC’s Dre Fortune tucked his shot into the back of the net, but it wasn’t enough to stave off Indiana’s Team. The victory was enough to keep the Boys in Blue ahead of North Carolina FC on the table, and even after an off week they remain one point off of third-place Nashville SC, with three games in hand on the Tennessean team.

#NCvIND:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats 

 

Saint Louis FC 1 : 1 Charleston Battery  | Saturday, August 10

Saint Louis FC walked away with a point after their last home fixture against Charleston at West Community Stadium. Captain Sam Fink scored his fifth goal of the season, Saint Louis FC’s only goal of the game coming from the spot in the 68th minute to bring the scores level. Despite controlling possession and outshooting a 10-man Charleston 18-8, the Missouri-based club couldn’t find a second goal to secure the full three points.

#STLvCHS:  Highlights  |  Recap  |  Stats 

 

#INDvSTL Storylines

  • Indy Eleven looks to capture its first victory against Saint Louis FC in regular season play this Sunday. Indy has an all-time record of 1W-1D-1L against the Missouri club, defeating and drawing the side in two pre-season friendlies played in 2015 and 2016 in addition to a loss at the start of the 2019 USL Championship campaign.
  • A victory would boost the Boys in Blue back into sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference with 43 points, while still having three games in hand on the current clubs leading Indiana’s Team in the table.
  • Indy Eleven has the chance to extend its undefeated home streak to 19 games come Sunday night, a streak that stretches back to July 7, 2018, following a 2-1 victory over Charlotte Independence.
  • Indy’s defense at home has been nearly impenetrable. The Boys in Blue have given up two goals in 10 games at home en route to recording eight clean sheets inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
  • Indiana’s Team leads the entire USL Championship in fewest goals allowed with 15 total concessions, and is second in the league and Eastern Conference in clean sheets recorded with 10.
  • A few new Boys in Blue could be available for selection Sunday night in forwards Gabriel Rodrigues and Cristian Novoa and midfielder Drew Conner.
  • Conner spent the 2016 USL season with Saint Louis FC on loan from Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire. The former Fire homegrown signing made 12 appearances with Saint Louis FC before being recalled back to the MLS ranks for the 2017-18 seasons.

 

Indy Eleven Player to Watch | MF Kenney Walker

Walker’s first assist came in the opening game of the 2019 USL Championship season against Saint Louis FC back on March 9. The former FC Cincinnati midfielder assisted defender Neveal Hackshaw in scoring his first goal as an Indy Eleven player from a well-placed corner kick in the 61st minute. Walker went on to record two more assists the following two games before being sidelined for a short period with injury.

The 30-year-old has been a consistent presence in the midfield, completing 81% of his passes through 17 appearances in his first season with Indiana’s Team. He’s moved the ball, and did so especially well against Saint Louis, completing 88% of his passes in Week One.  

 

Saint Louis FC Player to Watch | FW Kyle Greig

Grief, the squad’s joint-leading scorer forward, will look to add to his current five-goal tally against Indiana’s Team this Sunday. The 29-year-old has been an aerial force for Saint Louis through his 19 appearances, as every goal the six-foot-two-inch forward has scored has ricocheted off his cranium.

The Boys in Blue will have to mark Greig tight during dead ball situations and when lofty crosses are played into the box. The forward leads his team in aerial duels won, winning 102 of the 170 he’s battled in. Greig failed to cross the goal line in the last outing against Indy, but was able to record the assist on Saint Louis’ winning goal.

 

Match-up to Mark | Indy’s Tyler Pasher vs. Saint Louis’ Sam Fink

In the first meeting between Indy Eleven and Saint Louis FC, young forward Josh Penn ran rampant down Saint Louis’ flanks. Penn showed flashes of brilliance with his skill and nearly scored the game’s opening goal, even grounding the outside back he faced with a stutter step leading up to the on-target attempt.

Now, Saint Louis will have to deal with experienced winger and midfielder Tyler Pasher in the role that Penn played at the start of the year. Pasher leads Indy in scoring with eight goals to date, three of which have come as bursting runs down opposition flanks at the expense of Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Charleston Battery and most recently against Loudoun United FC. Pasher’s been deadly when placing shots on target, scoring half the 16 shots he’s put on frame.

The man in the middle of the Saint Louis defense tasked with containing the pacey Canadian is center back Sam Fink. The 26-year-old dominates Saint Louis’ defensive statistics, leading his side in every major category. He’s also tied with Greig for goals scored (5) after converting a penalty in the last match against Charleston – and that doesn’t count the clutch late goal he tallied in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play to down MLS side FC Cincinnati in dramatic fashion. The captain, now in his fourth season with Saint Louis FC, has been incredibly dependable for his side this season, starting every match and being subbed off in only one appearance.

Indy Eleven (12W-4L-4D, 40 pts., 5th in Eastern Conference) will return to USL Championship action with a pair of Sunday evening affairs the next two weekends against Saint Louis FC on Aug. 18 (Faith & Family Night) and Charlotte Independence on Aug. 25 (“Red Out” Summer Celebration). Tickets for those 6:00 p.m. contests at Lucas Oil Stadium remain available for as little as $15 and can be purchased at indyeleven.com/tickets or by calling 317-685-1100.

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